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How to Remove Body Hair Naturally for Women
As much as people deny it, everyone has body hair and facial hair. Depending on your personal preference, you may want to get rid of body hair in less than ideal places. There are several methods for body hair removal that are common to most people, especially women, but each of them comes with its own pros and cons, and likely aren’t permanent.
In this article, we’ll be talking about the different kinds of natural hair removal treatment so you can find the method that works best for you, your (unwanted) hair, and your skin!
What kills hair follicles naturally?
Your hair is made up of a tough protein called keratin, and each hair strand has a follicle that anchors it to your skin. The hair follicle is the root of your problem, literally. Hair follicles are responsible for your hair growth, color, and even how straight or curly it gets. Even if you pluck the hair from it, a new hair is sure to grow back soon. Basically, what you want to do is to destroy the hair follicles so it never gets a chance to grow back more hair.
Can you permanently remove body hair without a side effect?
Contrary to most marketing claims, there aren’t a lot of permanent hair removal methods. As we’ve previously mentioned, shaving or waxing your legs and plucking your unwanted facial hair just don’t cut it (pun intended). The following are some of the most effective long-term hair removal techniques and methods that you can try.
Laser Hair Removal
Lasers can target and destroy the hair follicle without causing damage to the surrounding skin. Although it won’t completely get rid of the hairs, it does diminish hair growth to the point that you don’t need to shave anymore. This treatment can be done on any part of your body with unwanted hair growth, with the exception of your eye area, and is considerably cheaper than electrolysis. This results in new hairs growing back finer and lighter, which works best for people with fairer skin and dark hair.
Electrolysis is an incredibly effective permanent hair removal remedy, yet it is also the most expensive process. This is the method that destroys the hair follicles to prevent new hairs from growing.
It basically uses electric currents that are conducted through fine needles and placed directly on the hair follicle. Unlike shaving and waxing, electrolysis destroys the follicle preventing any new hair growth.This is obviously not one of the at-home hair removal methods as it can only be done by board-certified dermatologists.
The side effects include pain and redness from skin irritation, and it will take many sessions before you can see any results. One session can cost $30-100, so people have to take all this into consideration before trying out this treatment.
Another alternative to shaving and waxing is using a hair removal cream. A hair removal cream or depilatory cream breaks down the protein in each hair strand until it dissolves. This is actually one of the least painful ways to remove hair as the dissolved hair can then be easily wiped away.
A hair removal cream is generally safe to use, but it still contains various harmful chemicals. Carelessness when using these creams for hair removal results in possible rashes, blisters, or even chemical burns.
Chemical Hair Removers
Other than topical creams, one of the ways people can remove unwanted hair naturally is through the process of using chemical products. There are some chemicals in everyday items that we use that can damage hair follicles. Some of these chemicals are:
- Sodium Hydroxide and Calcium Hydroxide (Lime and Lye). This combination increases the hair’s PH level until the acidity destroys the follicles.
- Sodium Chloride (Table salt). While table salt isn’t toxic, it can dry out your scalp resulting in hair loss.
- Potassium Thioglycolate. An active ingredient in hair removal creams, it breaks down hair proteins and dissolves follicles.
- Thioglycolic Acid. This does not directly damage hair follicles. But it destroys the protein structure in the hair and skin, making it difficult for the follicle to grow hair.
- Diethanolamine (DEA). This synthetic ingredient makes your hair dull, brittle and lifeless – effectively killing it.
- Propylene Glycol. It damages cell membranes cutting off nutrient supply in the follicles. This prevents it from growing more hair.
- Potassium Hydroxide. This extremely corrosive chemical also damages cells responsible for hair growth.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. A common ingredient in shampoos, it strips the hair of essential proteins and oil. This results in slower hair growth, breakage, or hair loss.
Best Natural Body Hair Removal Methods
Expensive and/or chemical treatments may sound like great hair removal options. But if those methods don’t sit right with you, there are always natural hair removal methods that you can prepare and use at home. From pumice stones to sugar wax, there are plenty of ways to remove body hair naturally and without harming your skin. A few of these ways include:
1. Raw Papaya Paste with Turmeric
Not only is papaya a delicious summer fruit, it’s also great for taking care of your skin, plus it’s a key ingredient in one of the methods for natural hair removal.
Mash a small amount of raw papaya in a bowl until it turns into papaya pulp. Add 1-2 tablespoons of turmeric powder to the papaya pulp and mix the two into a paste. Apply the turmeric and papaya mixture to the parts of your skin with unwanted body hair, such as your forearms and legs, and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before you wash off with warm water. You can apply this once or twice a week regularly for 2-3 months. (Note that turmeric/turmeric powder might cause yellow staining on your clothes and body so handle it with care.)
Papaya, and by nature, papaya pulp contains the enzyme papain. Papain from papaya works to reduce hair growth, while turmeric has a long list of its many benefits. For those of you who don’t know, turmeric is a bright yellow, fragrant spice that has been used as a natural beauty remedy since ancient times.
Turmeric can be used as a hair cleanser because of its antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Like papaya, turmeric’s primary service is to weaken hair follicles but is mostly used to get rid of unwanted facial hair. Combined, turmeric and papaya become a fantastic hair removal method that will help get rid of unwanted hair naturally.
2. Cornstarch and Egg
This peel-off mask is another natural (and skin-friendly!) hair removal technique that can be made with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry at home.
Separate the egg white from one raw egg and mix it with a teaspoon of cornstarch and sugar. Layer the paste on your legs or other areas of your skin with unwanted hair, increasing the amount as you go. You’ll start to feel the egg mask tightening on your skin after about 20-30 minutes. Peel off the mask against the direction the hair is growing in and pat dry.
The sugar and cornstarch will work as a mild exfoliant that will help remove hair and dead skin cells. The egg white has pore-tightening properties that will nourish your skin.
3. Sugar, Honey, and Lemon
If you’ve ever tried waxing your legs and other body hair off before, then you’re ready to try out this more natural method using these delicious ingredients. This concoction is what’s called a sugar wax. A sugar wax is a gentle alternative to traditional waxing. This method works the same way as waxing and uses waxing strips to peel off hair in different areas.
Start with mixing a tablespoon each of sugar, honey, and lemon in a metal bowl. Heat it gently until it forms a wax-like paste. Apply the sugar wax on a small part of your body with unwanted hair growth. Cover the area with a waxing strip, pat gently, and peel it off against the direction of your hair growth.
Similar to traditional waxing, you should do this in small increments all over your legs, bikini line, or even on your chest hair. Take your time to moisturize afterwards to prevent drying out your skin. If traditional waxing methods irritate certain body parts, sugar waxing is a gentler alternative.
People often use honey for its antibacterial properties and as a great moisturizer, while sugar is one of the ways to help exfoliate the skin. On the other hand, the lemon is an effective skin bleach making this combo a fantastic method to getting rid of unwanted hair naturally! The results are smooth, hairless skin that lasts a few weeks. You may try adding aloe vera (gel or raw) into the mixture if you feel like your skin needs a little extra moisture.
4. Potato and Lentils Paste
Similar to the first natural hair removal solution, this paste makes for an easy application process that you leave on and wash off with water. This does take some preparation as the process starts with you soaking a cup of lentils in water overnight. This will make it easier for you to grind it into a paste the next day.
The next step is to grate a medium-sized potato and extract the juice using a spoon or a cloth. Mix the two juices together and add a tablespoon of honey and lemon. Let it sit and dry on the parts of your skin with unwanted hair. Once it dries, you can rub it off with your fingers and wash with lukewarm water.
Potatoes are some of the best natural active bleaching agents that will help lighten the hairs and surrounding skin, while also aiding to remove hair in the places you don’t want them to grow. When mixed with lentils, the paste is one of the ways that will help remove hair naturally.
5. Baking Soda and Turmeric
The many benefits of turmeric rise again in this natural hair removal remedy. If you have a bottle of turmeric powder and baking soda in your pantry, then you’re already set to try this hair removal method.
Mix together one tablespoon each of baking soda and turmeric powder while adding water gradually until it forms a paste. Gently massage the turmeric paste onto the areas of body hair that you want to get rid of and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. After that, just wash the turmeric and baking soda mixture off with lukewarm water and pat dry.(Note that turmeric/turmeric powder might cause some yellow staining on your clothes and body so handle it with care.)
Our favorite powerhouse ingredient, turmeric, brings its antioxidant properties to the table once again to remove hair naturally. While turmeric is used to remove hair from the skin, it does not kill hair follicles. Turmeric could stimulate blood flow and induce hair follicle growth. Combine turmeric with the gentle exfoliant, baking soda, and you’re one step closer to never shaving your body hair again!
6. Oatmeal and Banana Scrub
This delicious-smelling body scrub not only gently exfoliates your skin, it also gets rid of unwanted body hair.
This natural hair removal method requires you to mash one banana and mix it with two tablespoons of oatmeal. Apply the mixture on regions with body hair that you want to get rid off and massage in the opposite direction to that of your hair growth. Let it sit for 20 minutes before rinsing off with cold water and patting dry.
Not only does it get rid of body hair, unwanted facial hair, and even chest hair, it also reduces the rate of hair growth, leaving you with silky smooth skin for longer!
7. Oil Massage
Can you believe you spent all this time suffering through shaving your legs and waxing your bikini line, when the ultimate body hair removal answer was just in an oil massage?
A massage using coconut, castor, mustard, tea tree, or sesame oil is another natural hair removal method that combines heat, friction, and moisture to thin and lighten the hair. It also helps to close the hair roots over time — which sounds amazing to me.
8. Garlic Juice
I don’t know if it’ll be enough to keep away vampires, but the sulphur, selenium, and zinc in garlic are a great way to keep unsightly facial hair, or any other hair for that matter, away from your beautiful body.
Pick and smash a few garlic cloves and extract the juice. This hair removal method works by dipping a cotton ball in the garlic juice and applying it on the areas of your skin where you want to remove hair naturally from. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes and rinse completely with warm water. Follow it up with a moisturizer to get rid of that garlicky smell (or don’t, if that’s what you’re into).
9. Chamomile Tea
Unlike the previous ingredient, chamomile tea is made from daisy-like flowers that smell light and sweet. Chamomile tea was once a frequently used method for lightening hair. What actually happens is that your hair absorbs the golden yellow color of chamomile. The results of the lightened hair shows up better in the sun, and will vary depending on your hair color.
To use this on your body hair, steep two bags of chamomile tea for a few minutes and allow it to cool. Apply it on the areas of your skin that have some hair and leave it on for 20 minutes. This method to lighten hair naturally must be continuously done at home every week for a few months. Try it out for yourself and the results might surprise you!
Hair removal is, more often than not, an aesthetic choice as opposed to a necessary one. Depending on the time of the year, body hair might be unsightly in some areas of the skin than most. The important part of body hair removal that we should remember is that it’s your choice how much of your hair you want to get rid of and how you do it.
Getting rid of hair via chemical means might be efficient for you or maybe natural hair removal methods are what interest you. At the end of the day, your body — skin, hair, and all — is completely yours!
Frequently Asked Questions:
How can I remove body hair permanently at home?
Removing body hair at home can be tricky. We’re all used to short-term methods like shaving, waxing, and creams, but the results aren’t always ideal as the hairs tend to grow back in such a short amount of time. Maintaining the treated skin after shaving and waxing can be difficult, too.
Shaving and waxing have their own disadvantages. Short-term results are one of them. Often, the biggest reason we turn to shaving is out of convenience and the fact that shaving doesn’t require the help of a professional. However, shaving can also cause all sorts of unwanted situations like chicken skin, small stumps growing back quickly, and shaving cuts.
Waxing is also not for everyone, as it tends to dry out the skin and can even lead to ingrown hairs. However, there are natural waxing methods that are less irritating. Sugar waxing is one of these ways, and we go into detail in the section above.
Since neither shaving or waxing are permanent solutions to one’s problems with unwanted hair growth, you might want to check out semi-permanent ways to do so. There is no way to permanently remove hair at home, but with some effort, you may be able to permanently or semi-permanently reduce hair growth with store-bought devices or DIY pastes and scrubs that you can make at home.
One of the ways to remove hair without having to go to the clinic for a session is to consult with your dermatologist or licensed healthcare professional about prescription creams. Prescription creams can be used to destroy unwanted hairs by the root in order to prevent them from growing further.
Unlike shaving or waxing, you’ll actually get long-term results with these professional treatments. Just be prepared to spend a little!
How can I permanently remove hair from my stomach naturally?
Like we said above, in order to (almost) permanently remove hair from any body part, you’ll have to go beyond the usual shaving creams and waxing. A diode laser treatment is the go-to among Filipinas as it can accommodate different skin tones.
Is laser hair removal permanent?
Hair removal via a laser treatment is not permanent, but it does effectively stunt the growth of hair on the body for a long period of time. After the initial sessions, most people need only to go back once every 1-2 years for a touch-up. Even though you’ll be making a big investment, it certainly beats the high-maintenance methods of shaving and waxing body hair.
Joey is an AB Psychology graduate of the University of St. La Salle – Bacolod. Her life’s passions include writing, film, and spending hours on end binge-watching fashion vloggers on Youtube.