Unwanted body hair can be embarrassing or uncomfortable, although this problem is relatively common. Excess body hair can be caused by genetics or a condition such as hirsutism (abnormal hair growth in women), which occurs due to high hormone (i.e. androgen) levels. Fortunately, you can take treatments or make lifestyle changes to reduce body hair growth and hide its appearance. Before making drastic changes to your diet or taking certain supplements, consult your doctor first to make sure that they are all safe for you.
Method 1 of 3: Prevents Excess Body Hair from Growing
Step 1. Follow a healthy diet and do exercise to lose weight and reduce body hair
A healthy diet and regular exercise can help you lose weight and reduce androgen levels that may cause excessive hair growth on the body. Follow a balanced diet and try to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day 3 to 4 times a week so that you can lose weight healthily.
- Consult your doctor before making drastic dietary and lifestyle changes to make sure they are safe for you.
- Try to eat low-fat protein sources, such as chicken and tofu, whole grains, and lots of fruits and vegetables.
- Do not consume processed foods and sugary drinks, such as soda.
Step 2. Reduce hair growth by drinking spearmint tea
Several studies have shown that drinking spearmint tea can reduce androgen levels in the body. Androgens cause body hair to grow in excess. Soak fresh spearmint tea or leaves in 250 ml of hot water for 3 to 5 minutes, then remove the tea leaves by straining the water.
Drink spearmint tea 1 or 2 times a day, and see if the hair growth decreases
Step 3. Consume lots of soy products to reduce body hair growth
Soy contains phytoestrogens, which can function like estrogen in the body. Excessive body hair can be caused by low estrogen content. By consuming soy products, such as soy milk, edamame, or soy burgers, you can increase estrogen levels in your body.
Try to eat soy products at least once a day with your meals
Step 4. Reduce androgen levels by taking birth control pills (if you are female)
Birth control pills used to prevent pregnancy have been shown to reduce body hair growth. The estrogen in the pill will fight the androgens in the body. Androgens can cause excessive hair growth. If you're not taking birth control pills at this point, see your doctor for a prescription.
Don't use birth control until you talk to your doctor to see if you can take it safely
Step 5. Talk to your doctor about antiandrogen medications
This medicine will reduce the levels of androgen hormones in the body, which can reduce the growth of body and facial hair. Talk to your doctor about using this medication to determine if antiandrogens are effective and safe for you.
If you are a transgender woman, consult with your doctor to determine if antiandrogens can reduce hair growth on your body. The doctor will suggest the best option
Step 6. Reduce body hair using vitamin D supplements
Several studies have shown that taking up to 50,000 IU of vitamin D every 2 weeks can reduce body hair growth. Talk to your doctor about vitamin D supplements to see if you can safely take them. Always follow the dosage on the package to prevent negative side effects.
- Some of the side effects of vitamin D supplements include: muscle weakness, confusion, excessive thirst, nausea, and fatigue.
- Vitamin D can also affect blood sugar levels. Make sure you consult your doctor before using it, especially if you have diabetes.
Step 7. Reduce androgen levels by taking peony supplements
Traditional Chinese medicine uses peonies to reduce androgen levels in the body. Androgens cause body hair to grow in excess. The amount of peonies you should consume depends on your age, health, and various other conditions. Consult a doctor before using it.
Peony supplements can be found at drug stores or online. To find out the right dose, consult a doctor
Method 2 of 3: Reducing the Appearance of Body Hair
Step 1. Shaving body hair as a temporary solution
Shaving is an easy and effective way to get rid of body hair. There is a myth that shaving makes hair grow thicker and faster, but this is not supported by scientific facts. Apply shaving cream to the hair area and use a razor specifically designed for body hair to avoid skin irritation. Move the razor in the direction of hair growth to reduce the risk of slicing the skin and making it easier for you to shave.
- Shaving one area can temporarily reduce the number of hairs, while waiting for another method to remove it.
- Shaving can cause ingrown hairs. However, this can be prevented by massaging soap or cleanser in the area before waxing or shaving. This action pulls the hair out of the follicle.
Step 2. Wax to remove and reduce hair growth
Although painful, waxing is very effective in reducing body hair growth. The hair will be pulled out along with the roots so that it will grow back finer, smaller, and slower. You can buy wax to use yourself at home or visit a spa or salon to get professional waxed.
- If you're waxing yourself at home, use a hard wax to treat sensitive areas, such as your armpits, face, or bikini area. You can apply soft wax to other areas, such as your back, legs, chest, or arms.
- You can buy microwave-heated wax and cloth strips at beauty supply stores. You can also use pre-made wax strips if you don't want to go through the trouble of melting the wax in the process.
- For best results, wax every 2 weeks.
- Do not use wax on problem skin. If you have an open wound, pimple, or skin infection, wait for the area to heal first.
- Waxing can change skin color if you have dark skin.
Step 3. Pull out the hair with tweezers to reduce the amount
Pull out individual body hairs with tweezers, or head to a beauty salon for a professional hair removal. Pulling the hair down to the roots will slow growth and reduce its appearance on your body.
Hair removal using tweezers is painful and can cause skin irritation
Step 4. Apply depilatory cream to dissolve the hair and make it brighter
Hair removal cream is a chemical that will dissolve the hair on the skin. Although hair grows slightly faster than waxing methods, it will turn out to be smoother and brighter because of the bleaching agent in the cream. Apply the cream according to the directions on the package to get rid of body hair.
- Unlike waxing, this method is less painful and non-irritating (unlike shaving).
- Some of the well-known brands of hair removal creams include: Veet, Nair, and Neomen. This product can be found in convenience stores or online stores.
- You can also use creams that are specifically designed to treat specific areas of your body, such as your face, legs, or bikini area.
Step 5. Bleach the body hair to make it smoother and less conspicuous
Use a bleach made specifically for body hair, and choose a product that suits your skin and hair type. Mix all the ingredients provided, then apply the bleaching ingredients according to the instructions on the package. This product makes body hair turn lighter so that it becomes less visible.
- The bleaching process stings the skin and can cause irritation. However, you can overcome this by applying a moisturizing lotion for a few days.
- Apply bleach to dark areas of hair, such as forearms and legs.
- Do not take a hot shower after bleaching so that the skin does not dry out.
Method 3 of 3: Remove Body Hair Permanently
Step 1. Undergo electrolysis to permanently stop hair growth on the body
Electrolysis is a procedure that involves inserting a small electric needle into a hair follicle to stop its growth. This treatment is suitable for small areas, but you can also apply it to large areas with several treatments. Visit a qualified electrologist for there treatment.
- Electrolysis treatment sessions cost around IDR 700 thousand to IDR 1,750,000 per hour. You may need 8 to 12 treatments for a complete hair removal.
- The skin may swell and feel a little sore after the treatment, but it will go away in a few days. Use a moisturizing lotion to help soften the skin and prevent it from drying out.
- If you suffer from hormonal disorders, such as PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) or hirsutism, these treatments can be useful. However, hair can grow again if treatment is stopped.
Step 2. Use laser hair removal to get a less painful treatment at a lower price
Laser hair removal is performed faster than electrolysis treatments, but hair can grow back between each treatment. In general, you have to do 4-6 treatments over a few weeks to get noticeable and long-lasting results. Look for a dermatologist (skin specialist) in your area or the internet for laser hair removal services. You can also ask your doctor for a referral to get the best dermatologist.
- For each laser hair removal session, you have to spend around IDR 4 million. Usually you have to do 4-6 treatments to remove 80% of the hair in the desired area.
- During laser treatment, the body's natural hair production is reduced, but some side effects may occur, such as sore, dry, and irritated skin. However, most side effects will go away on their own a few days later.
- Laser hair removal may be able to stop hair growth permanently in certain areas. However, sometimes hair can grow back if you stop treatment.
Step 3. Use eflornithine cream to stop hair growth
Eflornithine is a drug that slows hair growth by blocking the production of natural hair-growing enzymes in the skin. Hair will grow more slowly, and the remaining hair will be lighter and smoother. As long as you keep applying it, the hair growth on the body will decrease.
- Eflornithine cream can be purchased for around Rp. 3 million and must use a doctor's prescription.
- Some of the side effects of eflornithine cream include: rash, redness, headache, sunburn, or itching.