Dyeing Underarm Hair: Are You Ready for it?

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Julia-Roberts-Hairy-armpitsDid I miss the memo about dyeing underarm hair? Apparently, it has been trending for a few years with a spike in interest at the beginning of summer. Perhaps I overlooked it while trying to find out how to ombré hair at home without making a complete disaster of it. Regardless, dyeing underarm hair is a bona fide practice with plenty of photographic evidence on Instagram and YouTube. It is surprising, however, that it didn’t create more waves, considering how much the media seems to enjoy reporting hairy underarms.

Who can forget the firestorm in 1999 when Julia Roberts waved hello to the crowd at the London premier of “Notting Hill” revealing hairy pits? Since then, many other big names have unabashedly followed suit: Madonna, Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears. Whether it is a sign of rebellion against sexist standards or an inadvertent lapse in grooming, hairy underarms certainly attract attention.

If you are one of the many who have decided enough is enough with the shaving, waxing and lasering, why not take it up a notch? We may already be experts at coloring the hair on our heads but there are a few things to keep in mind when dyeing the underarms, where skin can be very sensitive:

  1. The longer, the better. You may want to grow out your underarm hair for a number of weeks before attempting. In this case, the more you have to work with, the easier the process will be.
  2. Apply petroleum jelly on the skin around the area you are dyeing to protect the skin from being colored at the same time. Although it may be inevitable for some of the dye to seep onto the skin, your goal is to minimize the mess.
  3. Consider bleaching the hairs first, especially if they are dark. Using a facial hair bleach or a low volume crème developer. The higher the number, the stronger the solution. We suggest you start with either volume 10 or 20 to slightly lift some of the natural hair color before depositing your new color with dye. Twenty to thirty minutes should be sufficient.
  4. Apply the dye with either your gloved fingers, a clean mascara wand or an old toothbrush for precision. A close friend is invaluable at this stage! Rinse off as you would when coloring the hair on your head.
  5. Skip your usual deodorant for a day or two to minimize potential irritation and be aware that some dye may rub onto your clothes for the first 24-48 hours.


Although summer may be over and we are covering up more in order to stay warm, now might be a good time to start growing out the hair and trying it before revealing to the world. If you happen to have a teenage daughter, I can think of no more fun way to embarrass her the next time she has friends over than to raise your hand up in greeting – and reveal a significant tuft of pink pit hair.

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