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Which hair-removal tool is right for me?

If you shave your legs, you cover more surface area every day than a man shaving his face and head. That's why finding the most comfortable, effective hair-removal method -- one that suits your lifestyle and needs -- is so important. Fortunately, women have many options for removing unwanted hair that take into account a woman's needs and unique body type.

Razors -- refillable or disposable -- are popular and affordable. These work similarly to a man's razor, but are more likely to have ergonomic handles and pivoting heads to make maneuvering around knees and ankles more manageable. Many have moisturizing strips built in to eliminate the need for shaving creams or gels. You just toss disposable razors when you're done with them. With refillable razors, you have to factor in the cost of the cartridge refills, which can add up. How long you can use a disposable razor or cartridge refill is highly variable. Some women need to replace them weekly, some use them for months.

Electric razors are great for women with sensitive skin. This can reduce your risk of nicks, cuts and razor burns. Women with bleeding disorders should always use an electric razor. They only remove surface hair and don't shave quite as closely as a razor, but some do a pretty good job. Many can even be used in water so you can still shave in the shower.

Epilators use tiny, motorized tweezers to pluck hair out at the root. Epilating is slower than shaving, to the point that some women will only use epilators on small areas like the underarms and bikini line. As you might imagine, the plucking process can be painful as well, and not everybody chooses to endure it. Those who do, however, say the long-lasting results (two to three weeks) are worth it, and that it gets less painful as your skin adapts and hair grows back finer and more sparsely.

Bikini-line shavers and trimmers have a special place in your grooming. They are designed for the tricky angles and confined space of grooming -- or removing -- some or all of your pubic hair. They're smaller and have angled heads for working around confined, sensitive areas.

Our focus remains on woman-specific shaving concerns: finding the razors, shavers and epilators that remove hair cleanly without cutting or pinching your skin, even when navigating the tricky curves around knees, calves and underarms, or skirting your bikini line.

ConsumerSearch editors evaluated countless expert and owner reviews for every type of women's shaver currently available for purchase. From there, we narrowed it down to the models with the top reviews for performance and ease of use. Price was a consideration as well, and many of the top shavers we found are readily available at drugstores and supermarkets. Keep in mind that how a razor or shaver feels on your skin and how cleanly it removes your hair matters far more than any marketing gimmick. It may take a little experimentation to find the shaver that's perfect for you, but it's well worth the effort.

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