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How to find the best hair removal option

An overview of temporary and permanent treatments for both men and women.

woman having leg waxed
Image of Rachel Hynes
By Rachel Hynes

Got hair where you'd rather, well, not?

Whether you're after a temporary or permanent hair-removal solution, there are plenty of DIY and professional options available for both men and women. From the trusty razor right through to threading and IPL, CHOICE has looked at them all to find out which process works best and who it's best suited to.

Looking for the best IPL device?

See our expert product reviews.

Hair today, gone tomorrow – if you do your research

The right method of hair removal for you will depend on any number of factors, including your hair type, body area, budget and pain threshold. We recommend you do your research, because some hair-removal options can have serious side effects, and no one wants to end up with one-and-a-half eyebrows for the rest of their life.

What are the options?

How long have you got? There are so many kinds of hair-removal methods, we've broken them down into short term and long term.

Short-term hair removal

Our Guide to short-term hair removal covers methods that last a few days to a few weeks – such as:

  • shaving (razors, electric shavers and trimmers)
  • waxing
  • threading
  • tweezing
  • epilators
  • depilatory creams.

These treatments tend to be quick, easy and cheap, and relatively pain free (except for waxing).

Long-term hair removal

Only electrolysis can claim to remove hair permanently – and even that comes with a caveat. But there are some other methods that are good for permanent hair reduction, such as laser and IPL. These methods take several treatments to achieve desired results, can be quite painful for some people, and will be a lot more expensive than the short-term methods of hair removal.

Read our Guide to long-term hair removal to find out more about:

  • electrolysis
  • laser hair removal
  • IPL (intense pulsed light).

Related: Are clinical laser beauty treatments like IPL safe?

Looking for the best IPL device?

See our expert product reviews.