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.