Friday, August 13, 2010

Sugaring Your Own Armpits

Just like the bikini area, the first time you do this it will not be fun.  If you keep up with it, it stops hurting because there is comparatively much less hair.  Sugaring your own armpits can be intimidating, but the right technique can make it pretty easy.  You will need moderate shoulder flexibility.

There are three main reasons for sugaring your armpits.  The first is that it grows back pretty fast, so shaving it daily is a must.  As we all know, daily shaving can cause irritation, ingrowns, etc.  The second is that if you have thick or dark hair, you can still see the hair follicle through the relatively thin skin in that area regardless or how closely you shave.  The third is that the hair in your armpits is a huge culprit for body odor.  Remember when you were ten years old?  You didn't need deodorant then.  Although some of that is related to hormones, some of that is related to the fact that those hormones caused hair growth in your armpits.  Don't believe me?  Don't shave your armpits for a few days and see how much even a little hair makes a difference.  My theory is that moisture plus hair is a great place for bacteria to grow.  Shaving helps a lot.  Sugaring/waxing removes the hair by the roots, which is even better.  I don't wear deodorant most of the time because I sugar my armpits and my hair starts to stink before I do.  This is good to know if you are planning a camping, backpacking or plane trip during which you will have little to no access to a shower.

Here's the technique:

Find a wall mirror.  The one in your bathroom is likely the best, since it is private and also close to water.  Start with clean, dry armpits free of deodorant residue.  I suggest dusting the skin to be sugared with talc or corn starch.  Lift the arm to be sugared straight up (and maybe slightly out to the side to stretch out your skin) and lean against the mirror or wall right next to the mirror.  Now you can use the mirror to see what you're doing instead of trying to strain your eyes and neck.  Also, the skin under your arms should be taut in this position.

Find the direction of hair growth and apply sugar paste against this direction.  Let it sit for a moment and then remove the paste with the direction of hair growth in one firm pull parallel to the skin.  Do not pull outward.  Repeat.  Once all the hair is removed, rinse the area with warm water to remove the sticky residue.  Follow with a cool water rinse.  Dry your hands and repeat the process with the other arm.

Awesome Tip of the Day:  Most likely, the hair under your arms grows in two main directions.  Most people have one main horizontal crease.  What is above that grows in one direction and what is below that grows in another.  In the middle, there may be a swirly area.  You may have to do two pulls over that area.

If this is your first time sugaring or waxing your armpits, you should not work in sections larger than your pinky finger.  Just don't.  If you have been sugaring or waxing this area, you should be able to do the whole thing in one to three pulls.  I usually try to do mine in one regardless of the direction of hair growth because I like to get it done quickly.  The hair grows back then and sparse since I do this often, so it doesn't really matter.

For more information on sugaring, the sugar paste recipe and cooking instructions, click here.
For instructions specific to sugaring/waxing your own bikini area, click here.
For the sugar paste recipe revision for hot weather climates, click here.


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  2. Hey, so the other day I tried sugaring my armpits for the first time ( I had used other methods before). It kinda hurt the first time (I only pulled a few hairs off and I didn't have time to keep after it) so I went back to it after a couple of days. This time I managed to get almost all of them out... however I still have like a few hairs that just refuse to be pulled out! It's not like they are short (I am pretty sure they are more than 1/4 of an inch) and I have powdered the area over again, tried many different directions of applying the wax and trying to pull it out. It didn't work... so I was wondering if you have any suggestions for that. Also, the area kinda resembles what my armpits looked like when I used to shave them (they have like a dark-ish tinge). What should I do to get rid of this?

    1. When I used to get my armpits waxed, the technician would tweeze the extra hairs. Its not super good to to over the area too many times, even with sugar paste. Plus, there are usually few enough that plucking only takes a minute.
      Oh my god please do not put yogurt and lemon on an area you have waxed within at least a day, preferably 3 or 4 days. Ow.

      I used to get bruising/bleeding, if that is what the dark spot is. Try applying pressure for a few seconds with your hand on each spot immediately after you remove the hair. And remember to keep the skin as taught as you can.

    2. That dark tinge could be from an aluminum buildup too (if it's been there for awhile). Switch to a deodorant that DOES NOT say "antiperspirant"; Tom's brand is the most widely accessible but I use spray-on deodorants now, which fixed my problem.

  3. Oh, sorry I didn't see this until now. First thing, you will encounter stubborn hairs now and then. Usually, I will just put a spot of paste over the hair with my finger and swirl the direction, then pull it off. If the doesn't work, I just tweeze it or pull it out with my fingers.

    The darkish tinge could be one of two things I can think of right off the top. The first one is that, since you just ripped out the hair from your skin, there might be a little blood in the hair follicle. That should be gone in a day or two and will happen less and less. The second is that you may just have an actual difference in skin color there. This is not unheard of. My elbows and knees are darker for me as are my eyelids (people think I'm wearing makeup sometimes). I hope you see this response.

  4. I forgot to mention, If you keep pulling the same area over and over again in a sensitive area, sometimes you get a little bruising. Maybe that is the difference in color?

  5. Sour cream.mixed with lemon juice, or Greek yogurt and lemon juice will get rid of dark underarms...just paste the mixture on ur pits and let air for 20 mins :) try it out twice a week

  6. Gosh I hope you answer even though this post is super it took me 2 tries to make the right sugaring paste (or taffy, as my husband calls it). The first time it was super hard and I bruised. I made a second batch(a small batch using water, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and salt) and it worked well. bikini line came up pretty great. Bit when I tried my legs and armpits...ooooooh my it was NOT fun. I had to go over the hair a gazillion times and it STILL didn't come up. I'm not saying none came up...just not a whole lot. Like maybe 10-20 hairs at a time. And talk about painful????!!! OT was excruciating, especially the armpits. And I bled. Quite a bit. Enough to make the wax gooey. What in the WORLD am I doing wrong????

    1. If the hair in those areas is much thinner than your bikini area, you may need a slightly softer mix. Also, keep in mind that the hair in the underarm area tends to grow in different directions and applying the paste in small sections keeping those directions in mind may help. If it is an issue of sweatiness, you may need to dust with powder.

      That said, don't get to crazy with it if it's not working out for you. Take a break and come back to it later, or another day for that matter. This is way better than leaving yourself sore and bruised.

      As for bleeding...I bleed in areas with thicker hair and thinner skin. It gets better but for some people it will always happen a little bit in these areas. Just wash yourself with a gentle soap afterward and avoid sweating a lot afterward so it stays clean.

      More details about the difference in weather, hair type, skin type, technique, etc between the bikini and other areas would help give me and other posters some insight.

  7. I've never tried sugaring before but I want to try waxing my underarms. Unfortunately, I don't have all the ingredients. Is it really a need to use lemon juice or is it just optional?

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