Welcome to hair removal 101! From shaving to laser, prepping for sleeveless season can be the pits. To make removing stubble a little easier, we rounded up the best ways to achieve underarm perfection.
Ever wonder how products such as Nair work? Chemicals inside the cream weaken the protein and keratin bonds within each hair follicle, making it easier to wipe away hairs. Each strand is removed from under the surface of your skin, so you’ll enjoy a few days of smoothness before the hair grows back. So why aren't these products in every gal's shower? The solution can be messy and stinky—not always the best way to start the day! PAIN LEVEL: None, unless skin has a reaction (usually a rash or inflammation) to chemicals.
When done properly, shaving can be a quick and easy solution for daily hair removal. Before shaving underarms, always prep the pre-dampened area with a cream or gel to reduce the amount of friction between the shaver and your skin—called razor burn. Opt for a women's razor, which is designed to pivot around curves so you can snag even the tiniest of stubble. Hair can grow in different directions in the underarm area, so be sure to glide the razor up, down, and across. Shaving usually lasts less than 24 hours. PAIN LEVEL: Nicks, ingrown hairs, and razor burn can all occur from shaving. Soothe these small ouchies with a cooling gel.
During a waxing session, warm wax is applied to the skin and attaches to each strand as it dries. Then a cloth is pressed against the area to pull each wax-coated follicle out—all at once. Whether at home or in the salon, this process can be extremely painful in a sensitive area like the underarms. The bright spot? Because waxing rips hair out from the roots, your pits can be stubble-free for up to a month! PAIN LEVEL: The discomfort is instant, but the stinging sensation usually disappears before the session is over.
During electrolysis, a tiny needle is inserted deep into an individual hair follicle. Then, a low-level electrical pulse zaps the existing hair, making it easier to pluck out. The process is repeated—follicle by follicle— to all hair in the area. Each session can cost up to $80 and 10 to 20 recommended visits (usually more!) are needed to permanently reduce stubble.
Laser treatments are more ideal for eliminating ingrown hairs or women with darker hair. The light in the lasers attracts the pigment in the hair and destroys the follicle at the root. At popular salons such as Completely Bare, laser costs $245 per session and $1,350 for a package of six sessions. Six sessions are the minimum, but up to ten are recommended for full-proof removal. PAIN LEVEL: Extreme! Both of these torturous process are excruciating to sit through and will leave the area extremely tender for a day or two. We suggest icing the area with a numbing cream to offset the electrical pain.