While Miley Cyrus champions armpit hair (and even made hers into a wig), most of us are way more inclined to get rid. Either way, we've got your back. But it's definitely worth noting there are heaps of hair removal myths that need to be busted before you remove your spring coat (we all pushed our hair growth out a little longer this year, right?). So we've debunked the BS for you. You're welcome.
1. It's OK to tweeze ingrown hairs.
In short, hell no. Picking, squeezing and tweezing ingrowns can cause irritation and even lead to infections (if that happens, naughty you, but also, see your GP). To avoid ingrown altogether, try laser hair removal.
2. Your hair grows back thicker after you've shaved.
Hairs naturally taper towards their ends but once you shave them off, your hairs are left with a blunt tip which looks and feels thicker. That's because the blunt tip is thicker than the tapered end and it has been all along.
3. Laser hair removal is always permanent.
Although laser hair removal is very effective, you'll need a course of treatments to see a decrease in your hair growth. That said, you may experience some regrowth so maintenance treatments are the way to go. It's better to think of laser as permanent hair reduction as opposed to removal.
4. Laser hair removal costs a fortune.
Nope. More than anything, it's important to do your research to ensure the salon is using medical grade, TGA-approved equipment and the therapist performing your treatment has adequate training and experience. Clearskincare Clinics Australia offer hair removal from just $10.
5. You shouldn't shave between laser treatments.
It's actually fine to shave before your laser treatment as the base of the hair will still be in the follicle and can be effectively treated – this is because the hair shaft absorbs the laser.
6. A tan won't affect your laser treatment.
The colour of your skin does affect how effective laser treatment can be, so it's best to check your suitability with your therapist. Avoid fake tans prior to treatment and if your skin is naturally more tanned, the hair reduction may not be as effective. This is because dark pigment (whether that be a hair or the skin) absorbs the laser light, so the treatment works best if there is a stronger contrast between your hair and skin (i.e. dark hair and light skin) as the laser light can't differentiate between the two unless there's a colour difference.
7. You can wax in-between laser treatments.
You should avoid waxing and tweezing any hairs in-between laser hair removal treatments as it removes the hair from the follicle and then there's nothing there for the laser to treat. Stick to shaving instead.
8. DIY treatments are just as effective as the professional kind.
Removing your own hair at home is great for maintenance, but generally the strength of the product and the techniques used aren't quite up to a professional standard. So for the best results, book into a salon for a profesh treatment at least every now and then.
9. You should store your razor in the shower.
Leaving your razor in the shower can lead to a build-up of nasty bacteria and rust. EW. So wipe it dry after use and store it away from moisture.
10. You don't have to wait to apply deodorant post-shave.
Post-hair removal your skin is more susceptible to irritation because it no longer has hair there and a dead skin cell barrier to provide protection. So wait 15 minutes or so before applying deodorant and use one developed for sensitive skin which contains moisturising ingredients.
11. You should always shave against your hair growth.
While going against your hair grain will get you a closer shave, you can also shave with your hair growth (for example down your leg) if your particularly susceptible to ingrowns as this can help minimise irritation. It's also a good technique for areas like your underarms where the hair grows in all different directions.