Underarm hair removal is a common, integral part of a beauty regimen. It also has hygienic benefits since it is aids in the control of body odor and places for bacteria to reside. The popularity of the hairless underarm area has resulted in a large number of methods and an ever-increasing range of methods. Whatever your budget, skin sensitivity, hair type, or other factor, there is one that’s perfect for you. Make sure you get the right product, device, or service for your needs. Many creams and waxes are for specific areas of the body and can be ineffective, even injurious, if used on the wrong part.
For ridding yourself of unwanted hair, you can take care of it yourself or go to a salon. At-home methods include shaving, depilatory creams, waxing, and epilators. But salons and clinics offer these same treatments, as well as several, longer lasting options, all performed by professionals trained in and with experience in getting the best results for every patron.
Shaving is probably the most popular method for self-maintenance. It is relatively cheap, quick, and effective. But you have to do it every day or every other day in order to keep the underarm area smooth.
Before shaving, it is important to prepare by taking a hot shower or using washcloth to wash your underarm area with warm water. This will remove dirt and other material. It also softens the hair. Then, use a shaving cream or gel and lather, covering the area entirely before starting to use a sharp razor. An insufficient amount of lather or a dull blade can result in nicks, cuts, and razor burn.
Once ready, it is best to lift your arm high, in order to stretch the skin before beginning to shave. Carefully shave in multiple directions to make sure you get the best removal (hair often grows in varying directions). Wet the blade with warm water between strokes until done with one side, and then repeat the process with the other armpit. Clean traces of hair and foam when done. Last, apply some moisturizer or other product on to your underarms.
As mentioned, cuts and nicks are a possibility. Otherwise, the main concern for is ingrown hairs. To prevent this regular use of an exfoliating product is essential.
Depilatory creams are another longer-term solution for underarm hair issues. They come in many types and the results typically last for several weeks. Before purchasing, though, make sure the cream can be used for underarm hair removal.
Reading through the instructions for your cream before use. They will guide you to get the best results for your hair color and coarseness. After following the washing of your underarms, ridding them of any traces of product.
Arm up, use the cream with the spatula and cover the hair evenly, using a mirror if needed. Use only as much as needed to cover the hair and do not get on the bare skin. Keep your arm raised and let the cream sit. If this is the first time you’ve used depilatory cream, rinse it off after a minute to make sure no allergic reaction is evident. Reapply if your skin seems to be fine. The cream may tingle; if you feel pain, wash it off. Products usually require waiting three to ten minutes as the chemicals dissolve the hair. Do not leave the cream on your skin longer than the recommended time. Once enough time has passed, wash off the cream. Repeat the process under the other arm.
Depilatory creams work by dissolving the proteins that make up your hair. Incorrect usage or placing on bare skin can result in the dissolution of skin, causing irritation. Creams can be messy, have offensive odors, and require multiple treatments to get rid of underarm hair.
Waxing Underarm Hair Removal
Waxing can be messy as well as painful, but lasts a long time (a month to a month-and-a-half). There are many at-home products you can use. Many people, however, seek the services of trained waxers at salons.
Before attempting to wax, make sure your hair is 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. This is the easiest length to wax. If your hair is shorter, the wax won’t grip it. If it’s longer, it can be hard to deal with. If necessary, wait a few extra days for it to grow or trim your armpit hair to the right length before underarm hair removal.
Clean and exfoliate the armpit area. Removing dead skin and dirt will make the waxing process easier and prevent infection from occurring.
After washing, towel off the area and use baby powder or a similar product in order to dry the skin under your arm. If you are using warm wax (there also cold waxes), heat according to the instructions. This is usually done in a microwave or a special warmer many kits contain. Test the wax on a small area, the back of a hand is a good place, in order to make sure it’s not too hot. Then spread onto the hair beneath the am with the applicator enclosed in the package. Place the cloth or other type of waxing strip (some waxes don’t require strips, but most do) over the area in the downward direction and press down to secure it. Allow the wax to harden and then pull the strip in the opposite direction of hair growth. Follow the same procedure on the other side. After waxing is done, clean under the arm and place some moisturizer on the armpit.
Waxing can be painful, but has no side effects not seen with other methods. Redness and bumps are the most common occurrences. You could also get an infection from removal of a hair follicle, but you’re less likely to get one the more often use wax for underarm hair removal.
Epilator Hair Removal
An epilator is a small, hand-held machine that pulls out several hairs at a time. This means it has similarities to plucking with tweezers. The process, though, is significantly faster and less of a hassle. Like waxing, the results can last for weeks.
Before using an epilator, it is best to make sure your underarm growth is a few millimeters long. This is the easiest length to manage when it comes to using an epilator. If it’s longer, strands can wrap around each other and give the epilator trouble. It may help to shave your armpits one to two days beforehand.
Wash and prepare the armpit, using baby powder to keep the skin dry and tight to assist with plucking. Begin on the lowest setting, and maintain a short distance from the skin, in order to get acclimated to the feeling of the device. You’ll feel a pull like with waxing. As you get comfortable with the feel, run the epilator closer to the skin and increase the settings. Next, follow the same steps
Use moisturizer after epilating to prevent redness, bumps, and discomfort.
Electrolysis uses chemicals or heat to destroy single hair follicles. If interested in a more permanent solution to underarm hair, electrolysis is a great solution. At your consultation, you will want to make sure the salon practices needle electrolysis. This is reportedly the only permanent means of hair removal. It also usually the best treatment for women with white or light hair, because laser and pulse light procedure work best on darker hair.
A treatment will last fifteen minutes to one hour, as you sit or lie down. A technician will place a small needle into individual hair follicles. Running an electric current through it, each will be destroyed in turn. Most find it painless, while others describe slight discomfort uncomfortable. You may have to return for further sessions, commonly once every 1-2 weeks, until the hair is completely removed.
Tend to your armpits as your salon recommends, so you can reduce any aftereffects. Redness, swelling, and scarring (rare) are all likely, so use aloe or another soothing agent to reduce the effects.
Laser/pulse light treatments
Laser or pulse light treatment, where a doctor or technician (laser removal is a medical procedure you should undergo only with certified professionals) destroys the roots with strong beams of light, is another long-term method for underarm hair removal. In as little as 3 treatments (usually 6-12), you can see results. Then, you can go back every six months or annually for maintenance. It does not, as mentioned above, work well for everyone; it is best for people with darker hair and lighter skin, and does not work on white hair and has problems with blond hair.
For a month or two before your hair removal session, you will have to stop plucking, waxing, and receiving electrolysis. Limiting exposure to sun will also be required. You should also avoid unnecessary sun exposure for the same period. There is no need to trim your own hair before your procedure—the technician or assistant will trim it to several millimeters.
When you go for your procedure, the laser will be adjusted to your specifics (hair color, strand thickness, and body area, as well as skin color). You will receive cold gel or have a special cooling device that helps the light penetrate your skin. Next, the technician will do a test, using a pulse of light and then waiting several minutes to check for any form of negative response. The laser will then be used for the full treatment. Each laser pulse removes multiple hairs (often an area about an inch wide), causing the hair to be destroyed from beneath the skin’s surface. Because the armpit is so small, a treatment only takes several minutes. Afterwards, you will schedule your next session (4-6 weeks later), repeating the process until the hair is gone, the pores have closed, and you are left with only smooth skin.
Potential side effects include swelling and redness. After the procedure, you will likely want to use packs, anti-inflammatory creams or lotions, or cold water compresses for the next few days. Permanent scarring or skin pigments change, two other possible effects, are extremely rare. Sun exposure can make laser removal less effective, while also increasing complications.
The most expensive of the treatments listed, the cost varies widely, depending on the size of the area being treated, time required for treatment, number of treatments required, and who performs the procedure. Beneath the arm is relatively small, making it one of the least expensive and troublesome areas to have done. It is a good way to see if laser or pulse light treatments are right for you.
Why go to a professional?
As many at-home methods can be proof of the adage “You get what you pay for,” yielding a range of results, taking a lot of practice to get right, it is best to go to salons, clinics, or other professionals. You will get better results from people who know the best products, have assisted others with similar issues as you, and can provide answers to any questions. There will be no worrying about rashes from improperly applied creams, bad shaving, or any of the myriad ways underarm hair removal can go wrong. They can combine techniques to leave your underarm smooth and you feeling rested (no cramping arms while tweezing or shaving from holding your arm up high). There will be no stress over the results. You deserve the best, so get help from local professionals who will keep that underarm hair from stopping you from feeling as beautiful as you are.