What’s the best way to get rid of unwanted hair so it doesn’t grow back thicker and faster than before? Use a depilatory? Pluck with tweezers? Shave? Or just snip it off with scissors?
There is really no "best" way to deal with unwanted hair. It depends to a great extent on where the hair is, whether you want to make it go away or simply make it unnoticeable, and how much you want to spend.
The only way to remove hair permanently is through electrolysis, which destroys the hair follicle with an electric current. Each hair must be individually treated, so the process is lengthy, and since a trained operator must do it, it tends to be expensive. There are also lasers used to kill individual hair follicles, but the process must be done by a doctor, which will make it even more expensive. Since the process is permanent, you should also be sure that you would never want those follicles back.
A depilatory causes the hair shaft to disintegrate, and the hair is then wiped off. The root is left intact so the hair does regrow. It does not grow back thicker or darker than the original. Since depilatories are chemicals, your skin can become sensitized to them, and break out. Since it is applied as a cream, it can treat a large area but cannot be used to shape eyebrows or do finely sculpted hair removal.
Hairs which are tweezed grow back but not thicker or darker. Since you are plucking them individually, you can create any shape you wish. It is mildly painful, of course, but there is little risk of infection. A variation suitable for larger areas like the legs is waxing.
Shaving, or cutting hairs close with a scissors, is popularly thought to make the hair grow back more densely, but it doesn’t. I think this misconception arose because the hair shaft is cut at its thickest and widest point, just above the skin surface, and when it grows out it presents as a thick rigid shaft, which will feel abrasive and may look darker than a longer thinner hair. I would not advise a woman to shave any facial hair. Instead she might scissor the rare single hair.
A final method of dealing with unsightly hair is to bleach it. This is particularly appropriate for hair that is not very thick and long but is dark — for example, a slight mustache in a dark-haired woman. Bleaching the area, which must be done every few weeks, effectively makes the hair disappear visually to other people, without making it abrasive as shaving does. Fairly large areas can be bleached, and the skin itself is not lightened. It is potentially sensitizing to the skin and would have to be stopped if a rash or irritation developed.