Most women know what a pain shaving can be and that includes under your arms! I recently discovered the freedom that comes from underarm waxing (or armpit waxing to be less polite) and for me, there's no going back. While having your armpits waxed at a salon might be an option for some, for others of us, it's just too expensive at up to $50 an appointment.
Besides, doing your own armpit waxing at home is pretty convenient, relatively painless (compared to the mental pain of shaving every two days), not that expensive and can leave your underarms smooth for around two weeks although everyone is different on this.
While doing your own underarm waxing is pretty simple, it took me a couple of tries to perfect my technique. Read on for 5 underarm waxing tips you can use at home.
Underarm Waxing Tip #1
Make sure your hair is the right length
- Before you begin your underarm waxing, you want to make sure that your hair is the proper length. If it's too short, there will not be enough hair for the wax to stick to and if it's too long, the wax will get too stuck in the hair, creating a mess and making the hair harder to come off. Ideally, your hair should be around 1/4 inch long. If you need to, use a little pair of scissors to trim your hair down to this length. If it's too short, you'll just have to wait a bit longer!
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Underarm Waxing Tip #2
Make sure your underarms are clean and dry
- Take the time to clean and dry your armpits well before you begin! If they're too sweaty, the wax will not stick properly to them. Make sure you don't have deodorant on either as the wax sometimes has a hard time sticking to it. Preparation is key!
Underarm Waxing Tip #3
Your underarm skin has to be pulled tight. Figure out how to do this
- I discovered the hard way that if you just hold your arm up enough to put the wax on and pull it off, that the wax doesn't come off very well because it gets stuck in the folds of your skin. What I do, is put my arm up high above my head and hold onto the top of a door and pull my body weight down. This way the skin is pulled as tightly as possible and I can then just apply the wax strip and pull! If you have someone who can help you, perhaps just get them to pull your skin tight and it might work just as well.
Underarm Waxing Tip #4
Use cold wax strips that come in a box, ready to use
- I have tried both hot wax and cold wax for my underarm waxing and I much prefer the cold wax strips! They're not as messy, they're more convenient and I just find that they work better because they seem to provide just the right amount of wax whereas with hot wax, it's very easy to use too much and then it just gets stuck and is hard to get off! There are many brands of cold wax strips available these days but the type that I like is by a brand called Parissa. Make sure you buy the type specifically for underarm waxing called Parissa Wax Strips Underarm, Bikini and Face (shown on right). This box comes with 3 different sizes and some are meant for bikini and face but if you don't need to wax there too, just use them all for your underarms! Experiment with what brand works best for you. I have found the wax of some brands to be so dry that it's pretty much useless.
Underarm Waxing Tip #5
Pull the wax strip off against the direction of hair growth
- This can be a bit tricky because unlike your legs, the hair under your arms often grows in all directions. This means that you will probably have to wax in all directions for best results. I recommend only doing a small area at a time and seeing what works best. I find that trying to do the whole underarm at one time doesn't work very well but if your underarms are not very hairy and the hair is not very coarse, you might be able to get away with it!
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Some final underarm waxing words of wisdom:
- Let's be honest here, while the pain is certainly manageable, it's going to hurt. A couple of times, I've had a bit of bleeding but nothing too bad and whether you even experience this or not will depend on how sensitive your skin is. You may find that taking a couple of Advil an hour before your waxing can help with the pain. I'm not a Doctor!
you're finished with your armpit waxing, a bit of wax will probably
still be stuck under there. Most cold wax strip kits like the one by
Parissa come with an oil based wax remover that works pretty well. I
usually also take a shower after I'm finished with my underarm waxing to
scrub off any remaining wax.
- I find it's pretty hard to get every single hair out so for any remaining stubborn hairs, I take a pair of tweezers and pull them out.
- The more you do this, the finer your hairs will become and the less it will hurt. This has certainly been true for me!
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Jazmin on July 15, 2014:
how do you deal with upkeep? if it has to be 1 fourth of an inch to be waxable then how do you deal with it having to grow so you can wax it?
LisaKeating on June 22, 2014:
Sounds time consuming. Thanks for the info and the tips.
mickeyz on May 02, 2014:
Just got up the courage to try on my own today. It was really not as bad as I made it out to be in my head. I used a hot wax because it is what I had at home and it was a little messy but worked well and not much pain. Trying to figure out now if I can safely use deodorant/antiperspirant. It is morning and I want to get going. Next time I will do at night.
Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on April 05, 2014:
Good hub :). thank you for sharing.
K Kiss from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK on March 13, 2014:
Now it makes sense. I tried once at home and gave up.It was a mess!! Maybe I will try it again by referring to your hub. Thanks
Rosemary on March 13, 2014:
I went today wanting to wax my underarm but the salon lady said it wasn't long enough have to wait atleast for two weeks! So with that being said I have to b walking around with hairy ass underarms for 2 weeks ! That's a big NO NO !
Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on October 20, 2013:
Voted up and useful.
Lauren on August 15, 2013:
Just so you know you should NEVER shower within an hour of a wax. So 30 minutes before and after your wax. This is because of the rick of 1. infection and 2. the increased chance of permanent scarring.
If you have a few bits of wax left on the skin, use some after wax oil or rub some baby oil on it (non fragranced) to soften it and after a minute it will just wipe off!
Just remember, while it is cheaper then going to a professional, a beauty therapist (cosmetologist) is a professional for a reason and they understand all the risks of the procedure and the proper means to wax you.
Many people do not realise it is not always safe to wax or have another beauty treatment due to a medication or medical condition they may have such as diabetes, one of the many perks of visiting a professional (a true professional gets you to fill in a client card and checks its accurate every few months).
So please check with a doctor to see if you are safe before attempting any beauty procedure on your own if you do take medication :)
Lauren - Beauty Therapist
lesliebyars on July 06, 2013:
I voted up, useful and informative. This is not a hugely talked about subject. Thank you for your insight.
Manju Modiyani from India on April 19, 2012:
Nice tips...though hot wax works the best for me...just 5 minutes and its done! 5 minutes flat! Actually disposable wax strips don't work well for underarms waxing.
I prefer using cloth strips and it makes the hair come out in just 1 swipe, doesn't hurt much. For finer hair that are left out I then use disposable waxing strips, with a second application of wax.
Sarah on February 23, 2012:
To Answer Memetron,
Do not use Deodorant after your waxing procedure for 24 hours. You are pulling off the top layer of you're skin. Doing so can cause irritation, rashes, ingrown hairs, and could possibly leave you feeling like your underarms are burning. Also Avoiding tight clothing, or anything that is going to rub against your underarms is for the best. Tight clothing can cause irritation, possible ingrown hairs, and could cause a rash. This is only for 24 hours! Then you can go back to your normal routine.
Hope this helps you out!
Best Of Luck!
Michigan Licensed Cosmetologist
Sarah on February 23, 2012:
When waxing my armpits, I find that holding your arm all the way up, and having your hand rest of your back, is the easiest way to have your skin as taunt as possible by yourself. Also, if you're afraid of pain as much as I am when waxing, don't look in the mirror when you rip off the strip. Stand the opposite way from it. I personally like to sit on my bed, makes me comfortable, and I temporarily forget i'm about to cause myself alittle pain.
Hope these tips can help someone that needs them.
Best Of Luck!
Michigan Licensed Cosmetologist
memetron on February 22, 2012:
Can I use deodorant after I wax my underarm?
ambassadornchains on October 12, 2011:
Great hub! I am really bad a waxing...I have the Shoba Sugaring Kit and it is pretty awesome, but so much work! I may try out those Parissa wax strips. Have you tried the bikini strips by any chance? Thanks!
Gail on September 20, 2011:
Good tips. If you are really touchy about pain, take asperin, or whatever pain reliever that you use, about two hours prior. Don't wax when you have PMS. It will hurt even worse then.
Waxing yourself is hard, but I do it, but then again, I'm an esthetician.
hyorin on August 25, 2011:
if it's hot wax you should test the temperature of the wax first before you put it in your underarm. Usually you should wait for a few secs after heating, but not long enough or else it'll dry fast.
Gemma on August 16, 2011:
Yesterday i waxed after reading these tips and omggg the pain idk if i did it right because currently im sitting here with ice packs underneath my pits
howtoremovehair on February 07, 2011:
These are great waxing tips. Waxing provides wonderful results that shaving. Hair removal through shaving is not advisable because it can cause dark underarms.
faria_lupin from Dhaka, Bangladesh on January 11, 2011:
i feel scary :(
white sundress on December 18, 2010:
It seems waxing is better than shave. I will give it a try...thanks, Melisa
prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on December 04, 2010:
Great tips from you. I really enjoy this hub. I'll show this information to my sister. She'll love this. Thank you very much! Prasetio:)
PurpleOne (author) from Canada on September 18, 2010:
Beautyrama - That is good to hear! I'm hoping to get to the point where my underarm hair is mere peach fuzz or not even, like yours.
Beautyrama on September 16, 2010:
Excellent tips. I started waxing my underarms when I was in my early twenties and now the hair is barely even peach fuzz. Highly recommend waxing over any other method.
PurpleOne (author) from Canada on September 15, 2010:
JohnH2 - I'm very happy that I do not have to shave my upper lip daily or ever because I agree that it would be a hassle. While shaving your upper lip might be more annoying than shaving under your arms, shaving under your arms is still more annoying than waxing them in my opinion!
JohnH2 from Rockwall, TX on September 15, 2010:
I can't understand why shaving the underarms is such a bad thing (I do it all the time). It is much less of a hassle than shaving the upper lip, which as a man I have to do daily to be clean-shaven. Trust me, the upper lip is a very tricky and difficult place to shave.
PurpleOne (author) from Canada on September 14, 2010:
FirstStepFitness - thanks!
Pol - unfortunately, in order to get a good underarm wax, you will just simply have to wait until your hair is long enough. No way around that! If you're getting redness after your wax, try some aloe vera gel to get some relief. Some people do react more than others when it comes to waxing. You might find that anti-redness products for shaving also work for waxing. You should be able to find these in your drug store!
omcj1234 - it's not that scary! I can think of many more scary things than ripping hair out from under your arms!
yenajeon - I just posted a hub on at home Brazilian waxing. I hope it helps you! Here is the link:
omcj1234 on September 14, 2010:
Still seems pretty scary.
Yena Williams from California on September 13, 2010:
Very informative and thorough. Can you do one on at-home bikini waxing? I've wanted to try it to save the $60 bucks!
Pol on September 13, 2010:
thanks for the tips but a problem often occurs is that i alws have to wait for hair to grow long til then i cant wax them as it doesn't work, any solution for it? and after doin with cold wax- those ready to use- often make mi skin red and scratchy and left marks, what medicine should i use then, can i use normal antiseptic ? Pol
FirstStepsFitness on September 05, 2010:
Welcome to HubPages ! Great article really informative for those of us who are tired of shaving :)
on August 28, 2010:
Good tips thanks
PurpleOne (author) from Canada on August 26, 2010:
Thanks, candle62, glad you found it helpful! I have to do some waxing tomorrow, unfortunately.
candle62 from London on August 26, 2010:
There are some great tips here for waxing, very informative, Thankyou