After spending countless hours shaving, waxing, and plucking, don't we all wish for an easier way to prevent unwanted hair growth? Of course we do! Everybody wants a simple solution, and what's simpler than mixing up some household ingredients, rubbing them on our skin, and voila! No more unwanted hair.
Unfortunately, it doesn't work.
Home remedies and dietary adjustments sound attractive and we might want them to work so badly, we're willing to try some creative ideas. Fact is, though, these quick "solutions" don't actually prevent hair growth. And while household ingredients might feel cost-effective, in the long run, you're not saving money or time, because at the end of the day, the hair's still there.
Below, we've listed nine examples of concoctions often touted as effective home remedies for permanent removal of unwanted hair. None of them provide permanent hair removal.
1. Coffee Grounds and Baking Soda
There's a widespread myth that combining coffee grounds and baking soda, then slathering the resultant mixture on your skin, will stop unwanted hair growth. Nope! While some claim this method "breaks down" hair follicles, all this might achieve is skin irritation and clogged pores. Hair follicles stay intact.
2. Gram Flour, Curd, and Yogurt/Cream Mask
Some people believe masks or face packs made from gram flour (also known as besan), curds, and yogurt or cream, will remove unwanted hair. While a mask could possibly remove existing unwanted hair, this method also leaves the hair follicles active, so it fails to prevent hair regrowth at all.
3. Dietary Adjustments to Avoid Androgens
Androgens are hormones produced naturally by our bodies, and they're also the hormones that stimulate hair growth. Abnormal or excess hair growth is called hirsutism and can be caused by hormonal imbalances. Some people claim drinking spearmint tea, eating soy products, and making other dietary adjustments will reduce the body's androgen production and stop unwanted hair growth. It's possible that changing your diet could affect a hormone imbalance, but that won't permanently stop existing unwanted hair growth. The hair follicles have already been stimulated and they'll keep producing hair, even if you avoid dietary androgens.
4. Pumice Stone Massage
People use pumice stones to exfoliate and soften their skin, but contrary to popular belief, rubbing a pumice stone over unwanted hair will not prevent it from growing back. Your skin might be softer there, but the hairs will keep growing.
5. Lemon and Sugar/Honey Scrub
Many of these remedies claim to possibly reduce hair growth over time, but any results actually come from just removing existing hair until it grows back, or changing something about the hair. Rubbing a mixture of lemon and sugar or honey won't stop hair growth, not even over time. It might temporarily lighten the color of the hair, but it's still there, still growing.
6. Turmeric Paste
If you've ever looked around for home hair removal remedies, you've probably come across the supposed benefits of turmeric. People believe turmeric helps with hair removal, but nobody can explain exactly how. If they don't even take a stab at explaining, you can be sure this doesn't actually work.
7. Papaya Paste with Turmeric
Just like turmeric alone, but with papaya! People claim an enzyme in raw papaya, called papain, will restrict hair growth, again, by "breaking down" the hair follicles. This just isn't true. Like pumice stone, some of these mixtures might exfoliate your skin, but won't stop hair growth.
8. Thanaka Powder and Safflower Oil
Another paste that could exfoliate and might remove some hair, but won't stop it from growing back.
9. Blackstrap Molasses
Here we go back to the hormone thing. People say molasses contains magnesium, which will correct a hormone imbalance. This particular myth can be confusing, because people also suggest making a wax from molasses and corn syrup. Waxing will remove unwanted hair, but not permanently, and adding molasses to your diet won't permanently prevent hair growth either.
Truly Permanent Removal of Unwanted Hair Exists - Electrolysis!
If you've heard these myths and believed them, or wanted to believe them, don't feel bad! When faced with unwanted hair growth, any home remedy that sounds promising is worth a shot, right? Truth is, not so much. Since these myths are just that, myths, you're better off putting down the homemade pastes and scrubs and addressing unwanted hair head on, with methods that work, like electrolysis.