No one wants prickly, cactus-like legs when they’re wearing shorts. When you put on a pair a shorts, your legs should glide against one another and leave you feeling clean and refreshed. You can get smooth legs using a number of methods, not just via the razor.
Even though its effects are short-lived, shaving is probably the most popular way to remove unwanted leg hair. Shaving is cheap, easy and (unless you cut yourself) completely painless. Shaving isn’t the most effective hair removal method, though; so shave right before baring your legs to avoid stubble, which can return as soon as 24 hours after shaving. To shave properly, take a warm bath or shower, exfoliate your skin, rub in some shaving oil, apply good shaving cream and shave with a quality razor. Be sure to moisturize your legs afterward.
Waxing lasts longer than shaving but can be quite painful. Waxing removes hair by the root rather than removing hair only from the surface and leaves you hair-free for up to four weeks. Waxing can be done in 1 hour at a salon or you can do it yourself at home. Just be sure to give yourself over 2 hours. Waxing is moderately pricey and should be avoided three days before and at the beginning of your period and when you’re sunburned. If you take medication, make sure it’s compatible with waxing.
Depilatories are creams that dissolve below the surface of your skin and work to break down the structure of your hair. These creams are extremely easy to use. You simply rub the cream on your legs, wait the specified amount of time and enjoy being hair-free for several days. It’s affordable—to can buy depilatories at any drug store—and completely pain-free. You may want to avoid this method if you have sensitive skin, since these creams can be rather harsh and contain some strong chemicals.
If you’re fed up with shaving and waxing and are looking for a longer-term solution, consider getting laser treatment. Your legs will be pretty much hair-free for 1 to 10 years after being treated four to six times. You’ll have better results with laser treatment if there is a noticeable difference between the color of your hair and the shade of your skin—for example, if your leg hair is dark and you have a pale complexion or vice versa. You might need to do some maintenance at home in between treatment sessions. One session, which is long enough to do only one leg, lasts about 15 to 20 minutes and can cost anywhere from $150 to $250.