Should I be Concerned About Belly Hair?

Woman getting epilation on her stomach


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Belly hair isn't inherently a problem, but that doesn't mean that everyone wants to keep theirs. It can display on people of all genders, but no one wants to talk about it. Some people have a lot and others just a few strands. But no matter how much you have, if you want to remove it, you can. 

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Using a razor—multi-bladed, straight, or electric—is one of the oldest forms of hair removal. Using one is quick and easy, painless, and can be done inside the shower or outside of it. But once you shave, you will have to shave often to keep a clean, bare look. If the hair is thick, a little itchiness when it starts to grow back is normal. And make sure to take care of it like you would any other shaven area, at risk of ingrown hairs or razor bumps.

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Depilatories (Hair Removal Creams)

Mostly, depilatory products come in cream form, but they also exist in the form of gels, lotions, and sprays. They're pretty simple to use, are easy to find and relatively inexpensive. Some can work in a matter of minutes, breaking down the hair so that it can be easily wiped away. Like shaving, though, they remove hair at-or-slightly-below the level of the skin. Therefore, they're a temporary method that will only last a couple days at best. ​They're also made very strong to break down the hair follicle, so be careful, because improper use often results in chemical burns—even with no allergy to the ingredients. 

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Waxing is found on most salon and spa menus. A (typically resin-based) product is spread over hair, and then quickly ripped off in order to remove hair from the root. Waxing removes the entire hair, therefore providing longer results than shaving or depilatory creams. However, there is a downside—it can be painful or leave you with burns if done wrong.

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Sugaring comes in two forms: paste and gel. The paste removes hair in the direction of growth, and gel removes in the opposite direction of hair's growth. While it also removes the hair follicle from the root like waxing, it's less painful and gentler to the skin. The traditional method, which is the sugaring paste, is one of the oldest methods of hair removal. Because it's so similar to waxing, though, it can give you the same side effects—although they're generally less severe. Due to its rarity, it also may be more difficult to find professional sugaring close to home. 

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If you want your stomach hair gone forever, the best way to go is generally electrolysis. It's the only FDA approved method of permanent hair removal. Unlike laser hair removal, all hair colors and skin tones can safely receive electrolysis. Be warned though, it takes multiple sessions, and can be painful.

Apply a topical anesthetic, like topical lidocaine cream, prior to treatment to help with pain.

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Laser Hair Removal

Laser and other light-based technologies like IPL (intense pulsed light) work to impair the hair follicle, and are FDA approved for permanent hair reduction. However, with most lasers, you need dark hair and light skin for results, which excludes the majority of people. Laser hair removal can also be expensive, as it requires multiple sessions. Risks also include scarring, blisters, burns, pigmentation, and pain.

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