You no longer have to be a granola-crunching hippie to be concerned about the environment and the damage being done to it by the mounds of disposable plastic razors, packaging, and toxic chemicals associated with removing hair. But if you’re not enough of a hippie to leave the hair where it is, you have several reasonably green options for smoothing your body. Here are four methods that are effective, safe, and best of all, environmentally conscious.
Sugaring is an ancient Arabic form of hair removal that uses a simple paste of sugar, lemon juice, and water that has been heated into a honey-like consistency and smoothed on to the skin. Strips of cotton are then placed over the mixture and pulled off. Some techniques even bypass the cotton strips. Sugaring is less irritating to the skin than waxing, contains no dangerous chemicals, and produces little waste (the cotton strips can be washed and reused). It is said to be less painful than waxing and is good for larger areas such as legs, underarms, and the bikini area. Click here for a recipe and a demo.
Threading is an Eastern technique that also goes back centuries. A twisted piece of cotton thread is manipulated to pull hairs out singly or in a straight line. It takes some practice to get the technique down, but requires nothing beyond a piece of string and is especially effective in shaping the brows. Experienced threaders work very quickly and professional threading actually costs less than waxing. Click here for a detailed explanation and demo of threading.
Plucking. Notice a pattern? The most eco-friendly methods of hair removal are also the oldest and the simplest. If you already pluck, good for you! Plucking is the greenest of the traditional hair removal methods. All you need is a pair of tweezers and some time. Best for brows and other small areas — most women don’t have the time to pluck their legs!
Shaving with a non-disposable razor. Razors just aren’t that eco-friendly, but the ones with replaceable blades are much more so than disposable plastic razors. If you can’t take the pain of sugaring or threading, a well-made razor is your friend. Just be sure to take good care of the blade to extend its lifetime and pair it with an eco-friendly shaving cream.