Hair removal: nobody likes to think about it, but if summer is approaching or already here, you have to!If you want picture-perfect legs, you’ll probably have to do a little work for them. Luckily, there are many common methods of hair removal that involve varying amounts of effort, money and pain for varying times, from temporary to permanent.

1. Shaving

This method is probably familiar to most women. As long as you use shaving cream, do it in the shower or while your skin is damp and go slowly so you don’t nick your skin, shaving will remove hair by cutting it off at surface level. Of course, if your hair grows quickly, this won’t help for long, but it can fix the problem quickly if you’re about to leave for a day at the beach. It won’t make your hair grow back thicker, but the hair tips may end up being more noticeable than normal, because they will be blunt.

2. Waxing

If you’ve never done it before, remember this: the first time hurts the most. After a few sessions, it will hurt substantially less, if that’s any comfort until then. The results of waxing last much longer than shaving, because they pull hairs out from the root rather than simply chopping them off. After a few weeks to a month, however, you will probably notice the hairs starting to grow back. It takes some time, but you might eventually see the hairs thinning out as the follicles stop growing hair permanently.

3. Depilatories

This chemical method of hair removal can be harsh on the skin, but there are some well-designed products that don’t do too much damage; others can irritate your skin and cause redness or dryness. If you don’t mind the possible side effect of having skin cells melted, give them a try and see whether they work for you. It’s more of a surface method, obviously, so it won’t last as long as waxing and other methods that go straight for the roots.

4. Laser

Laser treatment is possible in the doctor’s office or at home with a machine like the SensEpil. It doesn’t generally hurt as much as waxing, you’ll be glad to know, but you need several sessions (often four to six) to get the hair to go away, and it doesn’t always stay away. It can also be expensive, which is definitely a downside.

5. Electrolysis

Probably not the best option for a large area like your legs, because you have to work one hair follicle at a time, and several treatments are required (often over 10) to see results. If you have a lot of time, money and patience, you can do this, though. It’s the most permanent method of hair removal so far, though some laser technologies come close to it or beat it, depending on your individual body.

Hair removal is possible through a number of different methods. These are the top five, and between them, you can get quick fixes or permanent relief.