If you want to be optimistic about your body hair, look at it from an evolutionary standpoint: At least we don't still have as much hair as our primate brethren. If we did and we still had our current obsession with being mostly hairless, we'd all have some serious, full-body razor burn. Or our hair removal technology would be way more advanced. In any case, we have relatively little hair that we're trying to deal with compared to most of the animal kingdom, but many people still consider it to be too much. When you're deciding how to go about ridding your body parts of their fur, some good things to consider are the amount of skin you're trying to cover, how long you want it to be gone for, and how much money you want to spend. Oh, and how high your pain tolerance is because some of these methods aren't for the faint of heart. Or stomach.
Methods of Body Hair Removal
Shaving is cheap and painless. If you don't get carried away and shave off some of skin, all you need is a good razor, water, and some shaving cream, and you can go to town. This method is good for either large or small areas that you're trying to clear, but easiest on flat areas like legs or underarms. You can shave areas like your face and bikini line, but just be extra careful to not cut that sensitive skin. Shaving keeps you smooth between one day and several days, depending on speed of hair regrowth.
Try a depilatory lotion or cream to remove body hair. Lotions work by frequently applying them to the desired body part, and the chemicals (commonly calcium thioglycolate) eventually make hair less noticeable. There are more powerful creams and sprays that work faster. Those you usually just have to apply, wait ten minutes or so, and then wash it off. Hair-free time for this one is similar to shaving, maybe a day longer. Again, beware on sensitive areas and if you have sensitive skin. No razor burn here but possibly chemical burn if your skin doesn't react well.
Tweezing is great for smaller areas of body hair removal. Much less chance for irritated skin with this method, which is nice . . . unless you get too close to the surface of your skin and pluck that, too. This works really great on eyebrows, or if you just have a little patch of hair somewhere that you want to get rid of quickly, like if you miss a spot shaving. It's also cheap since you only need a pair of tweezers. Tweezing does keep you smooth for a fair amount of time—about a week—but ingrown hairs are more common with this method.
Waxing is a fast and effective option. You can wax pretty much anywhere—though I've never heard of anyone getting their head waxed. Keep in mind that the larger the area of your body that you want waxed, the longer it'll take. There will be more pain to suffer through, too. You can pay a professional or do it yourself, but don't expect your first at-home trial to go perfectly. Waxing quickly and without making a mess is almost an art form. You'll be hairless for several weeks, but remember that sensitive skin might not react well to such harsh treatment.
Laser hair removal or electrolysis are fairly permanent, but expensive, methods. If you know that you never ever want hair on your legs, or back, or wherever (and you've got the cash), then this is for you. A specialist will zap your hair follicle with electricity or light, damaging it so that it can't produce hair anymore. It may take a few sessions, but it's the most permanent option. Keep in mind that laser hair removal works best on light-skinned, dark-haired people. And please go to a reputable place for this treatment and not some booth in a mall. Be safe!
Cost and Effectiveness of Body Hair Removal Techniques
It's also a good idea to really research the expensive options before jumping into something. Look into the different clinics offering the high-tech services, as you don't want to end up catching some disease just to save a few bucks. For those with sensitive skin, even the lower cost options deserve some research. See if you can find a sample of a depilatory cream and try it out on a patch of your skin before buying a whole bottle and ending up with chemical burns across your body.
I'm pretty sure how much you spend on your hair removal is almost always directly related to how long it lasts. There are a few exceptions to the rule, such as tweezing, and there are actually some decent cheap razors out there, although I'd still recommend the 4-blade razors with moisturizers attached. If you want longer lasting results, you're going to be spending money at a salon to get waxed, or at a dermatologist's office for laser hair removal or electrolysis. So, if you really don't have the money, consider becoming a hippie and letting your body hair grow wild. Love is free, man.