HAIR BARE: make a date to depilate

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While shaving or WAXING are still generally the most popular removal solutions, new approaches to HAIR removal consistently appear - the latest being a SERUM that claims to reduce the prominence and DENSITY of body hair over a short time. Read on for my best home DEPILATION tips and staples to keep your defuzzed bits smooth and soft on holiday.



If you are a dedicated waxer, my tip for preventing the inflamed 'plucked chicken' look that can appear following treatment is to take aspirin 30 minutes before it or rub a 0.5% anti-inflammatory hydrocortisone cream over the affected area immediately afterwards; and a tendency to pimples caused by ingrown hairs is avoided by frequent exfoliation to keep follicles clear of dead skin which otherwise clogs them up.

The widespread belief that shaving aggravates hair growth has no basis in truth. Studies comparing natural growth versus shaving show no difference in diameter or rate of growth. Shaved hair feels coarser because it's shorter, blunter and more rigid. When shaving, or tweezing, is blamed for aggravating an existing problem it's because that problem has itself got worse.

Odd scattered hairs can be plucked out - for all the dire warnings about hair vengefully regrowing there is no danger of stimulating plucked hair growth. Tweezing isn't a good idea, however, if you intend to have electrolysis, because it distorts the natural line of the follicle making it difficult for the current to reach the hair root.

Bleaching is a good alternative which leaves the follicle intact. As post-menopausal skin colour tends to be light, the contrast between bleached hair and darker skin isn't as apparent as it would be on younger, darker complexions. You can make up your own solution by adding 20 drops of ammonia to each 25 millilitres of 6% strength hydrogen peroxide solution. Do a patch test first, and if it's clear, apply the solution on mixing and leave it there for 30 minutes.

Don't apply self tan for at least 12 hours after waxing or shaving as the results are invariably uneven and streaky. Instead, moisturise skin well with a simple nourisher like Orba Goats Milk Soother and keep your self tanning till the following day.

If shaving or waxing causes irritation, your new best friend is Kate Logan Soothe Me! Post Wax Balm. This aromatic saviour comes in a little spongebag-size tin, and you just apply it to reddened, irritated areas.