When it comes to my eyebrows and the nooks and crannies of certain areas down below, you can best believe that I'm gonna go to my wax appointment as if my life depended on it. As far as my legs and underneath my arms, I'm a shaver. Yet the older I get, when it comes to where I put a razor—and also the cream that I put on my super faint mustache every couple of months—I've been on a mission to use it less and less. What's helped me to reach my goal are natural hair removal methods.
Before I share with you what some of them are, let me just say that many of these are most effective if you've got facial hair and/or when it comes to places where your hair isn't super coarse. Also, if you're looking for methods that will get rid of unwanted hair immediately, these aren't those. On the other hand, if you are a patient person, you're consistent with your beauty regimens and you want to fade your hair over time, I've totally got you on that.
The following eight all-natural hair removal remedies can have you on your way to less hair in a few months without any chemicals, expenses or drama. Ready to check 'em out?
1. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek is a type of herb that is really good for you on a few different levels. For instance, if you're a vegetarian or vegan, it's a good source of protein and iron (it's got a fair amount of fiber too). Also, if you're looking for a way to lower your cholesterol, fenugreek has got your back. Thanks to its inflammation properties, fenugreek can help to heal mouth ulcers, chronic coughs, boils and even bronchitis. As a doula, I can personally vouch for the fact that it's helpful if you're a new mommy who's having trouble getting your breastmilk to come (or stay) in. Word on the street is it can boost a man's libido too.
If you drink the seeds in a powder form, it can deep cleanse your skin, reduce blemishes, soften the appearance of dark circles underneath your eyes, slow down signs of aging and even help to prevent hair loss (for instance, if you put the powder into your conditioner and let it sit for 10 minutes on wash day).
Fenugreek also makes the hair removal list because the properties in it can also help to weaken hair follicles. If you mix two teaspoons with a tablespoon of rosewater (rosewater will hydrate and protect your skin while also reducing any redness that you might experience) and let it sit on the areas where you want hair removed for 20-30 minutes, once a week, your hair should appear finer in about three months.
2. Papaya Paste
Papaya is a fruit that's in season, starting early summer and runs through the fall. It's good for you because it is a good source of fiber, protein, antioxidants and vitamins A and C. As far as specific health benefits go, if you eat it a few times a week, it can help to strengthen your heart, improve digestion and fight body inflammation. On the beauty tip, papaya is cool because the enzymes in it can help to decrease breakouts, the lycopene in it can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and, if you mix one-half a papaya with a one-half cup of coconut oil and a tablespoon of honey, it can be a pretty potent hair conditioner too.
So, why does it work at removing body hair? Well, there's an enzyme in papaya that's called papain. When it's consistently applied to your body, it can weaken hair follicles and hinder regrowth.
I already know some of y'all are like, then why would I use it as a hair conditioner? Remember, these remedies require consistent use. Conditioning your hair once a month with papaya is not the same as slathering it on your legs and letting it sit for 20 minutes, a couple of times a week. Anyway, a couple of tablespoons of raw papaya mixed with three teaspoons of turmeric (its chemicals help to slow down hair growth too), applied to clean skin and left on for 15-20 minutes before thoroughly rinsing off, can help you to see a noticeable difference when it comes to having less body hair in around three months or so.
3. Rosewater and Alum
If you've never heard of alum before, the long name for it is aluminum potassium sulfate. It's a chemical compound that is typically attributed to salt. Anyway, when it's used in powdered form, it can do everything from treat a canker sore and help to heal an eye abscess to soothe cracked heels and even naturally aid in alleviating body odor.
Alum is also pretty popular when it comes to getting rid of body hair because of its abrasiveness. You already know how rosewater helps. One half-teaspoon of alum powder mixed with one teaspoon of rosewater needs to be applied to your skin after you shave it. That way, it can help to weaken your hair follicles at the root, making it harder for it to grow back after, say a couple of months or so (you must do this regularly for it to be effective). By the way, you can cop some alum powder at stores like Target or even your local grocery store.
4. Oatmeal Scrub
If you basically want to eat a multivitamin, start off with a heaping bowl of oatmeal. It contains fiber, protein, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, antioxidants and a good amount of different forms of Vitamin B too. The combination of all of these nutrients can cause oats to lower your cholesterol levels, improve your blood sugar levels, relieve constipation and even decrease asthma symptoms in children.
One of the reasons why you should try using oats from a beauty angle is because its nutrients and semi-rough texture makes it the ultimate kind of exfoliant. Plus, it contains a chemical called saponins which can help to deep clean your pores.
Since oatmeal is such a powerful exfoliant, this is why it's an effective way to remove fine facial hair. A tablespoon of raw oats, five drops of fresh lemon juice (the acid can weaken your hair follicles) and the moisturizing properties of one-fourth of a banana is a great combination. Blend everything and apply to your face. Let it sit for 15 minutes and rinse with cool water. Facial hair should get finer in 6-8 weeks if you do this 1-2 times a week.
5. White Pepper and Camphor
Whenever I'm cooking, sometimes I prefer to go with white pepper instead of black. It's less "harsh in taste" is the best way that I can describe it. As far as health benefits go, white pepper is good for you because it contains anti-inflammatory properties that are able to boost your immune system as well as properties that protect your body from cardiovascular diseases, will detox your system and can also increase blood circulation. Camphor? Well, it's an organic compound that is full of antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that are able to relieve skin irritation, reduce pain, treat toenail fungus, soothe congestion and speed up the healing process of acne, hemorrhoids, muscle spasms, earaches and warts.
Believe it or not, if you combine these two things, they can also help to rid your body of hair over time. The texture of the white pepper along with the strong properties of the camphor make for the kind of scrub that works really well if you're trying to reduce the amount of hair that is on your legs (matter of fact, this particular remedy is so potent that you avoid putting it on your face altogether). Simply mix two tablespoons of white pepper, two tablespoons of camphor along with a tablespoon of your favorite carrier oil and apply it all to your legs for no more than 15 minutes (beyond that could irritate your skin). Rinse thoroughly with warm water. If you do this twice a week, you should notice thinner hair within six weeks.
6. Baking Soda and Turmeric
I don't know about y'all but when I was growing up, baking soda was used for three main things in my house—deodorizing carpets, keeping food fresh in the fridge and brushing teeth so that they stayed pearly white. When it comes to what is also known as sodium bicarbonate, there are other bonuses with using it including the fact that baking soda helps to treat heartburn (by putting a teaspoon of it in some water and drinking it slowly; run this by your doctor first); healing pimples (by making it a paste with water and applying it directly onto your pimples; it's an ultimate overnight remedy); relieving itchy skin (by pouring a cup of it into your bathwater); eliminating odor and naturally whitening your laundry (by putting a cup of it into your laundry detergent); getting pesticides off of fruits and veggies (by soaking them in a solution of water and one-fourth cup of baking soda for 15 minutes) and so much more.
Due to the gritty texture of baking soda, applying the combination of one teaspoon of it with one teaspoon of turmeric (along with enough water to make it a paste) and then putting where you want to see less hair for about 15 minutes, can reduce the appearance of hair in 8-12 weeks. (You might want to avoid this on your face. Baking soda can be a little too harsh if constantly used over time.)
7. Basil Leaves, Onion and Garlic
Basil leaves are good for you because it helps to reduce oxidative stress, fight the growth of cancer cells, decrease body inflammation, fight the kind of bacteria that causes respiratory and urinary infections and lower your blood sugar levels. Now put a pin in that. When it comes to the other ingredients in this tip, something that onion and garlic have in common is they both contain a lot of sulfur compounds. Why is this a good thing? For one thing, sulfur is beneficial because it plays a key role in the synthesis of proteins throughout your body. That's why sulfur supplements are oftentimes used to help treat osteoarthritis, dandruff and allergies. On the beauty tip, I am all about sulfur; using sulfur soap is what finally got my pimples under control while evening out my skin tone in the process.
As far as hair removal goes, using onion and garlic on your unwanted hair can help to break down your hair's proteins, so that it's harder for them to grow back. And what about the basil leaves? Not only are they an awesome moisturizer, they're a potent fungus fighter too.
Make a paste out of all of this by mashing up one-fourth an onion, crushing two garlic bulbs and the smashing 5-6 basil leaves and applying it to the areas where you don't want any hair for 20 minutes, twice a week. You will see less hair in a couple of months. And what about that sulfur odor that's left behind? Soaking in a tub that has a cup of apple cider vinegar in it or taking a shower and then putting on some lemon or orange essential oil that's been mixed in with a carrier oil can nip the odor in the bud (no worries, it fades on its own too; it's just annoying until it does).
If you've never heard of sugaring before, I guess you can chalk this up to being your something new for the day. Long story short, if you combine sugar, lemon and water and turn it into a paste-like consistency, it has the ability to remove body hair in a way that is less painful than waxing; plus, it can reduce how much hair grows in the areas where you are doing the sugaring process over time.
There are people who apply this hair removal method to all parts of their body, although it should go on record that different parts need different amounts of time (you can "sugar" your underarms in 5-7 minutes while your legs may take 30-45). Another benefit of sugaring is the results can last for 3-5 weeks. For tips on how to make your own sugar paste and apply it, check out this video, this video and this video. Enjoy!
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