Best for: Coarse hair (think: your groin area) because it easily adheres to skin to pull out stubborn follicles. Also ideal for men who shave since it more easily grabs different hair lengths.
Chill out: “Being relaxed makes the experience much more comfortable,” shares Tivichi. “Some clients distract themselves by texting or listening to their iPods.”
Avoid ingrowns: Exfoliating with a loofah removes dead skin cells and opens hair follicles so they’re more easily pulled from the roots. Though you shouldn’t exfoliate right before or after hair removal, doing it regularly removes debris that causes ingrowns, advises Tivichi. Also try Shobha’s ingrown relief lotion after waxing or to prevent and treat razor burn. It contains glycolic acid to help remove dead skin cells that cause ingrowns by clogging follicles, and chamomile to soothe irritation. $22; myshobha.com.
Be hairy: Put the trimmers away and let hair grow to at least one quarter of an inch before your appointment because hairs must be long enough for the wax to stick to for effective removal, says Tivichi.
Best for: Those with sensitive skin as it’s less sticky and irritating than waxing.
You can DIY: “Sugaring is wonderful for at-home use because it’s water soluble for easy cleanup,” says Jennifer Pesce, hair removal specialist for Shobha salons in New York City. “Just be sure you’re holding your skin taut before removal for best results.” Shobha’s sugaring formula is so natural that it’s edible—using only sugar, lemon juice, water, and glycerin. ($30 for the kit; myshobha.com)
Keep it dry: “The dryer the skin, the better the sugar or wax will stick to it,” says Pesce. Use talc-free powder to remove excess moisture. Also, skip body lotion beforehand to prevent hairs from breaking off rather than being pulled from the root.
Best for: Very sensitive skin or those who use skin-thinning medications such as Accutane. “It is not irritating because the thread acts as a mini-lasso to pluck hair directly from the root rather than pulling on delicate skin,” says Pesce.
Avoid pain: Although this is the gentlest hair removal option, those especially prone to pain can pop two Advil an hour before to ease discomfort.
Think small: “Threading is good for brow shaping, stray hairs, or hair on your toes and knuckles,” says Pesce, “but it’s time-consuming since it targets individual hairs rather than large areas, making waxing and sugaring more practical for large body regions.”