Does Waxing Your Underarms Hurt?

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Waxing is always a painful process. You’re ripping multiple hair follicles out at the same time, similar in pain scale to epilation. But how much pain you experience is dependent on how you prepare for the waxing session. Even if your underarms appear red and irritated, with bumps, it’s a temporary pain that will subside over time. 

Throughout this article, we’ll answer the question “Does Waxing Your Underarms Hurt?”. We’ll give you insights on how to prepare for your appointment and methods for keeping your skin intact afterward.

That way, you’ll have clearer skin, and your underarms will be protected from ingrown hairs

By the end, you’ll have enough information to utilize waxing to keep your armpits clean. Through skincare, preparation, and exfoliation, you’ll have beautiful and healthy skin. 


Does Waxing Your Underarms Hurt?

Waxing underarm

Waxing underarms can be a bit of a shock the first time you do it.

However, this pain subsides quickly, and you’ll have beautiful hair-free and clean underarms for up to a month.

Through the use of waxing, you can throw away the shaving razor and protect your skin from itchy hair regrowth. 


Remember, your underarms have more sensitive skin than your arms and legs. (think tickling…) Also, your armpit hairs can be coarser, thicker, and grow in different directions. This means your wax specialist will have to apply the wax in the same area multiple times to remove excess hair that’s growing in weird angles. 

In most scenarios, you’ll only need two strips of wax to clean the upper and lower portion of your underarm.

Fortunately, underarm waxing is a quick process because it has a small surface area compared to, say, the bikini area. With frequent appointments, your hair will come back finer and sparser

Make sure your hair is about ½” long before starting a waxing session (that’s longer than what you might target in the bikini area). This ensures that the wax can remove the hair strand from the roots.

Sweat and moisture can reduce the effectiveness of your wax, so your therapist might suggest placing talcum on your skin to dry out the area. 

Booking a waxing session at the right time of the month can reduce pain. Hormone changes make your skin more sensitive, so wait until it’s over before making a waxing appointment. 

So while underarm waxing is uncomfortable, the treatment is very quick. Once the waxing operation is completed, your skin will grow back finer and at a slower rate. 

How to Prepare Your Underarms for Waxing

Before going to your first waxing appointment (or doing it yourself), you can prepare your underarms with the following methods. 


First, your unblocked hair follies are more relaxed. This makes the waxing process easier and less painful. If you’ve never exfoliated your skin before, now is the time to do it. Doing so will get your skin clean and ready for your first wax appointment. 

In addition, make sure to use a light cream or lotion to soften the hair follicles and the skin underneath. Avoid using deodorant a day before waxing because it will irritate your skin. 

Comfortably Numb

Numbing cream

You’ll need to adopt a “no pain, no gain” mindset when it comes to waxing. If you want to make the process painless, use an anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen 30 minutes before the armpit waxing session. As a result, you’ll be protected from minor swelling and pain relief. 

Additionally, you can use a numbing cream  to reduce muscle pain. 

You can use topical solutions like lidocaine. Make sure you follow the directions before applying them to get the best results.

Speak to your doctor before using lidocaine as it can cause allergic reactions to some people. 

Think about your hair length before waxing. If your hair is too long, the waxing process will become more painful, and your hair will break off the root.

Getting to the root of your skin is the main objective of waxing. If your hair is too long, you may run into issues where the hair breaks rather than pulls out from the root.  

How Can I Find a Good Salon?

Looking for a good waxing salon is similar to finding a good hair salon. Search on the internet for customer reviews and trust your friend’s recommendations. 

When searching for a waxing salon, look for sanitary places. For instance, the wax practitioners in the office must wear gloves, don’t reuse their applicators, and ask you to fill out a questionnaire form before starting the appointment. 

You’ll want a waxing salon that has trained and experienced technicians.

Look at their credentials and ask for a technician that has practiced waxing for a few years. 

How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs On Your Underarms?

Bumps and ingrown hairs can be painful, frustrating problems. But there are a few ways to help you minimize risk. Make sure to exfoliate your skin 24-48 hours before your first waxing appointment.

Doing so helps remove the grime, dirt, and dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. 

3-4 days after your appointment, you can continue to exfoliate your skin lightly.

This helps keep your skin clean and is away from other things that can clog your pores. While you can use a chemical or physical exfoliant, you should use an ultra-gentle washcloth or mitt. 

You can use some coconut oil after waxing to help soothe that sore skin.

If you have an ingrown hair, don’t worry. It will take longer for the hair to regrow with more waxing appointments. Thus, you’ll have less ingrown hair over time through proper skincare and consistent waxing sessions. 

Note: if you have ingrown hairs before waxing, inform your technician.

Things to Remember When Waxing Your Underarms

Skin Irritation

Skin irritation is a common occurrence after waxing. You’re placing chemicals at a warm temperature on your body and using the chemicals to remove hair from your skin. Thus, you might experience minimal bleeding after waxing, but the pain will subside within a few hours. 

For first-timers, you’ll be in more pain because your skin is getting used to the wax. After your second wax appointment, the pain will feel less intense.

More Appointments = More Results

Hard waxing has to be done multiple times for long-term effectiveness. For example, a waxologist can’t cover your underarm and remove all the hair on the first go. 

Your body hair grows in multiple directions, and the wax is pulled in the opposite direction of the hair growth. Through multiple waxing sessions, you’ll increase the chance that your hair is fully removed.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).