6 Things To Know If You're Dyeing Your Armpit Hair (Which You Should Totally Try At Least Once In Your Lifetime)

I've been very into the idea of dyeing armpit hair since January, when I first started seeing the trend on Tumblr and other media sites. It sounded like the most appealing thing to me: Showing off my feminism while also tricking out my armpits in fun colors.

Of course, it usually takes me forever to make these kind of decisions, especially in terms of choosing a color. I was also apprehensive because I had heard dyeing your armpits can damage the hair follicles by preventing hair from growing there again, or inhibiting your natural hair color from growing back as well. I even heard that it would hurt, at least in terms of the bleaching process.

So after getting my hair dyed by Bologna (friend and hair extraordinaire), they used the bleach and hair dye we had already been using on my hair on my pits (having the hair on my head matching the hair on my armpits seemed pretty baller to me). Now I have purple armpits and I couldn't be happier!

There's no reason to be apprehensive about trying out this look, honestly. It's totally not a scary process and I'd recommend it to anyone. It also just feels so damn liberating! If you're thinking about dyeing your armpits, here's what you should know:

1. The More (Hair) The Merrier

For the greatest impact, more armpit hair goes a long way. If you shave your armpits, start growing them out now. Having more to work with is a definite plus. My armpit hair is a lot more scarce compared to other people's, and my hair is very thin. However, the thinness and lightness of the hair worked to my advantage, as bleaching was faster and more effective.

2. Bleaching Doesn't Hurt

Bologna was very apprehensive about using bleach on my armpit hair. And I wasn't sure how safe it actually was to douse my armpits in the same bleach I had burned my scalp with hours before anyway. We tried getting facial bleach, since that would be gentler on my skin, but couldn't find it after searching the shelves of Walmart and a local beauty supply store. So I took a chance and they coated my armpit hair in volume 20 creme developer, slightly lower than what I would use on my head (which would be volume 40) just to be safe. And it actually didn't burn, like at all. After only 20 minutes, my pits were white blonde! Way easier than I expected.

3. You Won't Know What To Do With Your Arms

As I waited for both the bleach and the color to take hold, I didn't know what to do with my arms. I alternated positions of arms over my head, arms out to my side, hands on my hips — I considered just lying on the ground with my arms spread to minimize muscle fatigue. However, once I finally put my arms down, I realized the dyes were pretty self contained in my armpit, and didn't rub off anywhere else once my arms were at my side.

4. And Your Skin Will Probably Get Dyed, Too

Since there is so little hair on your armpits compared to your head, the dye is going to get everywhere. You can minimize messiness by using your hands to apply the dye instead of a brush, and rub it through the hair with your fingers. This method also does some good for your hair, as it's not being slathered directly onto the roots.

5. Skip The Deodorant

Bologna advised me not to wear deodorant the day after they dyed my pits for reasons pertaining to "too many chemicals in your sensitive parts." You just put bleach and hair dye on your armpits, don't overwhelm them with any more toxins! If you usually wear deodorant, especially as the days get hotter, be ready to be a little stinky the day following your colorful dye job.

6. Don't Expect Perfection

Like most things, dyeing your armpits can be a bit of a trial and error process as well as a learning experience. Out of fear of having too many chemicals on my pits for too long, I only kept the purple dye in for 20-30 minutes. I also thought the dye would take quickly, just as the bleach did. The result was slightly lackluster pits, but it's better to be safe than sorry!

I'd recommend leaving in the hair dye for about an hour, as you would with head hair, to produce more vivid and effective results. The process was fun, and I absolutely love the idea of having colorful armpit hair. I definitely want to give this another go in the future, and hopefully my second time around will yield more promising results!

Images: Author's Own; Giphy