The Best Facial, Bikini, & Touch-Up Hair Trimmer for Women
I was visiting a friend when I accidentally looked in her magnifying mirror.
Oh my god, why didn't anyone tell me?
The Hairy Details, From One Woman to Another
I don't know where it all came from, but suddenly I had hair, and it was everywhere. If you told me that little elves had come and played a prank while I was sleeping, I might have believed you. I needed an all-purpose trimmer for all the fuzz that had collected, something that works on...
- eyebrows (for the extra-fine hairs a tweezer can't deal with),
- upper lip (*ahem*),
- are those sideburns?,
- could you call that a beard?!,
- toe-knuckle hair (!!!),
- touch-ups on underarms, bikini area, and legs (especially that hard-to-reach area behind the ankles),
- and any other rogue hairs that might sprout up in random places.
So I tested various solutions. I tried the highest-rated woman-scaping tools on Google and Amazon, but they were disappointing. I borrowed some, bought a few, and returned the ones I didn't like. I refined a list of features I wanted in a trimmer.
Important Features for a Trimmer
- It doesn't have to be designed for women. In my experience, items marketed to women are less sturdy, more expensive, and too pink.
- A long-lasting and easily rechargeable battery is important.
- I have both fine and coarse hair, and the trimmer should handle both easily.
- I need precision for when I'm tidying up my eyebrows.
- Strength is important for touching up those thick winter hairs on my legs.
- It should not irritate sensitive skin.
- It should cost less than $40 and shouldn't require expensive additional purchases.
Are You Paying the Pink Price (aka the Lady Tax)?
Women pay up to twice as much as men for identical or lesser products, according to numerous studies and consumer reports. Would you pay double for a pink razor?
The Philips Norelco OneBlade Is My #1 Favorite
#1: Philips Norelco OneBlade
- Rechargeable, and it holds its charge for a good length of time: 45 minutes of trimming after an 8-hour charge.
- You can shave dry or wet. Even the handle is water-resistant, so it's easy to rinse after use.
- Trims, shaves, and edges hair of any length or texture.
- Use it on your most sensitive parts: against the grain or with it, it works gently both ways.
- The blade is small enough to get into every nook and cranny.
- They say you have to replace the blade every 4 months, but I've been using mine every two weeks or so for a year now and it still works fine.
- The handle is elegant, ergonomic, and not too bulky or heavy.
- Works wet or dry. I use a razor and only use the trimmer for touch-ups, but I guess I could shave with it, too.
- You can return it after 45 days if you don't like it. It has a 2-year warranty.
- It costs about $34.99.
Things You Should Know Before Buying the Philips Norelco OneBlade
- It's not pink. It only comes in this neon green color. I like it, but you might not.
- I can't tell which trimmer is mine and which is my boyfriend's. I think he's used mine before, and vice-versa. I figure if we're swapping spit, it doesn't really matter, but you might feel differently.
- I don't want a really close shave, so this trimmer works great for me. If you have issues with stubble, you might try using it wet and pressing down harder.
- Although the blades do last a lot longer than the manufacturer claims, you will eventually have to shell out some more money. A two-pack of replacement blades costs about $24.
- The instructions warn not to use it on your pubic area, but I do and it works fine. I suppose if I were doing some serious woman-scaping, I'd choose a razor or some other tool.
- It came with trimming combs, which I don't use.
A Trimmer Is Not a Razor
Some of my hair is extra fine and my skin is prone to skin bumps, acne, and irritation, so I use a trimmer instead of a razor when I don't want a shave that's too close.
Trimmers I Tried But Didn't Like
- The Philips SatinShave Advanced BRL140 Women’s Electric Shaver and the Panasonic ES2207P Ladies 3-Blade Razor with Pop-Up Trimmer were both too big and bulky, and their spinning blades were difficult to work with.
- The Wahl Pure Confidence Women's Personal Trimmer & Grooming Kit's blade grabbed and pulled my hair, and there were just way too many accessories.
- Philips HP6376/10 Bikini Perfect was too expensive, and the battery was too weak.
- The Cleancut PS335 T-Shape Personal Shaver worked fine but it was not rechargeable.
Overall, I found that the trimmers marketed to women were just poorly designed. The manufacturers seemed to think I wanted cuteness and curvy lines rather than a clean, close, powerful, dependable tool.
Cost Comparison for Popular Hair Removal Methods
$35 plus $24 for batteries should last a year
Waxing or Threading
$35 per month = $420 per year
From $25 to $250 a week, abating over time; total cost between $2,000 and $20,000
Laser Hair Removal
$600 to $900 per treatment; 5 or 6 sessions needed to see a difference
The Older You Get, the Hairier You Get
Sudden hair growth in new places is a side-effect of menopause. As estrogen levels wane, testosterone causes hair retention patterns similar to a man's. So don't be surprised if you're sporting a mustache one day!
The Pink Tax: Why Women's Products Often Cost More by Susan Johnston Taylor in U.S. News & World Report, Feb. 17, 2016.
© 2017 Jo Tucker