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5 DIY Hair Removal Methods That Don’t Work

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Dr. Hardik Soni

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Do you have sensitive skin? Are you looking for a bikini wax? Do you find it hard to remove your body hair through waxing? You might be tempted to try DIY hair removal methods. With techniques that involve all-natural, painless, non-invasive methods that you can do at home without the need to spend any extra cash, it’s easy to see why plenty of people are choosing home solutions before more legitimate ones.

But do these methods actually work, or do they cause more harm than good? Most (if not all) of the unconventional DIY hair removal methods you will find actually have little to no effect on your hair, and in some cases, can actually lead to negative reactions for both your skin and hair.

Here are some of the most popular DIY hair removal methods out there, how they supposedly work hard for you, and why they are actually not worth your time.

1) Baking Soda with Coffee Grounds

The Claim: One of the most popular supposed DIY hair removal methods is baking soda; specifically, baking soda mixed with coffee grounds. Apparently, by combining baking soda with coffee grounds, you create a mixture that can prevent any future growth by breaking down the hair follicles on the skin.

After making the mixture of baking soda and coffee grounds, you are supposed to remove the hair through your preferred method – shaving, waxing, plucking, or threading – and then, immediately after, continue to rub the coffee grounds and baking soda mixture deep into the skin. This supposedly removes your hair follicles and prevents growth, leading to that perfect waxed or waxing look.

Why It Doesn’t Work: So does baking soda really remove hair? Unfortunately, this has been proven as just an old wives’ tale, and is just a recipe for a DIY hair removal disaster. While rubbing the mixture will lead to the skin looking slightly redder, it won’t do much else.

Hair follicles are too deep in the skin for the baking soda and coffee grounds to do anything effective, unlike waxing or laser treatment. It can actually also continue to make your skin worse, by leading to clogged pores and thus irritating the skin.

2) Turmeric Waxing

The Claim: There are tons of blogs out there claiming the magical removal properties of turmeric, either as turmeric paste or turmeric combined with another substance, commonly papaya paste. Turmeric paste is made of three-parts turmeric powder and one-part milk, mixed until you’re left with a thick paste.

After mixing up the paste, you are instructed to spread it over the area, allow it to dry, and then scrub it off with a washcloth, similar to waxing. By repeating this waxing process 3-4 times a week, the turmeric powder is supposed to lead to thinning growth as well as skin exfoliation.

Why It Doesn’t Work: Does turmeric waxing remove hair permanently? Not only does it not remove hair permanently; it doesn’t really lead to hair reduction at all. What many blogs miss when explaining the turmeric waxing hair solution is how exactly turmeric works to thin the growth, and the reason for this is that it doesn’t.

Follicles will remain unaffected by any turmeric or turmeric-infused paste, although your skin might experience some exfoliation from the waxing which can make you think that you have reduced growth in the area.

3) Pumice Stone Massage

Pumice stone

The Claim: Pumice stones are another popular DIY technique that many beauty bloggers, as well as some massage parlors and spas, claim as their preferred body and facial hair treatment, but the science behind it doesn’t really line up.

Pumice stones are common products found in spas and “luxury” bathrooms, but what are they exactly and why do we see them in the spa market? Pumice stones are stones that are made out of volcanic rock, and are most often used for the removal of dead or dry skin cells, as well as callused skin on feet and hands.

The claim is that if the skin is roughly massaged with pumice stone products, the follicles are destroyed in the process, leading to the prevention of future hair growth.

Why It Doesn’t Work: So do pumice stones really work to reduce hair growth? Not at all. Relying on a pumice stones service instead of other methods such as waxing or shaving is a disaster waiting to happen. There has been no true scientific evidence verifying that pumice stone massages remove the follicles in the skin, and it’s not for the lack of trying.

You can achieve raw skin due to pumice stone massages without ever affecting the hair follicles. The problem is that people do not realize just how deep the hair follicles sit inside of the skin; no amount of rubbing on the skin can touch them.

4) Lemon and Sugar Scrub

The Claim: If you’ve ever tried to look up DIY removal techniques, then you’ve certainly stumbled on the lemon and sugar scrub method. The claim is that lemon combined with sugar (or honey if you prefer) creates the perfect wax that lifts away hair from the root.

They claim that natural waxes such as these have been used for hair removal waxing throughout history, particularly in the Middle East. Another popular similar combination is honey mixed with oats, which aims to continue to reduce hair while also increasing the hydration, smoothness, and softness of the skin.

On top of the waxing effect of the lemon and sugar or honey combination, it’s said that lemon juice contains natural bleaching elements, which lead to a significant reduction of dark hairs when applied on the skin. The coarse yet gentle sugar or oats acts as a soft scrub that pulls out the hair and the root without much pain.

Why It Doesn’t Work: Do you find this method hard to believe? That’s because it’s not true. Not only has this “all-natural”, no pain solution never been proven to actually work as a hair reduction method, the lemon in the concoction can actually cause a negative reaction on the skin.

Lemon juice, when regularly applied to the skin, can lead to severe irritation and burning, particularly if the user has sensitive skin.

While it’s true that the lemon juice can make the hair lighter, this won’t lead to any significant physical appearance changes, and doesn’t actually cause any removal. This won’t replace your bikini wax waxing any time soon.

5) Blackstrap Molasses

Blackstrap molasses

The Claim: Unlike the other techniques listed above, the blackstrap molasses claim actually acts as a supposed dietary method, as opposed to rubbing a substance against the skin. Blackstrap molasses has a long-standing place in pop health magazines as the best substance to consume for a variety of health benefits, including the removal of unwanted body and facial hair.

But what exactly is blackstrap molasses? Sold in the form of a syrup, blackstrap molasses is a byproduct of the refining process of sugar cane. The hard sugar cane is mashed to create juice, and once the juice is boiled over three times, it leads to blackstrap molasses.

This substance contains a number of essential minerals and vitamins, including selenium, vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium, and iron. Supposedly, the minerals and vitamins help to correct a hormone imbalance leading to excessive hair growth in the legs and other parts of the body, thus reducing unwanted body and facial hair without any chemicals or other non-natural substances.

Why It Doesn’t Work: While too much or too little of certain hormones can lead to more or less body, legs and facial hair, it is incorrect to believe that any changes or additions to your diet can lead to reduced hair growth. This is because once a hair follicle has grown and become active in the skin, it will continue growing hair until it is destroyed and removed.

Even those on the strictest blackstrap molasses diets will see no changes to their hair growth if no other proven methods are used to destroy the active hair follicles. Whether your hair is in your upper lip or your legs or anywhere else, you will be hard pressed achieving the waxed look without removing your hair follicles.

Permanently Remove Your Hair the Right Way: Laser Hair Removal at Ethos Spa

Body and facial hair removal is something you want done and settled immediately, so why waste your time on DIY solutions based on junk science that don’t actually work? With laser hair removal performed by trusted professionals, you are guaranteed a hair removal solution that will actually lead to real results, without resorting to painful and repetitive waxing or shaving.

At Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness, we pride ourselves on being the most trusted provider of reliable, safe, and painless laser hair treatments in the New Jersey area. Our team of professionals have assisted countless patients with laser hair service and other treatments.

Contact us to find out exactly why laser hair removal is right for you, and begin your path towards removing your unwanted body hair today!

Read more:

8 Reasons Why Laser Hair Treatment May Not Be Working For You

Can Anyone Get Laser Hair Removal?

Dr. Hardik Soni

MD, Founder/Lead Physician

About Dr. Hardik Soni

Dr. Hardik Soni is the founder and Medical Director of Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness. His primary focus is on minimally invasive and non-invasive cosmetic procedures including botulinum injection (Botox and Dysport), dermal fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse), laser hair removal, chemical peels, and laser skin rejuvenation. Dr. Soni believes in a more conservative approach and his first goal is education. Clients are able to determine the ideal treatments after discussion with Dr. Soni regarding the expected outcomes, cost, as well as risks.

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