Spring and summer 2014 promises a lot of amazing fashion trends, such as shimmery iridescent dresses, bold patterns and asymmetrical prints. Regardless of which style you go for, one thing for certain is that you’ll be showing a lot of skin this season. Whether you’re attending a gallery opening in Williamsburg, or dining at a pop-up restaurant in the Bowery, if you want to rock this season’s hot styles, you’ll need to deal with unwanted body hair.

When it comes to hair removal, you have two options: to do it yourself or have it done professionally.

Do it Yourself Hair Removal

If you’re like most women, you probably shave, wax or use a depilatory to remove your body hair. These options are affordable, but they can also have disadvantages.

Shaving

With shaving, the hair grows back within days, which means you could end up shaving several times a week. The average razor may last through two or three leg shavings, and the good ones – with added moisturizers and multiple blades for the closest possible shave – can cost upwards of $15 on Amazon for three or four blades per package. If you shave your legs twice a week, and change blades each week, you’re easily looking at $30 a month on razors alone.

And then there are the nicks and cuts that often happen while shaving, or the sheer danger of twisting and balancing on one foot in a wet, slippery shower.

Depilatories

Depilatories last a bit longer than shaving, but you have to let them sit on your skin for several minutes in order to work, which means you need to make sure you have to time to sit around with goop on your legs. Depilatories can also have a funky smell that can linger on your skin. That smell can also linger, and the product can stain, if it gets on your clothing, rugs, or furniture – which is possible because they are also messy.  Then, there is also the fact that they can irritate the skin and, after all that trouble, may not even remove all the hair; because depilatories may not work or some larger, coarser hairs.

Depilatories can last a couple weeks, depending on how fast your hair grows. The average cost is $7 per bottle, on Amazon, and you may need to use all or most of a bottle per session.

Waxing

Waxing lasts about as long as depilatories and they can be just as messy. Also, if you’re not very flexible, you may need someone to help you with certain areas. The other issue is that, like depilatories, you could go through all of the mess and discover that some hairs still remain.

A really good waxing kit could cost you upwards of $30, on Amazon, and the wax refills and additional strips could cost $14 or more. Cold wax products, which are really some sort of adhesive, could cost less but may also not be as effective.

Professional Options

Professional hair removal is usually done in a spa or a dermatologist’s office. These methods are more expensive than the DIY options, but they are also more effective because, in most cases, your hair does not grow back. In fact, if you add up what you would spend in a lifetime, for hair removal products, you could find that the prices are comparable.

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is the most effective and most popular form of professional hair removal because it is comparatively quick, and very effective. There are several different types of laser hair removal procedures, but they all use some form of intense light to deactivate the hair follicles in your skin, causing existing hair to fall out and preventing new hair from growing back.

The process is only available through professional facilities in the NYC area, such as a dedicated laser facility or your dermatologist’s office.

Although the process is highly effective, it works best on people with lighter skin and darker hair. In people with darker skin, the skin tends to absorb much of the laser light before it can affect the hair follicle. In people with lighter hair, the hair will reflect the light instead of absorbing it and deactivating the follicle.

The cost for laser hair removal could be up to $500 per session, and it could take five to eight sessions to achieve the desired effect. Ultimately it depends on the location of the hair and the size of the area. However, because the process is considered permanent, once you have had all of your sessions you will not need to continually repeat the process as you would with many of the DIY options.

Electrolysis

Electrolysis is another popular professional method of hair removal. The process uses an electrical probe to deactivate the hair follicle, causing existing hair to fall out, and preventing new hair from growing.

Unlike laser hair removal, electrolysis can work on most skin tones and hair colors. At an average $90 per session and it can take between 10 and 25 sessions to achieve the desired effect. As with lasers, electrolysis is considered permanent which means, once your sessions are complete, should not need to do anything else.

If you are serious about hair removal, you could be better off with a professional method.

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