Beauty 101: "Okay, How Does Ladybit Shaving Actually Work?"S

Last week, our Beauty 101 series focused on the hair that sits atop one's head. This week, we're going to concentrate on reader concerns about the hair that grows, well, pretty much everywhere else:

Our readers had questions about everything from pubic hair trimming to facial hair removal, and they're counting on you to help:

the one maintenance tip that I've really yet to pick up and master is about trimming pubic hair. tmi, I realize, but truly, I just have an ad-hoc system going on right now. any suggestions?

Two words: nether regions. I don't have enough money to be getting professionally waxed all the time, but shaving gives me bumps and is painful and the home products specifically for bikini - line maintenance never work. I've given up.

I cannot keep my legs and armpits smooth without professional waxing. and I don't like waxing because your hair has to grow in between. If I shave, I get black dots that look bad too. And Nair doesn't work for me AT ALL, only about 1/2 of my hair falls out. So, I can only wear skirts (without tights) on the occasions that I've just waxed, which means only a few days every month or so. my hair can be pretty obvious as it is black, and I didn't inherit my mom's baby-fine leg hair, which, although black, was not very visible. (sadly I am not as devil-may-care as Monique, I really wish I was!) and it means I got to get the timing right if I want to go to the beach. HELP!

Shaving. I always miss a spot & cut myself. I shave everyday, in the winter, when I'm not getting laid... I should really be a pro by now.

This is going to sound weird, but I have a hard time shaving my thighs. My calves/shins are smooth, but I can't get the same result above my knee; the skin always feels sort of rough and stubbly and I always manage to miss a big patch somewhere. I'm wondering if I should just try using Nair or something (which I use on my forearms - what? I have fuzzy arms, okay?!).

I could never shave without cutting myself. So at 16 I pretty much gave up shaving all together. Every now and then, if I have something fancy I need to go to and don't want to offend the fancy people by reminding them of the fact that women actually do grow body hair, I shave. And I still suck at it.

I still haven't found the ideal way to remove facial hair. Waxing is great for my eyebrows, lest I look like Groucho Marx. But I also have hair on my upper lip, chin, and sides of my neck. Not like a beard, exactly, but enough to bother me. Plucking tends to cause ingrown hairs, which look like blemishes. Shaving, per the advice of a facialist I know, is quick but you have to do it like every other day or you have stubble. Nair works - but not on the chin hairs, which grow like redwoods and are as black as cat hair. And I'm a natural blonde (WTF, mother nature?). Laser hair removal seems promising, but it's expensive and takes like a year to complete. So I cycle through all the above, combating hair, stubble, blemishes, etc., in a monthly cycle.

Creating a landing strip or triangle with my pubes.

I keep ending up with a Hitler mustache. I just bought one of those new trimmer/razor contraptions from Shick. I'm hoping it will help me solve my sculpting problems.

Nothing ruins the mood quite like a hitler mustache right above your happy fun place. Am I right?

My worst is leg shaving. I have NEVER managed the perfectly smooth, no visible follicles look everyone else seems to achieve. I shave and 10 minutes later look at my legs and can see every damn follicle.

Okay, how does ladybit shaving actually work? Or even just a bikini shave? I've tried, but the ingrown hairs crop up about five minutes after I finish. It's so traumatic that I've just avoided it altogether and refused to wear any bathing suit that did not have board shorts as bottoms since the beginning of high school. College dance performance season and the prospect of a mandated leotard never fails to terrify me.

Lady-bits grooming. Not shaving, because that's not my thing, but just general hedge maintenance—seems so straightforward yet I'm always at a loss. And it's so awkward to see what I'm doing down there plus I'm terrified of any sort of sharp objects thereabouts.

Where do people learn these things?

The majority of shaving/waxing concerns can be summed up with these 5 questions:

1. How do I avoid ingrown hairs?

2. How can I remove lip/chin/facial hair without causing blemishes or scarring?

3. How can I get my legs to stay smooth after shaving?

4. How do I remove/trim/shape my pubic hair/bikini line?

5. What's the best way to remove arm hair?

6. How can I avoid cutting myself while shaving?

7. I'm thinking about going totally natural—any tips? Personal experiences to share?

8. Should I pluck, wax or shave stray hairs on my chest/chin/nipples/lip etc.?

Think you can help your fellow commenters? Leave your tips and tricks in the comments below, or email them to me before 6pm this evening. I'll post your responses tomorrow.

Earlier: Beauty 101: Your Hair Questions, Answered
Beauty 101: Your Foundation And Concealer Concerns, Answered
Beauty 101: Your Eyeliner Woes, Solved