Underarm hair is annoying! Well, at least women think so as it makes their armpits look unappealing. But there are more than a few ways to get rid of it without even visiting a salon or burning a hole in your wallet. Yes, there are some highly effective hair removal techniques that are simple, natural, and can be practiced right at the 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 as there are some easy alternative methods for you too. So, let us talk about those easy homemade ways to remove underarm hair along with other alternative techniques that you can also give a try. Keep reading.
What Is Underarm Hair?
Underarm hair is a kind of human body hair that is found in the underarm area or axilla of both men and women. Hence, it is also called axillary hair. It usually starts appearing at the onset of the puberty and continues growing up to the end of the teenage years. In both males and females, this is driven by weak androgens secreted by adrenals during adrenarche (an early stage of sexual maturation). 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
So, what is the importance of underarm hair? Why do we even get it? Well, the evolutionary significance of underarm hair is yet to be determined. But it is believed that the covering of hair helps in keeping the skin of our armpits clean and healthy naturally by wicking away moisture and sweat as well as promoting good ventilation. As the underarm skin stays unclogged, the colonization of bacteria gets transferred away from it. This keeps the armpits fresh and odor-free.
Why Do People Remove Underarm Hair?
Today, removing underarm hair regularly is a common practice, especially for women around the world. Though the reasons for this practice vary widely, it is mostly done for aesthetic and/or hygienic purposes. In Islamic culture, it is essential to get rid of armpit hair for cleanliness. In the Western world, it has always been a cosmetic requirement. Competitive swimmers focus on the removal of entire body hair, including the underarm hair, in order to make the most of their races by turning their body more streamlined (1).
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 as well as the most 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 over low heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring it to a boil, simmer it, and let it process on low heat for 20 minutes. Once it turns nice red-brown, 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 on it. Scoop out some of this gooey mixture, roll it into a ball, and apply it to your underarm 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 also contains sugar, it needs to be used in a way different than sugaring. It not only removes all the hair slowly over time but also helps lighten the underarm skin significantly 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 evenly in the direction of your hair growth. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then, wipe with a wet washcloth. Make sure that you rub the washcloth slightly along the length of your hair in order to facilitate their removal.
3. Egg White And Cornflour Pack
Though the pack comes with an unpleasant smell, it has an easy and no-fuss recipe. It exfoliates the underarm skin gently and nourishes it well while thinning the growth of hair on it.
- 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 every week will not only help you remove your underarm hair but also reduce its growth.
4. Milk And Turmeric Pack
You cannot expect an immediate result from this pack as it is more of a hair retarder than a hair remover. But diminishes the growth and density of hair while turning the underarm skin whiter gradually. So, being consistent will be extremely rewarding, indeed!
- Turmeric powder – (1/4) cup
- Raw milk – 3 tablespoons
Apply the mixture on 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 the rate of its growth. 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 also leave the mixture overnight and wash off in the morning. Make sure that you follow it 2-3 times a week.
6. Papaya And Turmeric Pack
This pack is extremely gentle on the skin and does not remove underarm hair fully. But as it breaks down the hair follicles, the hair 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 together to form a thick paste.
Spread the paste over your armpit skin and massage for a few minutes by following small circular motions. Wait for 15-20 minutes and then, scarp it off by using a warm towel. 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 that unwanted hair from your armpits, there are many other ways to serve your purpose. Here we go:
1. Plucking With A Tweezer
If you have a good pair of tweezers and enough time in hand, you can give this method a try. Tweezing is a very painful 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 the process of pulling out the hair.
- Start plucking individual hair from the base by tweezing in the direction of your hair growth. It prevents the appearance of ingrown hair.
- Finish by applying an aftershave cream or lotion in order to soothe the skin.
You can pluck your underarm hair every month or every other month based on its rate of growth. Wait until it grows out to about a quarter of an inch at least. 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. Though it is a painless procedure, it can lead to ingrown hair as well as dark underarms.
- Cleanse your armpits thoroughly with lukewarm water. It is better to get into a hot shower for this as well as the rest of the procedure.
- Exfoliate them gently with a mild exfoliator. Rubbing with a coarse towel will also do.
- If required, apply a good quality shaving cream onto 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 ward off infection.
- Pat them dry and apply some pure coconut oil or avocado oil or fresh cucumber juice for moisturization.
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 replace 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
Using 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 also grow back pretty fast.
- Conduct a patch test 24 hours before you use the hair removal cream in order 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 as per the instructions mentioned 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 in a downward motion with the help of the spatula provided with the cream itself.
- 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 2 days. Also, ensure that 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. But It is an extremely painful procedure that 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 make use of 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 in order 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 piece of 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 in the direction of 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 completely.
- Rinse the armpits with cold water and pat it 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 prior to 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 with less or no pain involved. Moreover, hair takes longer to grow back after following this method.
- Cleanse your armpits properly with warm water.
- Exfoliate them gently by rubbing with a coarse towel.
- Take a charged epilator and adjust it to the lowest setting. As these devices come with different sets of instructions, it is advisable that you go through that of 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 a little bit of hair out.
- Once you feel comfortable with the level of pain, hold the epilator at an angle of 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 prior to undergoing the procedure. And if a few anagen hair strands appear soon after you epilate, epilate them again to sign the growth cycle of the hair.
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 just in 5 minutes and achieve a silky smooth underarm easily. 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 bigger, make sure to trim them about 3-5 mm before getting started.
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