Female Hair Removal Options
Shaving is a cost effective and convenient method for removing hair. Shaving allows women to address hair removal immediately and does not require significant re-growth.
Wet shaving is an effective and quick hair removal option that removes hairs at skin surface level when the blades glide over wet skin. All P&G Beauty & Grooming razors (three and five-bladed options) have blades positioned to extend gradually closer to the hair. This “progressive blade geometry” helps to aid the reduction of drag on the skin. Multiple-bladed razors make it less likely to miss any hairs, as each blade increases the chance that you will cut the hair. The geometry of the blades in P&G Beauty & Grooming razors makes multiple-blade razors safer than a single-bladed razor. All P&G Beauty & Grooming blades are spring-mounted to individually adjust to a woman’s body. The blades on P&G Beauty & Grooming five-blade razors are positioned even closer together than those of our three-blade razors, which helps with skin management and further reduces drag on the skin.
Although different areas of the body can have different rates of growth, women typically shave two to three times a week.
Wet shaving is the most popular method of hair removal in Western Europe, with approximately 63 percent of women wet shaving their legs. This is also the predominant method of hair removal in North America.
As an electric shaver has only very cursory contact with the skin’s surface—no sharp blade, or the pull and rip of wax—electric shaving can be a good option for those with sensitive skin. A fine screen glides across the skin’s surface, trapping hair. Blades move laterally and cut hairs against the edge of the screen.
While only eight percent of women in Western Europe overall use electric razors to shave their legs and underarms, approximately 26 percent of women in Germany use this option.
A superior shave is not only based on the number of blades but a number of sophisticated technologies working together. All P&G Beauty and Grooming razors are optimized to offer a quick and simple hair removal technique all areas a woman wants to address, including legs, thighs, bikini line, armpits or beyond.
P&G Beauty & Grooming scientists recognize women and men have different shaving needs and have designed razors with this in mind. Female razors with a pivoting rounded head and ergonomically designed handle are specifically designed to accommodate hard-to-reach areas.
- Multiple Blades: Having multiple blades can greatly improve cutting efficiency, ensuring the razor captures virtually every hair during the first stroke with less irritation. For a safe and comfortable shave, it is important to carefully manage the underlying skin. The pressure exerted on the skin by blades can cause the skin to bulge between the inter-blade span, and as a result, the cartridge can cause discomfort when dragging over the skin. Increasing the number of blades means each are closer together, reducing skin bulge and dragging over the skin.
- Progressive Blade Geometry: For all P&G Beauty and Grooming’s wet shaving razors, blades are positioned to extend gradually closer to the skin, reducing uncomfortable drag on the skin.
- Blade Edge Technology: P&G Beauty & Grooming razors incorporate complex blade technology to improve the comfort and smoothness of shaving. Each stainless steel blade is fine and narrow—at least as sharp as a scalpel—to help easily cut through hair. Additional strength and stability is provided to the thinner edge by adding a proprietary diamond-like carbon coating to the stainless steel substrate. Each of the three or five stainless steel blades are then further coated in an anti-friction telomer layer to create a low friction surface to increase glide. These features allow the blades to cut through hair with less pull and more comfort.
- Spring-Mounted Blades: Each blade is independently mounted on springs, allowing each one to constantly adjust to the curves and contours of the body. This enables them to stay in contact with the skin, even on tricky shaving areas, such as knees and ankles.
Researchers have spent years in the lab analyzing the way women grip razor handles and position themselves while shaving. P&G incorporates handle materials that provide a soft yet firm grip to ensure razors do not slip in the shower but are flexible enough to adapt to women’s various shaving positions.
Pre- and Post-Shave Care
The quality of many beauty rituals depends not only upon technique, but also upon preparation and aftercare. Failing to start and finish a manicure with a protective base and topcoat increases your changes of chipping your polish. Moisturizing dry skin before applying makeup is an essential step that will help prevent your rosy glow from flaking off by mid day. Similarly, shaving technique is important, but there’s more to achieving soft, smooth, hair-free skin than a few strokes with a razor. What you do before and after the shave is as important as your form during the shave. Here are a few best shaving practices to keep in mind.
Post-Shave Care Depilatory Creams
Depilatory creams are an at-home hair removal option designed for women. They use a combination of alkali pH – usually about pH 12 – and an ingredient called thioglycolate. When this combination interacts with the hair it lifts cuticles of the the hair follicles and penetrates the hair structure. Once in place, it weakens the cystine bonds, which give hair its strength, making the hair weaker. Under the microscope, the visible weakening caused almost a curling effect along the length of the hair. Usually depilatory creams are left on for 7 to 10 minutes, and when the cream is wiped away, the hair is removed with it. Typically, hair will begin to regrow after a few days although some women may find that it lasts for a week. With depilatory treatments, it’s important to follow the instructions closely because the chemicals that come into contact with your skin may sometimes cause redness or puffiness.
P&G Beauty and Grooming has developed a specially formulated two-step system that gently yet effectively removes fine to medium unwanted facial hair on the upper lip and jaw line, while minimizing the visible redness and irritation commonly associated with depilatory creams.
First, a skin guarding balm pre-treats and helps prepare skin by providing a thin guarding layer while still exposing hair. Next, hair removal cream that utilizes calcium thioglycolate technology is applied over the guarding balm to weaken and effortlessly remove fine to medium hair. The combination helps remove visible hair while conditioning skin and leaving it less vulnerable to irritation.
Only 15 percent of women in Western Europe use depilatory creams to remove hair from their legs and underarms.
Epilators come in a variety of options but all are based on rotating cylinders with integrated tweezers to remove hairs at the root. Epilators can be used on legs, bikini area and underarms. Although using an epilator may feel uncomfortable at first, skin stays smooth for up to four weeks, and many women feel hair grows back finer. Some hairs can still be left behind, and without exfoliation, they may become ingrown.
Wet and Dry Epilators
P&G Beauty & Grooming is leading the way to develop the latest epilator technology.Although epilators can be used in dry or wet conditions, research conducted by P&G Beauty & Grooming scientists with Dr. Petra Staubach, indicates women found using warm water made the epilator experience more comfortable. This has led to the development of new advanced epilators with up to 40 tweezers, allowing for up to 81,400 plucking motions per minute. The epilator removes hairs as short as 0.5 mm, so there is less need to wait for regrowth compared to many other root-removal methods. These epilators work in and out of water, minimizing pain and providing a more gentle experience.
New Technology: Dual Epilator
P&G Beauty and Grooming has also developed the first of its kind dual epilator, combining an advanced epilator mechanism and integrated blade in the device head design. Thin guards gently lift hair and a lubricator strip helps the blade glide across the skin. A dual blade epilator removes most hairs by the root and exfoliates the skin surface to remove hair for a smoother finish and minimal ingrown hairs.
Epilating has been rising in popularity in Western Europe as an effective and long lasting hair removal treatment. Approximately 12 percent of women epilate their legs across Western Europe, while nearly one in five women in Spain, France and Italy reach for their epilator to obtain smooth legs.
Waxing is an effective hair removal mechanism in which hot or cold wax is applied to clean, dry skin, followed by fabric strips to lift the hair out by its roots. The hair is pulled out at the roots, so results last between three to four weeks. Ideally, hair should be at least 2 mm long for a successful wax. Occasionally, missed stray or shorter hairs then have to be hand plucked away for a final tidy up. Although this treatment can be generally painful, heat is a distraction that might ease any sensory discomfort. Most beauticians recommend a wax at least a day or two before a special occasion as it can leave the skin temporarily red and bumpy. For at home use, wax strips with wax already applied to the backing material is a popular option alongside hot or cold waxes.
About 30 percent of women in Western Europe opt for salon or at-home wax treatments. Waxing for legs, however, is noticeably more popular in Italy (46 percent) and Spain (44 percent).
Threading is considered an art in which a skilled practitioner twines fine threads around each individual hair and then quickly pull the thread apart, lifting the hair out from the root. Threading is a very precise form of hair removal which makes it ideal for areas that require specific shaping, such as the eyebrows, upper lip and other small surfaces. It can be a slow procedure, so anything other than a small area is time consuming to treat. As with waxing, the hair needs to be at least 2 mm for successful removal and results last up to three to four weeks.
Threading is not very commonly used by women in Europe (less than 1 percent) and mainly used for eyebrow shaping, but it is becoming more popular in US and Europe. In many cultures, women with Indian or Pakistani heritage for example, pass the secret and skill of threading from mother to daughter and sister to younger sibling.
While bleaching isn’t strictly hair removal, it is a method many women use as a first step of hair management. Although it can be messier than other options and may cause redness and irritation, bleaching can reduce the visibility of hair without actually removing it. It is performed by applying a bleaching ingredient to facial hair to remove the pigment, so the hair is less noticeable. Women with darker skin or higher levels of hair bleaching may sometimes leave more visible hair due to differences in contrast or when applying makeup.
Light-Based Hair Removal with Laser or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
Light-based hair removal is a series of treatments where pulses of light target the pigment (melanin) in the root of the hair follicle. Devices may be laser or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) based. The heat absorbed by the hair pigment, melanin, in a process called Selective Photothermolysis, causes coagulation of the proteins within the hair. It may cause permanent apoptosis of the follicle, preventing it from creating new hairs, or put the hair follicle into a resting phase preventing hair regrowth.
Because hair growth occurs in cycles, it is necessary to undergo multiple laser treatments over the course of a few months, ensuring each follicle has been treated. Once treated over several sessions, hair re-growth may occur after six months to three years.
It is important to keep in mind that laser and IPL are not suitable for all skin types and hair colors. Light skinned, dark-haired patients will have a more noticeable and longer-lasting response than patients with blond or red hair and dark skin. Some deeper skin tones may be advised against using light-based hair removal after a consultation and check on your precise Fitzpatrick Skin Type.
Technologic advancements have spurred the development of light-based hair removal for the use at home. This can be popular because it allows the woman to choose when and where they manage their hair reduction. In this case it is normal to deliver a series of weekly or biweekly treatments in the early phase, followed by less regular maintenance when desired results have been achieved. The Stats
Currently less than one percent of women in Western Europe choose these light based methods to remove unwanted hair from their legs and underarms. However, women are showing an increased interest, and for those who prefer to deal with hair removal at home, a number of new devices are being developed.