Best method for legs

I’m not sure where to post this, but I want to know what’s the best method for getting rid of my hairy legs.

I hate shaving and I cannot see myself doing it every day. I can only imagine how much proffesional removal must be.

Can anyone share suggestions/experiences?

Temporairy hair removal methods

Rotary epilator - Pulls the hair from follicle in a plucking motion. Results can vary from a couple of days or 1 - 2 weeks (this does vary from person to person). However, can damage the hair follicle leading to ingrowns, it can also damage the skin leading to red dots, hyperpigmentation around the follicles and other skin problems, which can take many months to subside. Relativley cheap, although remedies for the side effects can be expensive.

Waxing - A wax is applied to the skin then a paper strip applied to the wax and then removed with quick precision, ripping the hair from the follicle. Results can last from 3-8 weeks (again varys from person to person). Does a lot less damage to the skin than rotary epilators do, however before and after preperation is required to give maximum results. Waxing is not advised on the female face as this may cause increased hair growth, as wel as increase the strength of existing hairs. Salon treatments can be expensive. Home kits can be messy and less effective.

Depilatory creams or powders - A chemical is applied to the skin where it desolves the hair above the skin. Results usually last as long as shaving as does ntohign to the follicle below. Can be messy and cause mild, moderate or in rare cases severe irritation. If used incorrectly side effects can become even more pronounced. Use on large areas regurally can also become costly.

Shaving - I don’t think I need to explain.

Permanent hair removal methods

Laser - A concentrated beam of light at a specific wavelength is fired at the skin where the laser light attracts to pigment/melanin creating heat resulting in thermal damage to the follicle. Can cover large areas quikcly and reduce the hair up to 95% if a good laser is used, with good settings and practitioner skill. It also is important that the individual recieving laser is a good candidate, light skin dark hair - which will achieve maximum results.
IPL is generally less effective than a true laser and the wavelength of the light is not purely one wavelength but can range.
Laser treatment is nearly always expensive, in rare cases people are not reactant to laser treatment, if proper safety precautions/inappropiate settings are used it can cause severe side effects. Laser will have no effect on blonde or white hair and barely, if any, on red hair. The darker the skin type, the harder it is to treat with laser. A series of treatments are also required, this can range from 4 to 8 or above. It is also only classed as permanent hair reduction.

Electrolysis - A probe or needle is inserted into the follicle where either a AC or DC (or both) current is ran through the probe into the follicle destroying the germ cells of follicles in the angagen stage. This is the only method of hair removal that is classed as 100% permanent hair removal. Excellent results can be achieved if the practitioner is skilled and using good equipment, lighting and magnification. As well as the client sticking to a strict time table of treatments. If all these are in place permanent hair removal can be achieved in 9-18 months. However, it can be expensive, it involves a lot of committment from the client, a large amount of treatment usually has to be undertaken in the begining to reach and maintain full clearance.

Basically, if your looking for a temporairy hair removal method waxing would probabaly be the best option. If you are looking for a permanent hair removal method, if your a good candidate for laser then it would be beneficial to start with laser then finish up with electrolysis. If not (e.g. blonde leg hair) electrolysis would be your only option, as it can treat any hair colour, on any skin type.

Hope this has helped.


If your hair is dark and coarse, laser would be best permanent method for you. You would need about 8 treatments and they cost around $250-400 for half legs (so $500-800 for both complete legs) per treatment. Treatments are spaced 12-16 weeks apart.

Keep in mind that laser can remove the majority of the hair, but you’ll still have some sparse fine hairs remaining after these treatments. Laser can’t get every single hair as it works best on coarse hair.

Electrolysis is the other permanent method. It removes one hair at time. You can use it to finish up after laser or from the start. If you have blond or red hair, electrolysis is your only permanent option.

Waxing is a temporary method that would free you of hair for 3-4 weeks at a time. You do have to grow it out each time to 1/4 inch to get waxed again. Cost for legs is $35-100 depending on where you go, per treatment.

Thanks so much for your response.

I tried an epilator a few years ago (it’s somewhere in my closet now) and it was soooo painful, I can probably compare it to pain from labor (yes!! it was that bad)

I guess waxing it is.

I was also considering electrolysis for my underarms. Any idea how much this would cost and/or how many treatments it would take? I live in NYC, so that may mean higher price.

BTW I’m at type III/IV skin tone.

A Yag laser may help for your underarms. I would start there and then switch to electrolysis to finish. Most people need 5-6 sessions for their underarms. Average cost is about $600-$800, in total, or $100-$150 per session for both underarms. Find a skilled practitioner at a reputable place.

If you choose electrolysis, get several sample treatments to determine sensation and speed levels. A skilled practitioner with modern equipment and good vision wear is your best bet. The higher end computerized models of Apilus, Silhouet-Tone, Fishcher, Clareblend, Gentronics (did I forget any other brands?)are good bets for equipment, only if the the skill factor is present for the human being using the machine.

Topical anesthetics are desired by some clients, but many find the process of electrolysis very tolerable in this area. Pain associated with electrolysis or laser is very subjective.


Would elctrolysis take longer and be more expensive than laser or will it take longer and be the same price/cheaper?

I have waxed before (DIY) and it didn’t hurt so I should be fine there.

You would have more time on the table with electrolysis. As far as more costly, that depends on the skill and speed of the practitioner, equipment used, price per hour charged and how much hair you have. With both laser and electrolysis you still have to play the waiting game as an area goes through hair growth cycles. Both methods rely heavily on growing hair as oppossed to shedding hair.

I have been waxing since I was 13 or 14 and I had really hairy legs/thighs. I am 22 now, and the hair growth on my legs is a lot more finer and sparser. The pain is not bad as it once was.

I believe hot wax is superior to sugaring as it removes much more hair very easily. Though it is a lot more messier, because wax is not easy to clean off like sugar. I have a wax warmer, which I recommend getting if you’re not as clumsy as me. There were two instances where I knocked it over on to the floor with my leg. ^^’ Also It is a pain to clean up the wax warmer, I don’t know how wax gets into the warmer from the wax jar. anyway, you could use you epilator to catch the hairs that you missed.

You could go to a salon and pay 60+ bucks, but for less than 16 you could buy a microwavable wax kit and do it yourself.

Waxing doesn’t elminate hair, even on the legs (though hair on the legs starts to gradually lessen with age…it doesn’t usually happen until you’re in your 40s or so). It may seem like it if you’re doing it regularly. If you let the hair on your legs grow out for 3-4 months without waxing, you’ll see that the hair hasn’t changed (unless you are taking any hormonal medication that can change hair growth patterns).

Laser for the underarms is the most efficient method. Both methods will take about a year to complete due to several growth cycles. With electrolysis, you’ll just have to go in a lot more often and for longer treatments (once every 2 or 3 weeks for maybe a few hours at first and then down to 15-30 minutes after a while). With laser, you only need treatments once every 2-3 months and the treatment takes less than 10 mins for both underarms. For this small area, the cost is not much at all and I think definitely worth it. It’s usually $50-150 per treatment with laser. Electrolysis is around $60 per hour on average, but more like $80-100 in NYC.

As Dee mentioned, finding the right laser operator with the best machine for your skin type and knowledge and experience makes a big difference in results.

Btw, I only needed 6 laser treatments on my underarms to get rid of 95% of the hair there (dark coarse hair and a lot of it). I finished with electrolysis and have now been completely hairfree for over a year.

Does anyone here have an idea on how to go at it, if I want to find a skilled electrolyst in Sweden or Norway? Is there any kind of global listings of them here on the forum?

And one more thing, could Vaniqa be used on thighs? I keep reading on their webpage that it is used to remove unwanted facial hair, but I can’t really see the difference in smearing it on your chin as opposed to smearing it on your thighs…?

It hasn’t been tested on women’s thighs, only on womens faces so the long term effects are not realy known. It can also become quite expensive if your using it on large areas, as you have to use it indefinatley.


You may be able to find skilled technicians by talking to your friends or hair stylist. Word-of-mouth is often much better than trying someone out from an ad.