Unwanted hair can be a source of frustration for many people. Fortunately, there are many different types of hair removal methods available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
To help you choose the best hair removal process for you we’ve documented this comprehensive guide to hair removal. We review both permanent and temporary, long term and short term hair removal methods including electrolysis, IPL, shaving, waxing, threading, sugaring, plucking and depilatory creams.
For your convenience we’ve summarised these different types of hair removal detailing the body parts they are best used for and the advantages and disadvantages of each of them in the hair removal Australia comparison chart below. There is also more detailed information further down this article about each of these different ways to remove unwanted hair.
Please note that the best hair removal option for one person may not be the best hair removal solution for another person. Your choice of the best hair removal procedure for you will depend on a range of factors including the location of the unwanted hair, your skin sensitivity and pain tolerance levels, your budget and personal preferences.
Most people, myself included, choose different hair removal techniques for different parts of the body.
Use the information in this guide to ensure you choose the best combination of hair removal techniques to meet your specific needs and wants.
- 1 Different Types of Hair Removal Comparison Table
- 2 Electrolysis Hair Removal
- 3 IPL Hair Removal
- 4 Shaving
- 5 Threading Hair Removal
- 6 Waxing
- 7 Sugaring Hair Removal
- 8 Plucking Hair Removal
- 9 Depilatory Cream Hair Removal
Different Types of Hair Removal Comparison Table
|HAIR REMOVAL |
|BEST FOR||SALON OR |
|Electrolysis||Permanent||Facial hair||Salon||Permanent results.|
Suitable for all skin
types & hair colours.
|Slow process as
each hair needs to
Needs to be
performed by a
|IPL works best on |
people with fair skin
& dark hairs.
Face from the
cheeks down ONLY,
NOT the eyebrows
or anywhere near
|Salon or |
|Long term hair |
down hair regrowth.
IPL hair removal
treatments are fast.
|IPL is NOT effective on
blonde, white, grey
or red hairs.
IPL is NOT
dark brown or black
skinned people or
IPL is NOT
tattoos, psoriasis or
IPL is NOT
IPL should NOT be
used on the genital
IPL is NOT suitable
to use on the face
above cheek level.
|Most body parts |
Easy to do at home.
Can be used on
large parts of the
|May irritate the skin.
Risk of nicking your
Hairs grow back very
quickly, often within
a day or two.
|Salon||More precise in |
Gentler on skin than
Results can last
up to 4 weeks.
|Not suitable for
large areas such as
legs & back.
Short term discomfort.
|All body parts.||Salon or|
|Large amounts of |
hair can be removed
Good for large areas
of the body eg legs
and small areas eg
Results last several
Possibility of skin
Not suitable for
people with very
Hairs need to be
long enough for the
wax to grip onto.
|Less painful than |
Less likely than
waxing to cause skin
remove large areas
of hair at once.
The sugaring paste
is water soluble so
it's easy to remove
any leftover paste.
Results have a
similar duration to
waxing, up to 6
|Hard to find salons
that do sugaring.
May be hard to get
right at home.
|Plucking / |
|DIY||Easy to do.|
Precise form of
Results last several
|Not suitable for
large areas such as
legs & back.
Short term discomfort.
|All body parts.|
There are specific
for sensitive areas
such as the face &
Readily available to
No special skills
Painless to use.
creams have an
Important to test
cream on skin 24
hours before first
May cause skin
damage if left on for
Electrolysis Hair Removal
Electrolysis is an effective permanent form of hair removal that can be used on anyone regardless of their skin and hair type.
What is Electrolysis Hair Removal?
Electrolysis involves inserting a fine needle into each individual hair follicle to apply an electric current which destroys the root of the hair. The hair is then removed with tweezers. Due to the destroyed hair root it is impossible for that hair to grow back.
Does Electrolysis Hair Removal Hurt?
One of the most frequently asked questions is does electrolysis hurt? The honest answer is that it can be uncomfortable, like a small stinging sensation when each hair is targeted. Pain relief however is not usually required during this process.
Advantages of Electrolysis Hair Removal
The big advantage of this hair removal method is that it results in permanent hair removal.
This method to eliminate hair is effective for all skin types and hair colours.
Disadvantages of Electrolysis Hair Removal
Electrolysis is a slow process because each hair needs to be treated individually. You can treat approximately two hairs per minute using electrolysis.
Electrolysis hair removal needs to be conducted by a trained operator to avoid the risk of scarring.
If the needle is not insulated properly there is a risk of electric shock. This is another reason to attend a reputable salon for this hair removal service.
Immediately after electrolysis there may be some temporary redness in the area treated. This is something to keep in mind if you are thinking of having this treatment during your work lunch break.
What Areas of the Body is Electrolysis Best For
Electrolysis is best for small areas such as the upper lip and chin.
It is unsuitable for removing hair from large areas such as the legs or back.
IPL Hair Removal
Intense Pulsed Light hair removal or IPL for short, is a form of light therapy used to remove unwanted hair.
How Does IPL Hair Removal Work?
IPL devices work by emitting flashes of light energy. This light energy penetrates down to the second layer of your skin without harming the top layer. The energy is absorbed by areas of high pigmentation such as hairs. The hairs then heat up and the hair follicle is damaged. Hair growth is subsequently slowed down and in some cases completely prevented. Individual hairs take up to two weeks to fall out.
Hairs have three phases of growth. IPL hair removal works on the hairs in their active stage of growth only. As a result you will need at least three IPL treatments spread out over time to enable you to treat all the hairs in one area when they are in their active phase and to see the results you are wanting. You can shave your hair in between treatments if you want.
Can IPL Be Used By Anyone
IPL works best on people with fair skin and dark hairs.
IPL is NOT effective on blonde, white, grey or red hairs.
It is also not recommended for dark brown or black skinned people, or on extremely tanned skin people as it may affect their skin pigmentation.
IPL should also NOT be used on people with tattooed skin, psoriasis or photosensitive skin. It is also NOT recommended for people breast feeding or pregnant.
What Areas Of the Body Can IPL Hair Removal Be Safely Used On
IPL can safely be used on your legs, back, underarms, bikini line, chest and arms. IPL should NOT be used on your genital areas where your skin has a darker colour.
IPL is only recommended on your face from your cheeks downwards. It is not safe to use IPL hair removal on your eyebrows or anywhere near the eyes as there is a risk of eye damage.
Is IPL Painful
IPL does have a stinging sensation similar to being snapped with a rubber band.
Advantages of IPL Hair Removal
IPL is a form of long term hair removal. It significantly slows down hair regrowth.
Ingrown hairs are NOT an issue with IPL hair removal.
IPL hair removal treatments are fast.
Conveniently, IPL can be conducted by you in the privacy of your own home with an at home IPL device. It does not have to be conducted by a professional in a salon.
Disadvantages of IPL Hair Removal
IPL hair removal may result in the short term side effects of redness, swelling or itchiness in the area being treated.
Your skin may be more sensitive to the sun for a week after IPL hair removal. It is recommended you either cover the treated area or use sunscreen on it during this timeframe.
IPL hair removal treatment is not suitable for all people nor all areas of your body. See above information about this.
Click HERE to check out the Best Home IPL Hair Removal Devices.
Shaving is one of the most popular forms of hair removal whether this be using a manual razor or an electric shaver. It is often the first type of hair removal that people try. Shaving cuts the hair at the surface of the skin.
What Areas Of The Body Is Shaving Best For
Shaving can be used on your legs, armpits, head and face.
Advantages Of Shaving
Shaving is quick, painless and inexpensive. It is easy to perform at home compared to other hair removal methods. Shaving can be used on large areas of your body. You can use a manual razor and waterproof electric shavers in the shower.
Disadvantages Of Shaving
It is important to regularly change your disposable razor and blades to minimise your risk of nicking or cutting yourself while shaving.
Shaving can result in irritation to your skin and it may cause ingrown hairs.
Shaving is a short term hair removal method with hairs growing back very quickly, often within a day or two. When using shaving as your hair removal technique a lot of people need to shave each day to achieve their desired effect.
Click HERE to see the Best Women’s Electric Shavers Australia wide.
Threading Hair Removal
Threading originated in the Middle East and Asia several centuries ago but has recently become more popular.
What is Threading?
Threading is the process of removing unwanted hair using a piece of thread. The thread is doubled and twisted, and then used to trap unwanted hairs in the thread and pull them out. Threading plucks out the hairs from the follicle level. It can remove several hairs at one time.
Hair will not grow back for approximately 6 weeks.
Threading works for all skin and hair types.
What Areas of the Body is Threading Best For
Threading is usually performed on the eyebrows. It can also be used on other areas of unwanted facial hairs such as the upper lip and chin.
Threading is not suitable for large areas of the body such as the legs or back.
Does Eyebrow Threading Hurt?
Eyebrow threading has a similar level of discomfort as tweezing. It is less uncomfortable than waxing. The discomfort does not last long. An experienced eyebrow threader can minimise the discomfort by working quickly and ensuring the skin in the area being worked on is held taut. Applying aloe vera gel at the end of this hair removal process will help soothe your skin and reduce any redness.
Advantages of Threading
The benefits of threading include that it offers more precise control in shaping eyebrows compared to waxing. It is also gentler on the skin than waxing, and it is a relatively quick process.
The results of threading can last up to 4 weeks.
Disadvantages of Threading
Threading can be uncomfortable and result in temporary redness in the area treated.
Following threading your pores will be wide open so it’s best to avoid touching the threaded area for a day and avoid swimming. I also avoid wearing makeup in the threaded area for 24 hours.
Waxing is the second most popular form of hair removal behind shaving. There are several different types of wax you can use including hard wax, soft wax and wax strips.
How Does Waxing Work?
Waxing involves applying either hot or cold wax to the skin, and then pulling it off. This results in the removal of the unwanted hairs with the wax.
Advantages of Waxing
Waxing is effective at removing large amounts of hair at once. It is good for using on large areas such as your legs as well as smaller areas such as around your eyebrows.
It can be done either in a salon by a professional or at home by yourself.
The results of waxing last for several weeks. Some hairs may even never grow back after regular waxing.
Disadvantages of Waxing
Waxing is a painful hair removal process. It can cause skin irritation and ingrown hairs. Waxing is not suitable for people with very sensitive skin.
Your hairs need to be long enough for the wax to be able to grip on to it in order to remove it.
Wax is not water soluble. If you have any leftover wax on your skin you will need to remove it with an oil based product.
Sugaring Hair Removal
Sugaring is a less common form of hair removal. It is a bit similar to waxing but does have various differences which result in different advantages and disadvantages.
What Is Sugaring?
Sugaring is a natural hair removal method. It uses a paste made of sugar, water and lemon juice to remove the hairs from the root.
The ingredients are heated together until they reach a candy consistency. Once this paste cools it is then applied directly to the skin and then removed.
One of the differences between sugaring and waxing is the direction in which the product is applied and removed. With waxing, the wax is applied in the same direction as the hair growth and then it is removed in the opposite direction to the hair growth.
With sugaring, the cooled sugar paste is applied against the direction of hair growth and is then removed in the direction of hair growth.
Advantages of Sugaring
Sugaring is less painful than waxing and is less likely to cause skin irritations. This is because the sugar paste does not stick to the skin, it only sticks to the hairs. In waxing the wax adheres to the skin as well as the hair.
Due to the direction of removal of the sugar paste, sugaring is less likely than waxing to break the hair follicles.
Sugaring can remove a large area of hair at once.
It is more natural and environmentally friendly than the resins used in waxing.
The sugaring paste is water soluble so it is easy to remove any leftover paste from the skin without causing any skin irritation.
The results of sugaring lasts a similar time to waxing, that is up to about 6 weeks.
Similar to waxing some hairs may even never grow back after regular sugaring.
Disadvantages of Sugaring
Very few salons offer sugaring. You can do sugaring at home yourself but it can be tricky getting the consistency of the sugar paste right.
What Areas of the Body is Sugaring Best For
Sugaring is a suitable to remove unwanted hairs from your face, underarms, arms, legs and back.
Does Sugaring Hurt?
Sugaring is less painful than waxing but is still uncomfortable as you are pulling out the hair and its root.
Plucking Hair Removal
The terms plucking and tweezing are used interchangeably and are the same method of hair removal.
The definition of plucking is to hold something and then quickly remove it from its place and that is exactly what plucking hair removal is.
To pluck a hair you hold the unwanted hair with your tweezers and then pull the hair out in the direction of the hair growth.
What Areas Of The Body Is Plucking Best For
Plucking is best for removing unwanted facial hairs. It is a common method for removing stray and untidy eyebrow hairs and also for removing occasional chin hairs that pop up.
Nose hairs should NOT be plucked. Clip nose hairs instead to avoid the risk of infection.
Advantages Of Plucking Hair Removal
Plucking is an easy and cheap form of hair removal. You just need a good quality pair of tweezers, good lighting and a mirror.
The effects of plucking last from 2 to 6 weeks which is longer than shaving as you are pulling the hair out from the follicle.
Plucking is a precise form of hair removal enabling you to target the exact hairs you want removed.
Disadvantages Of Plucking Hair Removal
Plucking is a slow process as you can only pluck one hair out at a time. It can also be temporarily painful especially when plucking hairs from sensitive areas.
There is a risk of the hair breaking off and not being completely removed. This may result in painful ingrown hairs under your skin.
Plucking is not suitable for large areas of the body. It is a hair removal method that is best for removing stray hairs.
Depilatory Cream Hair Removal
Depilatory creams are also known as hair removal creams, hair removal lotions and hair removal gels. They are available to purchase in chemists and supermarkets.
The effects of using a depilatory cream will last slightly longer than shaving but depilatory creams do only remove the hair at or just below the surface of the skin, so the hairs do start growing back in a matter of days.
How Does Hair Removal Cream Work
Hair removal creams contain chemicals that dissolve the hair shaft. It is important to read the instructions on the depilatory pack you choose as the exact instructions do vary from depilatory to depilatory.
Generally speaking you apply a thick layer of the depilatory to the skin where the unwanted hairs are located and leave it on for the recommended timeframe before rinsing it off thoroughly with lukewarm water.
There are different depilatories for different body parts such as your face and your private regions.
Advantages of Depilatory Creams
Depilatory creams are inexpensive and readily available to purchase. They are easy to use, not requiring any special skills. They do not require heating.
Depilatory products are painless to use.
Disadvantages of Depilatory Creams
It is important to follow the instructions on the pack. If you leave a depilatory cream on your skin for longer than recommended it can damage and burn your skin.
If you have sensitive skin or a history of allergic reactions it is also important to test the depilatory on a small area of your skin on your arm or leg 24 hours before using it to ensure you won’t have a reaction to it.
Some depilatory creams have an offensive odour that people dislike.
The results of depilatory creams are not long lasting.
What Areas of the Body are Depilatory Creams Best For
Ingrid is a lifelong beauty lover living in Australia who started Fabulous and Fun Life in 2014 to share her love of all things beauty. Being a qualified ergonomist Ingrid is especially interested in researching & testing beauty appliances to write product buying guides to help you find the best beauty appliance suited to your specific needs. Ingrid was an Influencer Judge in the TVSN Beauty Awards 2023, and also in 2021 in the hair care category. She has worked with numerous beauty brands & PR companies. To contact Ingrid, visit her contact page. Ingrid’s best beauty secret is sleeping on a silk pillowcase.