Underarm hair is annoying! Well, at least women think so, as it makes their armpits look unappealing. But there are many ways to eliminate it without visiting a salon or burning a hole in your wallet. Yes, some highly effective hair removal techniques are simple, natural, and can be practiced right at home without causing any harm to the skin. But what if you do not have that much time to invest in DIYs? Don’t worry; there are some easy alternative methods for you. So, let us talk about those easy, homemade ways to remove underarm hair and other alternative techniques that you can also try. Keep reading.
What Is Underarm Hair?
Underarm hair is human body hair found in men’s and women’s underarm areas or axillas. Hence, it is also called axillary hair. It usually starts appearing at the onset of puberty and continues growing up to the end of the teenage years. This is driven by weak androgens secreted by adrenals during adrenarche (an early stage of sexual maturation) in both males and females. In addition, the testosterone produced by the testicles through male puberty can also influence it. During its growth and development, underarm hair goes through four different phases. These include:
- First Phase: No hair
- Second Phase: Minimal hair
- Third Phase: Coarse (less than full-adult) hair
- Fourth Phase: Full adult hair
The growth of underarm hair is phased according to the staging system. This helps doctors track the longitudinal development of a child.
Significance Of Underarm Hair
Have you ever wondered about the purpose of underarm hair? While the evolutionary significance is not fully understood, it’s believed that underarm hair plays a role in maintaining clean and healthy armpit skin. The hair covering assists in naturally wicking away moisture and sweat, facilitating good ventilation. This unclogged underarm skin helps transfer bacteria away, keeping the armpits fresh and odor-free.
Why Do People Remove Underarm Hair?
In contemporary times, the routine removal of underarm hair is a prevalent practice, particularly among women globally. The motivations for this practice are diverse, often driven by aesthetic or hygienic considerations. In Islamic culture, removing armpit hair is deemed crucial for cleanliness. Meanwhile, it has long been a cosmetic standard in the Western world. Competitive swimmers, aiming for optimal performance, extend this practice to removing all body hair, including underarm hair, to enhance streamlined race efficiency. (1) (2)
Men also groom their underarm hair due to aesthetic reasons. This is done by either trimming or shaving the hair completely.
Natural Ways To Remove Underarm Hair
Sugaring is the most common and effective natural hair removal technique that is less painful, works on even the shortest underarm hair (1/16th of an inch), and prevents ingrown hair.
- Cane sugar – 1 cup
- Lemon Juice – (1/4) cup
- Water – (1/4) cup
Mix cane sugar, water, and lemon juice in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. Please bring it to a boil, simmer it, and let it process on low heat for 20 minutes. Once it turns red-brown, please turn off the heat and cool it down. Your sugaring paste is ready. Just store it in an airtight container.
Prepare your skin by cleaning it with a wet cloth and dusting baby powder. Scoop out some of this gooey mixture, roll it into a ball, and apply it to your underarms in the opposite direction of your hair growth. Firmly press it on your skin. Now, raise your arm to keep it taut and pull the sticky mixture with your fingers in the same direction as your hair growth. Keep working on small sections until the hair from the entire region is removed. Finally, rinse the area with soap and water.
2. Lemon And Sugar Pack
Though this recipe contains sugar, it must be used differently from sugaring. It slowly removes all the hair and significantly helps lighten the underarm skin with its acidic lemon juice.
- Sugar – 1 tablespoon
- Lemon Juice – 2 tablespoons
Mix sugar with lemon juice and make a smooth paste.
Apply it to your underarms and spread it evenly toward your hair growth. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then wipe with a wet washcloth. Ensure you rub the washcloth slightly along the length of your hair to facilitate their removal.
3. Egg White And Cornflour Pack
Though the pack smells unpleasant, it has an easy and no-fuss recipe. It gently exfoliates the underarm skin and nourishes it well while thinning hair growth.
- Egg – 1
- Cornflour – (1/2) tablespoon
- Sugar – 1 tablespoon
Break the egg and separate its white section from its yolk carefully. Whip the egg white with cornflour and sugar to form a smooth and sticky paste with a thick consistency.
Apply it to your underarms evenly in the direction of the hair growth, allow it to dry, and then peel it off in the opposite direction. Repeating this once or twice weekly will help remove your underarm hair and reduce its growth.
4. Milk And Turmeric Pack
This pack is more of a hair retarder than a hair remover. But diminishes the growth and density of hair while gradually turning the underarm skin whiter. So, being consistent will be extremely rewarding, indeed!
- Turmeric powder – (1/4) cup
- Raw milk – 3 tablespoons
Apply the mixture to your underarm hair and leave it on for half an hour. Once it dries completely, soak a clean towel in warm water and wipe the paste off. Keep using it every day or every other day to see the best results.
5. Lemon And Honey Pack
Here is another pack that works slowly but effectively. It decreases the density of armpit hair by reducing its growth rate. It also moisturizes and lightens the underarm skin upon regular use.
- Pure honey – 3 tablespoons
- Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon
Add freshly squeezed lemon juice to pure, raw organic honey and combine them well until you get a smooth paste.
Apply the paste to your underarms and leave it on for about 15 minutes. Soak a towel in warm water and wipe the mixture off. You can leave the mixture overnight and wash it off in the morning. Make sure that you follow it 2-3 times a week.
6. Papaya And Turmeric Pack
This pack is exceptionally gentle on the skin and does not remove underarm hair thoroughly. But as it breaks down the hair follicles, the fibers cannot grow back anymore.
- Raw papaya – A medium-sized piece
- Turmeric powder – 1 tablespoon
Grate the raw papaya in a bowl and add turmeric powder to it. Blend them to form a thick paste.
Spread the paste over your armpit skin and massage for a few minutes by following small circular motions. Wipe it off with a warm towel for 15-20 minutes. Use it every alternate day to get the most impressive outcomes.
Other Ways To Remove Underarm Hair
If you are not a DIY person but want to get rid of unwanted hair from your armpits, there are many other ways to serve your purpose. Here we go:
1. Plucking With A Tweezer
Try this method if you have a good pair of tweezers and enough time. Tweezing is an excruciating and highly time-consuming process. But it is gentler than waxing, and hair takes longer to grow back.
- Cleanse your underarms thoroughly with lukewarm water. A hot shower will be very effective for this.
- Exfoliate them gently with a coarse towel. This will soften the skin and facilitate pulling out the hair.
- Start plucking individual hair from the base by tweezing toward your hair growth. It prevents the appearance of ingrown hair.
- Finish by applying an aftershave cream or lotion to soothe the skin.
Depending on its growth rate, you can pluck your underarm hair every month or every other month. Please wait until it reaches about a quarter of an inch. Also, make sure that you use sharp and sterilized tweezers only.
Tweezing is not suitable for sensitive skin and very thick underarm hair. Skin prone to ingrown hair should also avoid it.
2. Shaving With A Razor
This is a fast, efficient, and one of the cheapest ways to get rid of underarm hair. Unfortunately, though painless, it can lead to ingrown hair and dark underarms.
- Cleanse your armpits thoroughly with lukewarm water. Getting into a hot shower for this and the rest of the procedure is better.
- Exfoliate them gently with a mild exfoliator. Rubbing with a coarse towel will also do.
- Apply good shaving cream to your underarm skin to lubricate it properly.
- Start shaving with a sharp razor in the direction of hair growth.
- Then, shave in all directions, including across the grains, to give yourself a closer shave.
- Once done, rinse them with cold water to close skin pores and prevent infection.
- For moisturization, pat them dry and apply pure coconut, avocado, or fresh cucumber juice.
Hair grows back in a couple of days after shaving. So, you must shave every 2-3 days to keep the skin smooth. But make sure that you take a break every once in a while. Also, keep your razor blades clean by rinsing them after each shave and replacing them frequently.
For sensitive skin, shaving against the direction of the hair growth is not advisable. This may lead to ingrown hair.
Read Also – 10 Best Shaving Creams For Women
3. Applying Hair Removal (Depilatory) Cream
A hair removal (depilatory) cream is a fast and painless procedure that removes hair in minutes. It makes the skin soft and smooth without causing any mess. But it may darken your armpits, and the hair can grow back pretty fast.
- Conduct a patch test 24 hours before using the hair removal cream to check the compatibility. Your skin should not react adversely in any way.
- Cleanse and wash your underarm skin thoroughly and pat it dry with a towel.
- Apply the cream all over it per the instructions on the packaging.
- Wait for the required amount of time so that the cream can develop. It can vary from 3-6 minutes for dry or normal skin and around 10 minutes for sensitive skin.
- Scrape off the cream downward with the help of the spatula provided with the cream.
- Rinse the skin with cold water to eliminate the residue.
- Apply the aftercare lotion that came along with your product.
Although it makes the skin silky smooth, you may need to repeat the process every 5-6 days as the hair grows back faster. It can also cause ingrown hair, which can be prevented by exfoliating before two days. Also, ensure you do not use deodorants or other aromatic products for at least the first 24 hours after the procedure.
4. Using Hot Wax/Wax Strip
Waxing needs no introduction. It gives the skin a silky, smooth finish, and the hair does not grow fast. This excruciating procedure should be avoided if the skin is ultra-sensitive. However, you can always pop a painkiller to keep the pain under control.
- You can apply heated wax or use wax strips for this purpose. To use wax, melt it in a heater or a microwave first.
- Cleanse and wash your armpit skin thoroughly with warm water to soften the skin.
- Pat it dry and spread talcum powder all over it sparingly.
- Apply the wax in the direction of your hair growth and spread it evenly with the help of a wooden spatula.
- Place a clean cloth on it, leaving one of its ends free for pulling.
- Hold the skin taut with your arm raised above your head and rub the area toward hair growth.
- Now, pull the cloth against the direction of your hair growth quickly.
- Keep repeating until all hair is removed.
- Use a tweezer to get rid of stray hair, if any.
- Use baby oil to remove the wax residue altogether.
- Rinse the armpits with cold water and pat them dry.
- Apply aloe vera gel or any other soothing lotion onto the area to soothe it.
Depending on the rate of your hair growth. You can wait 4-6 weeks before your next session. Exfoliate a couple of days before waxing to keep ingrown hair at bay. As the procedure is messy enough, you may want to do it in the bathroom.
While using wax strips, apply them directly on the hair after rinsing the skin well and patting it dry. You can also make small pieces of strips in order to work on those harder-to-reach areas.
5. Using An Epilator
If you want to avoid a messy hair removal technique, invest in a branded epilator. This is another fast, gentle, and efficient process involving less or no pain. Moreover, hair takes longer to grow back after following this method.
- Cleanse your armpits properly with warm water.
- Exfoliate them gently by rubbing them with a coarse towel.
- Take a charged epilator and adjust it to the lowest setting. These devices have different instructions, so you should go through yours first.
- Hold your skin taut by raising the arm over your head.
- Now, hold the device at an angle of 45 degrees and turn it on.
- Glide it slowly over your skin and pull some hair out.
- Once you feel comfortable with the pain level, hold the epilator at 90 degrees and glide it across your armpit without pressing down on the skin.
- Keep using it in all directions until all hair is eliminated.
- Soothe the skin with some fresh aloe vera gel or a lightweight lotion.
Wait for 4-6 weeks before the next session as the hair grows back slowly. Though it may cause ingrown hair, you can exfoliate well 2-3 days before the procedure. And if a few anagen hair strands appear soon after you epilate, epilate them again to cut the hair’s growth cycle.
Read Also – Hair Removal Epilators For Women – Editors Pick
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is The Fastest Way To Remove Underarm Hair?
It undoubtedly is shaving. You can do it in 5 minutes and quickly achieve a silky smooth underarm. However, the hair grows back really fast after undergoing this procedure.
What Should Be The Length Of Hair Before Removing?
Let your underarm hair grow at least 1/4 of an inch before pulling it out. If the strands grow even more significantly, trim them about 3-5 mm before starting.
How Can I Remove Armpit Hair Permanently?
While all the home remedies mentioned above can give you impressive results over time, laser therapy can offer you instant removal of hair that is also absolutely permanent.
- “Underarm Hair“, Wikipedia.org
- “7 Types of Underarm Hair Removal Methods to Try at Home“, byrdie.com