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What Are the Best Tips for Underarm Waxing?

Women often wax their underarms to remove hair.
It's best to remove all deodorants before waxing and to not apply more immediately after removing the hair.
Wax.
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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 14 July 2014
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Some of the best tips for underarm waxing are to take an anti-inflammatory medication, be wary of sensitive skin issues caused by acne medications, and not wear deodorant or anti-perspirant. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications help with pain and redness caused by underarm waxing. Some acne medications make underarm waxing more painful than before, and other hair removal options are usually best for such sensitive skin. In addition, wearing deodorant or similar underarm products can prevent wax from properly sticking to the skin. Having enough hair to wax is also important for getting the best results, which can take several weeks to grow out.

Taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication can help make underarm waxing less painful. Many salons instruct customers to take one an hour or so before their appointment. People who have had adverse reactions to an anti-inflammatory medication can inquiry about topical numbing creams instead. These creams numb the skin somewhat and wear off quickly.

While acne is most common on the face, back, and chest, it can appear just about anywhere, including under the arms. Acne medications can make the underarms more sensitive than before. Therefore, people who are applying such medications to their underarms may want to rethink underarm waxing or at least attempt to wax a small area to determine the level of pain. Other kinds of skin irritations, like rashes and sunburn, can also make underarm waxing a poor choice of hair removal.

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Wearing deodorant or anti-perspirant prevents the wax from sticking to the skin. It may be possible to remove some hairs but not all when underarm waxing while wearing these products. For best results, a person should shower the same day, making sure to wash her underarms. After this, nothing should be applied to that area of the body, including perfume, baking soda, or other things used to prevent sweating or mask the smell of sweat.

Underarm waxing works best when the hair is at least 0.24 inches (6.4 mm) long. If it is shorter, the hair might slip out of the wax as it is pulled off or simply break off rather than pull out the root. Armpit hair grows faster than leg hair, roughly about 0.01 inches (0.3 mm) every day. Taking this into account, it might take about three weeks to grow underarm hair that is long enough to be properly waxed. After waxing, the area should be exfoliated at least once weekly to prevent regrowth from getting stuck under the skin.

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Discuss this Article

andee
Post 9

Once I started with underarm waxing, I have never looked back. I love not worrying about shaving under my arms every day.

I have always used topical numbing creams for the best results. I don't like to take anti inflammatory medication, so the creams were a better choice for me.

Only a couple of times have I had some uncomfortable burning and redness. The longer I have the waxing done, the easier it gets.

Now it feels strange if I go too long before having it done.

julies
Post 8

There is no way I can let my underarm hair grow long enough to get it waxed. I tried this once and after a week, I could not deal with it any more.

Because of this, I have never had underarm waxing done. It only takes a few seconds every day in the shower to shave under my arms.

I have never had any problems with shaving here, so just plan on continuing on this way. If there was an easier way to do it, I would consider it, but letting my under arm hair get that long kind of grosses me out.

orangey03
Post 7

I absolutely have to use a numbing gel before having my underarms waxed. My skin there is extremely sensitive to pain, and even an irritated bump caused by shaving can put me in agony.

That's the reason I decided to switch to waxing. I keep getting red bumps after shaving, and they were so painful to the touch. Even when I put my arms down by my side, I would experience shooting pains from them.

I don't feel a thing while they are being waxed. They are a little sore after the gel wears off, but I just apply it again once the pain returns. After it wears off the second time, I can deal with the mild discomfort.

shell4life
Post 6

@cloudel – I feel the same way. I grew my underarm hair out for two weeks while preparing to have them waxed, and it just felt unsanitary.

One thing you might consider is using a hair removal cream instead. You only have to grow it out for about three days to get good results with this.

I apply the removal cream and leave it on for about ten minutes. Then, I use a damp cloth to rake off the hair and product. After that, I shower to make sure I have all the chemicals off my skin.

To me, it is a better option than waxing. It's not as painful, and you don't have to have crazy long stubble for it to work.

cloudel
Post 5

Does anybody else have a problem with letting your underarm hair grow for three weeks? I tried to do this once so that I could get them waxed, but it just seemed too gross. After a week, I broke down and shaved.

The stubble got to be irritating after a few days. It pressed against my arm and made it itchy.

Also, my deodorant didn't work as well. I think it had trouble reaching my skin through the long hair.

I had hoped to be able to wax my underarms so that I could avoid shaving every other day, but it looks like I will be stuck doing this. I just can't deal with the growth.

wavy58
Post 4

A good way to make sure that all the deodorant is off of your underarms is to clean them with alcohol. I soak a cotton pad in alcohol and wipe the area several times, and this gets rid of any residue.

I like to wax at home. I have a pot that plugs into the wall and heats the wax inside. Then, I slather it on with a flat wooden stick.

I use strips of paper that came with the wax kit. I put them on the hot wax on my underarms and yank them off quickly.

Though it burns like crazy, I put some more alcohol on the area when I'm done waxing. I do this to help prevent infection, and so far, it has worked.

discographer
Post 3

I tried underarm waxing once. It was painful, but the problem was more that I bled. When I pulled the wax strips off, my hair roots started to bleed. It stopped pretty quickly but it still scared me because I though I might get an infection. I haven't tried to wax my underarms again since.

I actually prefer waxing because it lasts for a pretty long time. Shaving and using hair removal creams seem like a waste of time because I see hair coming back out the next day. I do go for body waxing sometimes and I never bleed with that.

Is there anything I can do to avoid bleeding with underarm waxing? Or is underarm waxing just not for me?

bear78
Post 2

I've never used anti-inflammatory medications or numbing creams during waxing. Waxing your underarms is one of those things where you get used to the pain over time. The more you wax, the less painful it will be each time.

When I first used wax on my underarms, it really did hurt a lot. But my mom has waxed since she was young and told me that I'll get used to it. I really did! Now I barely feel anything when I wax.

So I guess our pain threshold increases as we continue waxing. I feel like using pain-relievers or numbing creams would actually prevent that. You would never get used to the pain and even after years of doing it, it would hurt a lot without the medications. I personally think it's better to just stick it out.

Allergies or irritation is a whole different issue though. I've noticed that some wax brands are less harsh on the skin than others. I also always follow up waxing with a warm shower and a soothing lotion like aloe vera lotion.

serenesurface
Post 1

I've been waxing my underarms for years. Not only should the underarm hair be long enough for it to properly stick to the wax, but it also shouldn't be too long.

If it's too long, it will be extremely painful because a lot more hair will catch on at once then intended, even if the hair is not where you applied the wax. So what this does is that it tags on these hairs when you're removing the wax but doesn't actually pull them out. I made this mistake the first time I waxed my underarms and it was so painful.

So now I wait for the perfect length to wax- not too short and not too long. If it ends up getting too long, I just use a small cosmetic scissors to trim them down a little bit.

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