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What’s the best way to get rid of unwanted hair?

The question

I've noticed some excess hair growth lately in a few spots (upper lip, chin, arms). What is the best way to get rid of it?

The answer

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To find the right hair-removal method for you, you need to consider your budget, the time you are willing to invest and, most importantly, your pain threshold. The shorter-term and less-expensive methods of removal are waxing, threading and depilatories.

Depilatory cream is among the least painful and least expensive removal methods (enough for five applications costs about $15), but it can be smelly and messy, so many people are happy to spend a little more for waxing or threading. Depending on where you have it done, the cost to wax or thread your upper lip or chin could go as high as $18 to $20 per area. Using these methods to remove hair from a larger area, such as your arms or legs, can become quite expensive and painful.

A more permanent option is laser hair removal, which can cost four times as much as waxing, but renders the follicles incapable of regrowth. This procedure, typically administered at specialized facilities, can now be attempted at home with a relatively new product called the Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X, a hand-held, cordless unit that offers the same kind of treatment found in a spa or clinic. The device, which costs $449, may ultimately save you money, depending on how much hair you have to remove – not to mention the embarrassment of having to strip down in front of a stranger.

Bahar Niramwalla is a celebrity makeup artist and beauty expert who has appeared on CTV, Global TV and City. Follow her on Twitter: @baharniramwalla. Have a beauty question? E-mail

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