Shaving

We probably don’t have to say all that much about shaving – chances are that you shave (or have shaved) at least one area of your body.

Pros: shaving is quick, easy to do yourself and relatively inexpensive if you don’t buying fancy pants razors. It’s a great way to handle a large area (like legs) and you can shave multiple areas with the same razor.

Cons: relatively quick and possibly coarse regrowth, meaning if you want to maintain your smooth skin you’ll have to shave quite often.

Read more: 7 things you didn’t know about grey hair

WIN a R 2,000 Woolworths Voucher

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

Hair removal cream

If you’re after a slightly longer lasting result with a tad less effort, slathering on hair removal cream may be a good option for you.

Pros: fast and effective, you can apply multiple areas at the same time. The regrowth is slightly less coarse and takes a day or two longer to become prominent than with shaving.

Cons: do a patch test first as hair removal creams are not always suitable for very sensitive skins. You need to carefully time the process, as leaving the product on for a too short period of time will render the treatment ineffective and leaving it on for too long can cause a chemical burn.

Waxing

There’s nothing quite like the thought of having someone rip hair out of your skin with the roots still intact, is there?

A beautician waxing a woman’s leg at a salon.

Pros: once you’ve got the hang of it, waxing gives you 3-4 weeks of low maintenance, hair-free skin – what’s not to love? Hair growth also tends to become finer and softer with time.

Cons: waxing can be painful and it requires some maintenance – you have to exfoliate regularly in between waxes. Your actual wax appointment can also be time consuming – a full leg and bikini wax will take around an hour and you have to pay for it every month.

Read more: Stop the presses, we might be getting perms in 2018

Epilator

Previously used for medieval torture tactics, epilators are handheld hair removal devices that pull out your hairs very quickly.

Pros: as with waxing, hair takes longer to grow back since you’re pulling it out by the roots.

Cons: epilating can be pretty painful until you get the hang of it. It can also be time consuming if you’re using your epilator on large areas.

Laser hair removal

If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, laser hair removal is likely your best bet.

A close-up photo of a young woman smearing cream on her leg.

Pros: It’s permanent – need we say more?

Cons: It’s an investment. Depending on the type of laser, you’ll require 6 to twelve sessions. This means you’ll have to fork out a larger amount than with other hair removal methods and also commit to regular sessions over the course of 8 to eighteen months.

It can also be painful – again, depending on the type of laser used. Lastly, not all lasers are suitable for all skin and hair types – make sure that you have a thorough consultation before you commit.

Electrolysis

Basically this hair removal method permanently removes hair by electrocuting your hair follicle through your hair. Yikes!

Pros: it’s another permanent hair removal method, but, unlike laser, it works on all hair colours, including blonde and grey hair (which are not affected by laser).

Cons: it also requires a significant cash investment, but just think, you’ll never have to think about shaving again! It can also be painful and several sessions are necessary.