Shaving with a hand razor is often the quickest way to remove unwanted hair from your body. But what do you do when you need to shave and don’t have a razor handy?
Lucky for you, people have been getting creative with ways to remove body hair for hundreds of years. This means there are plenty of other tools and product options for removing hair quickly and safely.
Let’s take a look at ways you can trim and remove different types of hair without shaving with a hand-held razor.
An electric razor is designed to be used for getting rid of hair on your face. Most electric shavers are meant to be used on dry, coarse hair that’s relatively short.
Trying to use an electric shaver on body hair could result in painful nicks and cuts, so choose another method for hair that isn’t on your face.
Also remember that unless your electric shaver specifically says it’s waterproof, don’t try to bring it in to the bath or shower with you.
Electric trimmers are small, hand-held devices that can be used on body hair as well as hair on your face.
Electric trimmers aren’t typically meant to remove hair completely, just trim it short. Still, you can use an electric trimmer on its shortest setting to make body hair very hair to see.
As with an electric shaver, check to see if your electric trimmer is waterproof before you try to use it in the shower.
Small scissors can be used to trim longer body hair on your legs or pubic area. While this’ll do in a pinch once in a while, it isn’t really recommended — it’s easy to nick or cut your skin with scissors.
Additionally, any scissors that aren’t used specifically for your personal grooming may have bacteria on it from other uses. This means that any accidental cuts will have a higher risk of infection.
Make sure to sterilize any scissors you use to remove body hair with boiling hot water before using them. Any scissors used to cut body hair also need to be rust proof so you can clean them, and so rust isn’t introduced to any area where your skin has been compromised.
Waxing is a popular option for certain areas of body hair and facial hair. Waxing coarse, longer hair that grows on your face, such as a beard, might be a bit of a challenge.
Waxing works best on areas of thinner hair, such as
- bikini line
- upper lip
Waxing at home requires heating up hot, sticky wax, and takes some getting used to as you practice how to remove hair with it. Beginners can easily burn themselves with hot wax, which can be a medical emergency.
Waxing can also cause inflammation and redness in the areas where you’re removing hair, even after you get used to doing it.
Depilatories are over-the-counter products, typically creams, that can be used to dissolve unwanted hair on your body and face. Nair and Veet are some common examples of depilatories.
The cream or lotion is applied to the area of unwanted hair (usually your legs, arms, or face) and left for a certain period of time before being wiped off.
Effective depilatories dissolve the keratin bonds that make up your hair and temporarily removes the hair above your skin.
Depilatories can cause irritation and redness. Many aren’t as effective as advertised. Following the product instructions for depilatories carefully is important to prevent damaging your skin.
Tweezers are small, hand-held tools that can be used to pluck hairs out, one or two at a time. Using tweezers is a way to extract the exact hairs that you want to remove.
Tweezers aren’t efficient if you’re using them on large patches of body hair. They work best on the hair on your face, like your eyebrows and upper lip.
Tweezers can also be used to remove hair from your body, but be prepared for it to take awhile. It can also feel uncomfortable and cause temporary redness.
Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that gets rid of hair for an extended period of time. This series of treatments uses a light to destroy your hair follicles so that hair doesn’t regrow. It can be used on any area of your body.
Laser hair removal can be quite expensive. Even the devices that are designed for consumer use at home are quite pricey, and they aren’t guaranteed to work.
Laser hair removal claims to be permanent, but you do need to get a touch-up session every year or so to destroy hair follicles that may be coming back. Temporary side effects like redness and irritation on your skin are common after laser hair removal.
An epilator is a device that plucks your hair out at the root. Think of it kind of like an automated tweezer. By moving the epilator slowly over your skin, holding your skin taut, you can pluck hairs out one at a time and reveal smooth skin underneath.
You need to exfoliate your skin before you use an epilator. If your skin isn’t exfoliated before use, you’ll increase your risk of ingrown hairs.
If you’re purchasing an epilator for use on your face, look for devices that specifically state that they’re safe for use on soft, fine hairs.
The short answer is: yes, you can shave with a knife. If your hair’s the right length (an inch or more), and the blade is quite sharp, you can remove hair from your face and body using a knife.
But just because you technically can doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
If you’re used to using a razor or another technique for shaving, shaving with a knife comes with a steep learning curve. Furthermore, learning how to shave with a knife in a desperate moment when you can’t find a razor probably won’t give you great results.
Anecdotally, most people say it’s extremely difficult to get a clean shave, or even an evenly trimmed look, with a knife. Since a knife needs to be really sharp to work as a shaving method, you also increase your risk of serious injury when you shave with a knife.
Avoid this method whenever you can.
The best way to remove facial hair without a razor depends on your personal preference. Some people don’t mind a little discomfort when they’re getting rid of unwanted hair, while others wish to avoid any pain if at all possible.
Safe ways to remove facial hair without a razor include:
Arm and leg hairs need to be approached slightly differently than hair on your face. Methods that give you more precision, such as tweezing and using scissors, will be very time consuming on your arms and legs.
Safe, efficient ways to remove arm and leg hair without a razor include:
- depilatory products
- electric trimmer
- laser hair removal
Removing hair from the sensitive areas around your genitals can be tricky. If you don’t have a razor handy, keep safety at the front of your mind when you consider your pubic hair grooming options. A small handheld mirror can make the process safer and more efficient.
Safe ways to remove pubic hair without a razor include:
- depilatory products marked as safe for use on your bikini line or pubic area
- electric trimmer
- laser hair removal
You can get a shaved, hair-free look your head, even if you don’t have a razor or electric clippers handy. You may have to think a little creatively if you’re removing hair from your head without a razor.
Safe ways to shave your head without a razor include:
- depilatory products
Make sure to use an exfoliating cream or pad before you try these, especially if you’re going to use an epilator to remove hair on your head. You may also need to use scissors to trim hair shorter than 1/4 inch before you try the methods mentions above.
To remove unwanted hair without a razor, you might need to think a little bit creatively. No hair removal process should be performed in a rush, especially if blades and hot wax are involved.
Make sure you read up on methods and side effects before you try any hair removal tool on your body.