Human beings grow hair all over their bodies, more in some places than others. While most of us want to keep the hair on our heads, women especially want to remove hair from their underarms, legs, upper lip and chin, and possibly the bikini area. The only “permanent” hair removal is laser treatment, but it’s expensive and has to be done several times to be effective. There are, however, a couple of remedies to slow hair growth.
Best Removal Methods
Before you can use a growth inhibiting remedy, you should start with a clean slate. Some removal methods are better than others for this. Shaving is the oldest, cheapest and easiest method of hair removal, but it also doesn’t last very long. The hair grows back seemingly thicker than before, because the end of the hair shaft has been blunt cut. This method does nothing to stop the hair follicle from doing what it does best--growing hair.
Waxing and sugaring are technically the same method, but the substance used to do the deed differs. In waxing, the sticky substance you spread on the hair is, obviously, wax-based. Body sugaring involves a homemade or commercially bought sugaring solution. You can make your own with equal parts sugar, water and honey. Add all these ingredients to a pot and heat over medium-high heat to boiling. Add 1 tsp. of lemon juice and boil until the mixture is a golden-brown color. Let this sit until it is completely cool before using. If you use wax, it will need to be warmed up.
For either of these options, spread the solution on the hair in the same direction of growth. Place a strip of muslin or other cotton fabric on the area and press down. Rub several times in the direction of the growth, then pull off quickly against the growth. This method of hair removal lasts for several weeks, and eventually the hair that grows back is thinner and finer because you are damaging the follicle by repeatedly ripping out the hair.
Slowing Down the Growth
Once you have removed the offending hair, you can help minimize the chances of regrowth with a remedy used in India. Indian babies are sometimes covered with lots of hair, and the mothers use turmeric to remove it and keep their babies’ skin smooth. Depending on how much body area you want to cover, put some ground turmeric (from your spice cabinet) in a bowl. Add just enough milk to make a thick paste. Rub this paste thoroughly over the skin in a circular motion. Any hair that had started to grow will be removed. Doing this regularly--about twice a week for the first few weeks, then weekly, and gradually dropping down to monthly--will greatly slow down the recurrence of hair in those areas.
Turmeric is one of the main spices used in curry, and it will stain your skin a yellowish orange color. To minimize this, follow up with a milk or yogurt wash.
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Theresa L Johnston is a Southern writer with expertise in alternative medicine, gardening and behavioral and women's health issues. She has been published at http://www.ehow.com, in "The Mostly ARTzine," and has edited several newsletters. She has written procedures manuals, call scripts, and youth group curriculum for her various employers over the last 10 years.