Hate Razors? These Are the Best Shaving Alternatives

 wired.com  09/20/2020 11:00:00   Medea Giordano

  • Intense-pulsed-light (IPL) devices target the root of the hair, causing it to fall out and greatly reduce regrowth over time. It's not something you'll see results from immediately or uniformly. After a few weeks of zapping my legs with the HoMedics Duo Lite, I was surprised to see leg hair growing back in patches. That might not sound good, but when you're already planning to remove leg hair, the less of it that's growing the better. That was from one of the lowest settings; after cranking it up for a few more weeks, the results were better. The company says it feels like snapping a rubber band to your skin, but I didn't feel anything at all.

    HoMedics says this IPL device is not safe for use on blonde, red, or gray hair, nor on very dark skin. Even if you have pale skin and dark hair, do a patch test and start on the lowest setting. It will take some time to see results, but you don't want to permanently mark your skin by rushing or using something that's not appropriate for you.

  • The human body is covered in vellus hairs, also called peach fuzz. They're mostly not noticeable to anyone but you, and just like the rest of the hair on your body, there's no need to get rid of it. But I was finding that, in combination with my textured skin, the extra hair wasn't helping my makeup sit smoothly.

    This $10 spring can remove most of that peach fuzz without much effort. By twisting the handles as you run it over your face, the spring removes the hair without catching the skin. It sounds painful, but I did it fairly mindlessly while watching TV (though my upper lip area was particularly sensitive). Don't use this around your eyebrows, as you may end up ripping out more than you wanted.

  • Another way to remove that peach fuzz is with an exfoliating wand like the Dermaflash Luxe. WIRED writer Louryn Strampe started using the Luxe after she noticed the hair on her face showing up a bit too prominently in her Zoom meetings. Wash your face first, then hold your skin taut and drag the wand in short strokes. She says the result is "disgusting, if satisfying," with a pile of dead skin and peach fuzz falling to the bathroom sink. But she had ringing words of endorsement: "My skin was flawless, glowy, and smooth, and more importantly, my mustache was obliterated."

    It's not perfect, though. It's incredibly expensive and has wasteful single-use blades. It also has a learning curve; you might have to watch several YouTube videos before your first attempt to avoid the reddish skin some users report. But there's no pain; Louryn says it's like rubbing an electric toothbrush handle on her cheeks.

  • You don't need to completely remove hair to manage it. Trimming can help get things under control. The Philips BikiniGenie has a small head, so it's safe and easy to use in the sensitive nooks and crannies of your nether region (or knees and ankles). But if you're looking to manage larger areas, like your legs or chest, the Philips Norelco is a better choice. It comes with a bunch of attachments, including a precision trimmer, so you can handle every area.

    If you get occasional bikini waxes and you have a steady hand, you may want to consider trimming with a good pair of hair scissors instead of clippersa waxer told me this is preferable for in-between services if you have to wait longer than usual, as closely trimming or shaving could mess up the hair texture and progress. A WIRED staffer likes the Tweezerman Stainless 2000 Shears, just don't get too close to the skin.

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