Isn’t underarm hair removal the worst? Bikini waxing aside, it’s every girl’s least favourite thing to do in terms of grooming. Super sensitive armpits (hello, pain central!), darkened skin and bumpiness are some of our biggest woes when it comes to this area. But since we love our sleeveless tops and dresses so much - and our need for basic hygiene - we give you some important dos and don’ts for underarm hair removal. Whether you prefer to wax or shave, these underarm hair removal tips will make the experience easier and leave you with way smoother pits. You’re so welcome!
Before you remove underarm hair, it’s important to prep your underarms by washing them with mild soap and warm water. They produce a lot more sweat than the rest of your body, plus there could be residue from your deodorant. All of this could hamper the effectiveness of your wax or shave. Take a bath beforehand.
A good exfoliation gets rid of dirt and impurities as well as loosens hair follicles, making it easier for the hair to come out. This will help reduce the pain of waxing too. One great DIY scrub for clean underarms is mixing sugar, honey and lemon juice to exfoliate, hydrate and lighten the area all at once.
Wax won’t stick to sweaty underarms. Make sure to wash and dry them with a towel. Talcum powder also helps absorb sweat, which is why your parlour lady always applies some. On the other hand, avoid removing underarm hair from dry armpits, which can cause friction and irritation. The best thing to do is to shave before you get out of the shower, while your underarms are hydrated with steam and water. You can also use a shaving gel for extra lubrication if you like.
You need to stretch your hand up fully, otherwise hair in the skinfolds can get missed. Raising your arm above your head while cleaning underarms will also provide a flatter surface for waxing as well as for your razor.
The sting of removing underarm hair really does hurt like hell. If your skin is sensitive or if you find the pain just too much, you can pop a painkiller 30 minutes in advance. Mild over the counter painkillers like ibuprofen or even Crocin will help.
Shaving in the opposite direction of hair growth does give a closer shave, but if you’re a girl with sensitive skin you may want to avoid this to prevent irritation. You can shave in the same direction of growth. When it comes to waxing, apply a thin layer of wax and then pull the strip in the opposite direction of hair growth to get rid of all the hair.
A clean razor blade removes underarm hair much more effectively. With each stroke, the blade can accumulate hair, gunk and dead skin, which blocks the path of the razor as well as contains bacteria. You don’t want it to touch the skin again and again. Just run the blade under water after every one or two strokes for a more effective shave.
If you’re shaving, do it in short strokes and if you’re waxing make sure you (or your waxing lady) do small patches at a time. You shouldn’t go over the same patch over and over with your razor or waxing strip as this can cause redness and irritation to the already sensitive area.
Apply ice immediately after cleaning underarms as well as a cooling moisturizer or aloe vera gel to soothe the area - do this even after a shave. It’s a good idea to exfoliate the area mildly after 24 hours to prevent annoying ingrown hair.
To avoid irritation and chafing stick to loose clothing after you clean the underarms via waxing or shaving. Also, stay away from deos and antiperspirants for a day or two.
Internal Images: Shutterstock