Wherever you stand on the whole "should women remove their body hair" spectrum, there is one frontier that no one seems to be talking about: nipple hair. It exists, it's common, and some people (read: me) simply feel more comfortable having it removed. So how do you get rid of your nipple hair?
First and foremost, if you're having this problem take a second, breathe and relax, because you are certainly not the only one.About 30 percent of women report having hair around their nipples , and it's considered "normal" (though what, really, is "normal" these days) to have anywhere from two to 15 hairs growing around your nipple at a time.
If you're ok with having a little fuzz on your girls — the more power to you. But if you are more confident with a bare chest, getting rid of unwanted hair is actually pretty easy. And the best news of all? Nipple hair grows back slowly — so no matter how you choose to remove it you won't have to see or think about it again for two to three weeks, kind of like eyebrow hair. Here are six options for how to get rid of unwanted nipple hair... and one way you absolutely shouldn't.
1. Tweeze 'Em
For anyone who has one or two rogue hairs that pop up every once in a while, this is the quickest and easiest solution to getting rid of 'em. Wait until after you shower so that the pores are open and the hair follicles will slide out fairly easily. This will also help you avoid ingrown hairs and infections. Beware that it is kind of painful to tweeze the hair off of your nips (I think we can all attest to just how sensitive that area is), so make sure you pace yourself and try out a soothing cream after you're finished.
2. Wax 'Em
Some salons offer nipple waxing treatments, which hurt a lot but offer a solid solution that won't leave you as stubbly as shaving will. After all, if it's good enough for Steve Carrell in The 40 Year Old Virgin, it's definitely good enough for us (Bonus points if you yell "KELLY CLARKSON" mid-wax). Whatever you do, don't try to wax them at home. When you accidentally rip the skin off of your nipple, hair will be the least of your problems.
3. Shave 'Em
I know, I know — you're standing in the shower, your razor is right there, and you just want to get rid of those bad boys growing out of your boob as quickly as possible. Shaving your nipple hair is a totally safe and quick solution (aside from the fact that you're running a razor blade verrrrry close to your second best lady parts), but it does have risks of ingrown hairs and infections. Luckily, though, the whole "it will grow back twice as dark and twice as thick" thing is a total rumor.
4. Trim 'Em
If you've got one random long little sucker that seems to pop up out of nowhere every few weeks (welcome to my world), trimming is an easy and painless alternative to tweezing. It doesn't remove the hair from the root so it will grow back faster, but there is no risk of ingrowns or infections with this method.
5. Laser 'Em
If you need something more permanent, laser hair removal is totally safe and offers a years long solution to unwanted body hair. It works best for darker hair, and it can take a few treatments until you're totally bare. Because the area around your nipples is so sensitive, the process may be painful, but most aestheticians use numbing cream to help make the treatment as comfortable as possible.
6. Consult A Doctor
Nipple hair comes from a hormone called testosterone, and if the hair is growing in extra dark or thick it may be an indication that there is an imbalance in your body. Talk to your doctor about whether he or she thinks your situation is normal, and if there is any concern there are medications (similar to birth control pills) to help balance you out.
7. Do Not Nair
While I have no personal experience doing this (even for the sake of journalism, this is where I draw the line), every story I've read about other women trying to get rid of their nipple hair with a depilatory has been an actual horror story. Swelling, infections, rashes and days-long titty hard ons are some of the reported side effects.... so, no thanks.
Images: Andrew Zaeh/Bustle; Courtesy of Brands