- Some natural hair removal options are better than others, depending on the designated body area.
- Certain remedies can be concocted at home while others can be purchased ready-made.
- No natural hair removal option provides a permanent solution but they may help protect sensitive skin.
Natural hair removal is an excellent alternative to using chemicals and may be a solution for those of us with sensitive skin. There are many factors to consider when using natural options, including how much prep work is required and how large the area of skin involved for hair removal. Ultimately, would this option be worth exploring? We investigate the most common natural hair removal solutions and provide you with some perspective on what they involve.
Homemade sugar wax
Commercial hair removal wax is made with resins, tree by-products, chemicals, preservatives and dyes. Waxing removes hair right from the root and therefore lasts longer. Sugar waxing essentially does the same thing using all-natural ingredients. A classic remedy dating back to the ancient Egyptians, natural sugar wax can be made with three inexpensive ingredients found in most household kitchens – sugar, honey and lemon juice. Like commercial waxing, sugar wax provides results for about two weeks.
Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert in Farmdale, NJ, notes that “The sugar binds to your hairs rather than your skin to pull it out from the root. This means that you’re much less likely to experience any irritation.” An additional benefit to sugar waxing is that it does not need to be heated to adhere to hair, which is a blessing for sensitive skin as it removes the risk of scarring and welting from burns. “Just make sure that your hair is long enough that the sugar can bind to it,” cautions Mr. Backe.
How to make sugar wax at home
To make and use sugar wax at home, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 cup organic raw cane sugar
- Two tablespoons local raw honey
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- Popsicle stick or small plastic spatula
- Small pieces of thin cotton fabric (about 1 inch by 3 inches each).
First, combine the lemon and sugar in a pan. Heat this at low temperature then add in the honey once the sugar is melted. Stir and simmer until the mixture turns smooth and golden in color. Blend the mixture well and transfer to a heat-safe container. Clean and dry the skin that is about to be waxed. A popsicle stick or a small spatula can be used to apply a thin, even layer of the wax to the area of the skin you plan to wax. Apply it in the opposite direction of hair growth. Place the pieces of fabric over the wax firmly then pull the pieces of fabric in the same direction as the hair growth.
Luxury Home Sugaring Paste
If all this seems like too much work, try Luxury Home Sugaring paste, which comes at a reasonable price point and is made with organic ingredients. It’s also available in hard and medium consistencies for a variety of hair removal needs.
Bluezoo Coffee Depilatory Pearl Hard Wax
Another option for natural wax is Bluezoo Coffee Depilatory Pearl Hard Wax. Though not made with sugar, this substance is natural and is made with coffee. This product is more convenient as there is no need for cloth strips. Just heat the wax beads, spread a layer of it with a spatula, let it cool and pull it off.
Pumice stones employ friction to remove dead skin on your feet. Similarly, they can be used as a hair removal tool. Pumice stones are rocks with tiny air bubbles in them. The advantages of pumice stones is that they are relatively inexpensive and are effective at removing fine hair. They work well on the shins and forearms and don’t need to be replaced frequently. They can, however, irritate the skin. It’s best to find a pumice stone with the smallest holes you can find as the more coarse it is, the more likely it will be to irritate your skin.
Natural shaving creams/soaps
If the idea of waxing is too painful and shaving is your preferred solution, then opt for natural shaving cream. Though shaving only removes hair from the surface – meaning that the hair grows back faster – it is a less painful alternative. “Irritated skin should not be a by-product of shaving, and all-natural shaving soaps can prove it,” claims Mr. Backe.
There are several recipes out there if you fancy making your own but if this feels like a long process, Lush Cosmetics has a selection of non-foaming shaving creams that do not dry out the skin. The use of natural ingredients means that the product will moisturize and nourish your skin instead of stripping it of moisture. Mr. Backe also advocates the use of shea butter. “Shea Butter will give you a rich lather from a vegetable-based shaving soap. The nourishing benefits will be the least of your pleasant surprises – you’ll get the closest, smoothest shave you’ve ever had.”
Threading is another age-old technique that has stood the test time. This method originated in ancient Egypt and India and is becoming a very trendy alternative in the West. It works using a thread that pulls along unwanted hair in a twisting motion. Once the hair is trapped in what can be described as mini loops, they are then pulled out of the follicles.
Hair removal lasts up to six weeks. This practice provides lasting results and has the added advantage of being extremely sanitary and precise – especially on problematic eyebrows. The disadvantage is that it can break the hair if done incorrectly. It also isn’t a method that can be used on larger parts of the body, such as the legs. Hair removal using threading tends to be limited to the face.
Laser hair removal
Though the question of whether this form of hair removal is ‘natural’ is up for debate, there are certain advantages to this option that can’t be ignored. Primarily, that it is permanent and has few side-effects. According to Dr. Bobby Buka, a dermatologist in New York, “Laser hair removal is far and away the best method based on the durability of response [how long the effects last] and the lack of potential side effects.”
The side effects that do exist only tend to last a few days. It is also fast, effective and you don’t need to wait for new hair growth to get treated. Though it may be costly up front, there will be savings over the time as the hair removed will cease to grow back. Laser hair removal can be done at home or in office.