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Underarm Waxing: 5 Tips for Waxing Your Underarms (Armpits) at Home

Updated on October 2, 2010

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.

We all want smooth underarms with no hair that look like this
We all want smooth underarms with no hair that look like this

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!

Clean and dry your armpits first!
Clean and dry your armpits first!

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!

Hold your arm up straight above your head to stretch the skin
Hold your arm up straight above your head to stretch the skin

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.

I recommend the Parissa brand of cold wax strips. I use them every time!
I recommend the Parissa brand of cold wax strips. I use them every time!

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.

Wax against the direction of hair growth
Wax against the direction of hair growth

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!

Do you prefer to wax or shave your underarms?

See results

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!
  • After 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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    • profile image

      Jazmin 3 years ago

      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?

    • profile image

      LisaKeating 3 years ago

      Sounds time consuming. Thanks for the info and the tips.

    • profile image

      mickeyz 4 years ago

      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 profile image

      Carrie Lee Night 4 years ago from Northeast United States

      Good hub :). thank you for sharing.

    • K Kiss profile image

      K Kiss 4 years ago from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

      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

    • profile image

      Rosemary 4 years ago

      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 profile image

      Carrie Lee Night 4 years ago from Northeast United States

      Voted up and useful.

    • profile image

      Lauren 4 years ago

      Hi Lovelies,

      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

    • profile image

      lesliebyars 4 years ago

      I voted up, useful and informative. This is not a hugely talked about subject. Thank you for your insight.

    • Manju Modiyani profile image

      Manju Modiyani 6 years ago from India

      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.

      Do visit


    • profile image

      Sarah 6 years ago

      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!

      Sincerely Sarah

      Michigan Licensed Cosmetologist

    • profile image

      Sarah 6 years ago

      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!

      Sincerely Sarah

      Michigan Licensed Cosmetologist

    • profile image

      memetron 6 years ago

      Can I use deodorant after I wax my underarm?

    • ambassadornchains profile image

      ambassadornchains 6 years ago

      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!

    • profile image

      Gail 6 years ago

      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.

    • profile image

      hyorin 6 years ago

      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.

    • profile image

      Gemma 6 years ago

      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 profile image

      howtoremovehair 7 years ago

      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 profile image

      faria_lupin 7 years ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

      i feel scary :(

    • profile image

      white sundress 7 years ago

      It seems waxing is better than shave. I will give it a try...thanks, Melisa

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      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 profile image

      PurpleOne 7 years ago from Canada

      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 profile image

      Beautyrama 7 years ago

      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 profile image

      PurpleOne 7 years ago from Canada

      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 profile image

      JohnH2 7 years ago from Rockwall, TX

      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 profile image

      PurpleOne 7 years ago from Canada

      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 profile image

      omcj1234 7 years ago

      Still seems pretty scary.

    • yenajeon profile image

      yenajeon 7 years ago from California

      Very informative and thorough. Can you do one on at-home bikini waxing? I've wanted to try it to save the $60 bucks!

    • profile image

      Pol 7 years ago

      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 profile image

      FirstStepsFitness 7 years ago

      Welcome to HubPages ! Great article really informative for those of us who are tired of shaving :)

    • profile image

       7 years ago

      Good tips thanks

    • PurpleOne profile image

      PurpleOne 7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks, candle62, glad you found it helpful! I have to do some waxing tomorrow, unfortunately.

    • candle62 profile image

      candle62 7 years ago from London

      There are some great tips here for waxing, very informative, Thankyou


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