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Should I Be Using IPL for My Underarms?

They always come back. No, we are not talking about your ex (though that is probably true, too) — we’re talking about those pesky underarm hairs. If it feels like your underarms always have a noticeable stubble no matter how frequently you shave, you are not alone.

To clarify, there is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to growing body hair. We all have it! Hair is totally natural and if you like going au naturale, that is totally cool. But if you like a clean, hair-free slate, we support that too… and we have plenty of tips, tricks, and tools to help you get there.

If you’re wondering whether you should be using IPL for your underarms, keep reading!

Why Does My Underarm Hair Grow So Fast?

Yes, we spend a lot of time thinking about this one too. It feels like within fifteen seconds of shaving underarm hair, more new strands are already popping up.

Technically, your underarm hair is not growing faster than the hair on other parts of your body, but it likely is growing thicker and it may seem like it is growing quickly because of the shaving process. What does that mean exactly? Let’s dive into it.

All Hair Is Not Created Equal

Ever wondered why the skin on your underarms seems so much thicker than the skin on your arms or legs? There is a scientific answer for that: your sweat glands! Our bodies have two types of sweat glands called eccrine glands and apocrine glands.

Eccrine glands are the basic sweat glands that cover most of your body. These glands control your body temperature and open directly onto the surface of your skin. So, the hair follicles around eccrine glands are much more dispersed and ultimately finer.

Apocrine glands exist in your underarms and bikini area. These glands produce odor, which explains why your underarms can smell a little funky if you ditch the deodorant. These glands also open into the hair follicle. So, where there are apocrine glands there is also an abundance of hair follicles. This explains why your underarm hair often looks and feels so much thicker than other body hair.

You’re Not Actually Getting Rid of the Whole Hair Follicle

Say what?! When you shave your underarms, it may look like you are getting rid of the whole hair but you actually aren’t. You are essentially just cutting off what sits at the surface and beyond, which leaves the bottom of the hair shaft intact.

What does this mean? Your hair follicle is still beneath your skin and can keep growing.

Other treatments, like IPL and waxing, get the entire hair out from the root. This leaves room for new hairs to grow, but of course, starting from scratch is a much longer process. These are essentially baby hairs. When these hairs pop up, they look thinner and softer because they are pretty new.

The Case Against Shaving

And waxing and plucking… you get the gist.

When you shave, wax, and pluck, you are making your skin susceptible to ingrown hairs, razor burn, and bumps. So, even if you get a clean shave, your underarms still may look dark and stubbly.

We are guessing that if you are reading this blog, you want to keep your pits hairless and smooth. Luckily, we know a treatment that will leave you with silky-smooth underarms in minutes: It’s called IPL, and it’s a total game-changer.

Intense pulsed light, also commonly referred to as IPL, is a treatment that delivers gentle pulses of broad-spectrum light to your hair follicles. This light stunts the growth of the follicle. Ultimately your hairs will fall out, leaving your skin smooth and hair-free.

Even better, IPL treatments slow down the growth of your hair over time. As you use IPL more and more frequently, you will notice slower hair growth. Eventually, your hair will stop coming back at all. So, say goodbye to last-minute shaving sessions before getting dressed, and get ready for smoother days ahead with IPL.

How Does IPL Work?

IPL is similar to laser hair removal in that it uses light therapy to target unwanted hairs and destroy them. Okay, that sounds a bit dramatic, but we do want those suckers gone, right?!

IPL devices produce scattered pulses of light to your skin. Not only does this make for a more gentle experience than other treatments, like laser for example, but it also means that IPL devices can target pretty large areas of skin. Laser hair removal is much more concentrated, so it works on smaller areas and is a bit harsher. If you have sensitive skin, IPL is probably the right hair removal treatment for you.

The way that IPL devices actually identify your hairs is by looking for pigment. The melanin in our hair helps the hairs absorb the light from the device. If you have very light body hair, an IPL treatment may not work super well for you. This is because the device will have a hard time trying to figure out where to target its pulses.

Who is the perfect candidate for IPL? Typically, the treatment works best on individuals who have dark, coarse body hair. Additionally, a contrast between the skin color and the hair color is helpful for the device as well.

How Can I Get Started With IPL?

While you usually have to go to a salon or spa to get laser hair removal and waxing done, you can do IPL treatments from the comfort of your own home! IPL is a painless, gentle, and safe treatment to administer to yourself.

At RoseSkinCo we have two different IPL devices: The Lumi Hair Removal Handset and The OG Hair Removal Handset. While both of these devices work great, the Lumi is our newest, most high-tech model.

The Lumi has a sleek, user-friendly design that’s easier to hold and use than the OG. It also works faster, has better precision capabilities, and lasts more than twice as long as the OG. Getting ready to jump into IPL? Below, we’re diving into a step-by-step guide on how to do IPL on your underarms all by yourself.

How To Use IPL on Your Underarms: A Step by Step Guide

Step 1: Prep Your Skin

Start with a clean slate. If you have visible hair, shave it off. As we mentioned before, when you shave you’re only cutting off the visible portion of the hair. So get rid of all that stubble so your Lumi can focus on getting to the root of the problem – pun intended. Make sure your skin is clean before you get started.

Step 2: Turn on Your Lumi

Plug Lumi in until you see the indicator light flashing – this means you can turn the device on.

Step 3: Choose Your Setting

Lumi comes with six settings, with one being the weakest and six being the strongest. If it is your first session, start at one and work your way up over time.

Step 4: Place Lumi on Your Skin and Go

Once you’re at your desired setting, place the Lumi directly on your skin. It should be flat against the area you want to treat. When the indicator starts to blink, it means your Lumi is ready to pulse.

Click the pulse button to get the pulses going, or choose one of Lumi’s other modes to personalize your experience! Lumi’s got Glide Mode and Auto Mode to simplify the process for IPL masters and newbies alike.

Step 5: Repeat as Needed

Repeat this process on as many areas as you deem necessary once or twice per week (but never more than twice — you won’t need it)! When you’re done, turn the Lumi off. Make sure it’s unplugged and store it properly for next time.

Say Hello to Smooth, Soft Pits

We know armpits are probably not the sexiest body part around — but they should be! We hope these tips and tricks help you feel a few steps closer to soft, smooth, sexy skin. It can be that easy.

Sources:

Sweat glands | Mayo Clinic

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL Treatment) | WebMD

How Shaving Works | HowStuffWorks