Temporary Hair Removal Methods
You are quite spoiled for choice if you are looking for a temporary hair removal method. Sometimes it takes a bit of experimentation to find a method you are comfortable with and can easily manage in terms of cost, skill and convenience but there is bound to be something which will resolve your unwanted hair problems for days or weeks at a time.
The most popular method in this category is also the most temporary - shaving. Shaving cuts the hair off at the surface of the skin leaving a smooth finish but hair quickly grows back and as the hairs now have a blunt rather than a tapered, finer end, the hair will feel bristly and stubbly and often gives a shadowed. grey appearance to the skin in areas of thick growth. Regrowth can happen in as little as a few hours but will definitely be visible within days. See our section on shaving for more information about this hair removal method and about the various types of product available.
There are quite a few depilatory creams on the market which dissolve the hair at skin level. They provide slower regrowth and a less stubbly effect than shaving but they do involve a bit of hanging about covered in messy cream and although the manufacturers try to disguise the chemical smell, they have not quite succeeded so the creams smell quite strongly. Sometimes it just seems easier to shave the required areas in the bath or shower every day than to mess around with creams every few days and have to hang around waiting for the cream to do its work. They are handy for the areas which are tricky to shave however (such as the pubic area) and they are better than shaving for facial areas due to the slower regrowth and slightly finer appearance and texture of hair as it grows back. See depilatory creams for more details about these hair remover products.
Waxing and Sugaring
Waxing usually gives quite a few days and often weeks without regrowth so it is one of the best temporary hair removal methods from that point of view. There are several types of wax treatment such as cold wax strips, hot wax or sugar waxing (similar to waxing but with a sticky paste rather than wax). The treatment basically consists of having the hair adhere to the stickiness of the wax so that several hairs can be pulled out at once. Needless to say most people find this painful to say the least. But if you use a skilled therapist, she or he will work quickly and effectively while you just have to grit your teeth and enjoy beautiful smooth legs (or whatever) for a few weeks. Home wax treatment is not for the faint-hearted - it takes courage to pull off those strips but if you are familiar with salon waxing and don't find the pain too bad, it is worth having a go yourself. See our sections on waxing and sugaring for all the details about these hair removal methods.
Plucking with Tweezers
Using tweezers to pluck out individual hairs is a great method for dealing with eyebrows or for getting rid of a few stray hairs which might crop up anywhere where you don't want them. Plucking with tweezers (or tweezing, as it is sometimes called) does hurt (as does any method which involves pulling the hair from the skin) but there are ways of lessening that if you are dealing with a larger area such as your brows. See the section on plucking for more details.
Epilators are mains or battery operated epilation devices which usually consist of spinning disks which trap hair and pull it out from the roots. They can be quite painful to use especially the first time but most people who persevere like the way they provide freedom from expensive wax treatments in a salon without having to deal with the mess of waxing at home. Regrowth is slow and hair often becomes finer and sparser over time plus the skin seems to grow less sensitive to the pain involved. Some epilators now have pain reduction inbuilt - for example one uses an attached ice pad to cool and numb the area as it is treated, another has a massage device to soothe the skin as epilation takes place. See the section on epilation devices and epilators for more information.
Threading is a method of removing hair using strands of thread to trap hair and pull it out. This hair removal method is quite common in the Middle East and in India although some salons do provide it in the West. See the threading section for more information.
Another temporary method of removing excess hair, friction, can be used to buff away hair from the skin's surface using a very fine sandpaper like substance usually in the form of friction mitts. This is generally more trouble than shaving and can irritate the skin but it does suit some people. For more details see Hair Removal by Friction.
Lastly there is bleaching which is not really a hair removal method at all. It is more a means of disguising hair so that it blends more reasily with the skin. It is quite a good way of dealing with excess hair which is fine in nature. See Bleaching for more information.