What Is Armpit Hair
Armpit hair is hair that naturally occurs at the underarms, otherwise known as the axilla. This type of hair, also known as axillary hair, can sometimes be thick, coarse and curly, but can also be fine and delicate and usually matches the colour of the hair on your head. Armpit hair generally begins to grow around puberty, finishes growing around the end of your teenage years, and remains for the rest of your adult life.
While the exact function of underarm hair is not known, it is theorized that hair at the underarms grows to help wick away moisture and prevent the development of bacteria on the skin, as the underarms have prominent sweat glands which can encourage the growth of harmful bacteria.
Why Do People Remove Armpit Hair?
Although armpit hair is entirely natural, some people consider its appearance to be unsightly, and remove it for purely aesthetic reasons, especially in the summer months, when short-sleeved and sleeveless apparel may reveal underarm hair. In addition, some athletes, including swimmers, remove most body hair – including armpit hair – to help improve performance and speed. In some cultures, such as Islam, armpit hair is removed for reasons of cleanliness.
What Are Different Types of Hair?
There are two different types of hair that grow in different places on your body. The first type of hair, vellus hair is soft, fine, and short. On women, this type of hair is common on the chest, face and back, and helps to provide the body with some insulation to encourage the maintenance of a steady body temperature. While vellus hair is most often very fine, it can be darker and more noticeable on some people.
The second type of hair, known as terminal hair, is coarse, long, and darker than vellus hair. This type of hair grows on your head, as well as at the public region and the underarms. On men, this type of hair also appears on the upper body, including the chest, abdomen, and the back.
Some individuals may experience what is known as hirsutism, which is excessive hair growth. In women, this often results in darker hair growth on the chest, belly and back.
How to Get Rid of Armpit Hair
There are a number of ways you can get rid of armpit hair, including methods that offer temporary and permanent results.
Shaving your armpit hair is a cheap, effective way to temporarily remove armpit hair that can be done at home. While shaving offers immediate results, the hair will grow back in time, and you will need to shave consistently in order to maintain hairless underarms. In addition, purchasing razors can become costly over time.
Removing your armpit hairs individually using tweezers is another effective way to eliminate underarm hair. However, this method is extremely time-consuming, and while the hair will grow back more slowly than it would from shaving, the hair will still return.
Hair-removal creams are available over the counter at most drug stores and pharmacies, and can work to remove underarm hair. However, like plucking and shaving, these types of creams offer only temporary results. In addition, they may contain ingredients that some people might find irritating to the skin.
This type of treatment targets individual hair follicles with an electric current, eventually killing the hair permanently and preventing regrowth. While the procedure eventually results in the permanent removal of hair, this type of procedure can be time-consuming and costly.
For those with hirsutism, there are options that can be prescribed by your doctor to treat the growth of unwanted hair, including underarm hair. These prescriptions include creams, such as Vaniqa, that inhibit hair growth. These types of prescriptions are generally only available to those for whom excessive hair growth is a medical concern, and not those who wish to eliminate excess hair, such as armpit hair, for aesthetic reasons only.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal uses laser energy to reduce growth and permanently eliminate unwanted hair. Over the course of 5-8 treatments lasting between 15 to 30 minutes, technicians can permanently remove 50-80% of unwanted body hair, including armpit hair. Treatments are generally affordable, and result in minimal irritation.