Eco Warrior Beauty...Going Green with Hair Removal
Almost all of us care about our planet and environment. We compost, we recycle, we reduce food waste, we try and reduce our carbon footprint, we use brands that use less plastic, we plant insect-encouraging plants in our gardens. Some of us buy fewer new clothes to reduce our impact that way. We forgo plastic straws. We don't use single-use plastics. Others plant trees, pick up rubbish on the side of the road, get involved in community projects to help, and so forth.
No matter how big or small, most of us try and do our part. But did you consider your environmental impact with your choice of hair removal methods? Many hair removal methods are not environmentally friendly. Let's explore.
With waxing, there's quite a lot of waste. There are multiple cloths or paper strips used to remove hair, wooden applicators, and the wax itself. Hair removal wax doesn't decompose easily and is not biodegradable. Every time you get waxed, there's lots of waste for the landfill. Even though many salons try and reduce the number of strips and the amount of wax they use (for the sake of profits), there's bags and bags of waste at the end of the day.
Plus, waxing is painful and can damage the skin and if the wax is applied too hot, there's a risk of burns. In the worst cases, waxing can cause sun sensitivity, ingrown hairs, rashes, redness and irritation, sun sensitivity, allergic reactions, bleeding, infection, and scarring.
Waxing may remove hair for three-to-six weeks but its impact lasts longer. Plus, you have to grow your hair a certain length to get waxed and no one wants to walk around with embarrassing facial or leg hair for longer than necessary, especially not for it to grow one-quarter inch (eek!).
Finally, waxing costs anywhere from £30-50 or more per leg or bikini wax, so the costs can mount up and that's every month!
Hair removal cream
Hair removal creams often contain harmful chemicals which get into the water supply, eventually washing away into the ocean. Hair removal creams are designed to break down the keratin in the hair so that the hair is eliminated. They usually contain thioglycolic acids, such as potassium thioglycolate or calcium thioglycolate, combined with calcium, sodium, or potassium hydroxide.
Then, to reduce the smell, these chemicals are combined with dilutants, moisturisers, fragrances, non-active chemicals, and water to weaken the strength of the acids so they aren't too damaging to the skin. The chemicals naturally dry out the skin so they add moisturisers to soothe your skin, but it's possible to develop an allergic reaction to this concoction. This method is often not painful (it can sting if left on too long) but it's not good for your skin nor is it good for the environment – not to mention the product itself comes in a plastic container!
Although this method lasts two to three days and is relatively inexpensive (only about £4-12 per bottle), it doesn't seem safe to put such a cocktail on the skin for an extra day of hair removal.
Every year, two billion (yes, with a b) razors end up in landfills, generating unsurmountable plastic waste and impacting the environment. Disposable plastic razors are the worst culprit since they are poorly made and become easily blunt and rusty, which means people may throw these away weekly (or even every few days). Even if you have razors with metal handles, the blades are still encased in plastic and the razors often contain plastic waste, so that reduces the impact but does not eliminate it.
Shaving also often involves using chemically-based shaving foam or gel, which harm water bodies (like with hair removal creams). These chemicals can make water undrinkable and often kill marine life.
Plastic-free razors do exist such as straight razors but it doesn't eliminate their impact entirely, especially when combined with shaving creams. Shaving over a lifetime can become expensive and cumbersome since blades are pricey and the environmental impact isn't worth it.
Threading and sugaring
Threading and sugaring are eco-friendly hair removal methods but they aren't without their risks – and costs. First, both of these methods can be pricey. Sugaring can cost anywhere from £33-55 or more per leg or bikini area. Threading is less expensive, ranging from £8-20 per session but is often only associated with the face and not for full body hair removal.
Second, threading can be gentler on the skin than waxing but it can be associated with health risks such as spreading staph infections or (gasp!) even the herpes virus to the skin via broken skin or dirty threads. How many of you have had threading where the person puts the thread in their mouth? To minimise risk, you need to ensure the person has clean hands and is using clean thread but could you imagine asking someone at the shopping centre or even in a clinic to wash their hands? Imagine their reaction! You just cannot guarantee your threading experience will be safe and germ-free.
Sugaring, on the other hand, pulls the hair from the root using a sticky gel made from sugar, lemon, and hot water. These natural ingredients do dissolve and don't harm the environment. This natural gel binds to hair to pull it out. It is less irritating to the skin than waxing but is still painful (and costly). Some also may experience redness, irritation, and itching. If someone scratches their skin after a session, it can cause tears and scar the skin. Plus, you'd hope the salon will use fresh sugaring solution per customer but you can't guarantee it.
All of these hair-removal methods, even the cheaper ones, can become costly over time. Over a lifetime, many people spend around £6,000 on shaving and over £20,000 on waxing.
So, if you don't want to embrace the hairy lifestyle and you don't want to drop that kind of cash over the years, what are your options?
IPL laser hair removal
If you want to move away from painful, costly, and/or environmentally unsound practices and become an eco-beauty warrior, going green with your hair removal, consider ditching the razor and going for laser! IPL is a safe, clean, environmentally friendly method of permanent hair removal. That's right! You do it once (i.e. you complete your six to eight sessions) and you'll be hair-free for life.
With our current full-body hair removal discount (April only) that means for £1,200 (divided over eight sessions at £150 each), you can become hair-free the eco way. This cost is a drop in the ocean when it means you can save thousands (yes, thousands) over your lifetime compared with other hair-removal methods. Imagine a world where you don't have to shave in the shower and you can just emerge hair-free into the world.
Read more about IPL laser hair removal on our treatment page. Get in touch if you want to ditch those expensive hair-removal methods forever! No more waxing! No more shaving! Smoothness all day all the way. Forever!