Okay I'm going to start off by saying, if you think you're going to manage to epilate your underarms with zero pain, you're absolutely dreaming and I don't think it's possible.
Maybe in the long run, over a considerable period of time, maybe... but actually I think when people ask this question it's because they're set on epilating their underarms and really like the idea of being able to epilate their arm pits in general, but want the pain to be reduced as much as physically possible so that they can get the pain down to a manageable/tolerable place instead of... well the agony that it typically feels like.
I am going to tell you right now: I epilate my armpits. And it hurts so stinkin' bad.
I have course hair so I know others will have different experiences than I do, still, I promise you that if you are in the same boat - you have coarse hair and want to epilate your armpits, but it hurts so bad, I think I can help you since I managed to figure out a thing or two.
I actually epilate nearly everywhere and eventually want to epilate absolutely everything I want gone, hair-wise.
And while I've seen a bunch of people claim that their underarms are no big deal to epilate, I absolutely cannot relate.
It has thus far been the absolute worst body part for me, so I was ridiculously relieved when I figured out a system that worked because my armpit hairs are so ew when I only shave them and I'd really rather not keep having to pay for laser hair removal (because it's expensive) when I'm having so much success with epilating in general.
Okay that out of the way, I'm going to let you in on my secret for epilating underarms with minimal pain, and then I'm going to outline exactly what I personally do so you can try it out for yourself if you want.
The Most Important Technique I Use for Pain Reduction When Using an Epilator on My Armpits
Okay, you ready for this? Because it's probably not what you're expecting, but it's so easy to do.
Basically, I shave my armpits.
Then I use the epilator immediately.
Sometimes it catches some hairs this first day, other times it doesn't. Either way, I don't shave my armpits again, but the next day, I epilate again.
And then again the day after that.
I do my best to epilate every single day after having shaved once and then the pain is so much less that I can actually manage to epilate my underarms without dying.
Again, it's still painful, but I've found that by shaving first and then epilating the area every day after, the fact that hairs grow at different lengths works in my favour.
Because some hairs will grow slower and some will grow faster, I'm not epilating all of them at the same time if I use this technique, and that means so much less pain for me, and it's actually tolerable to do my armpits this way.
It's a massive pain reduction, I'm telling you. I've written about this technique in my article on how to reduce pain when using an epilator in general, but on armpits, I feel like it's the most necessary because I just cannot handle the pain there.
There are a number of other pain-reduction for epilating techniques I use, and they're listed in that article, so check that out if you're interested in reading more tips.
I'm also going to get into exactly what I do when I epilate my armpits (since it's such an ordeal), in case there's something else I'm doing that's helping a lot and I don't even realize it. I'll get into that now.
Exactly How I Epilate My Underarms to Minimize Pain
1. I take a shower.
This one's self explanatory.
2. In the shower, I make sure I get off all deodorant.
Getting off all the deodorant before you epilate your armpits is is especially important, I feel.
I haven't actually tried epilating with deodorant still on before, but I wouldn't, even for comparison's sake, in case the deodorant gets all over the epilator and gunks it up somehow.
To me, it makes sense to have no product before epilating your hairs.
3. I use shaving cream and shave the area.
The first day I epilate my armpits, I shave my underarms when I am showering.
4. After showering, I dab my armpits dry with a towel and wait a while for them to be completely dry and not so humid.
I'm not quite sure if it makes a difference, but I like to be dry when I epilate in general, even when it comes to my underarms.
I have epilated while being a little sweaty (for example, after I've done another area and am a bit sweaty because it was painful), and it hasn't made too much of a difference to me, but it makes some, so I'd try to epilate here before you do anything else, so your armpits are as sweat-free as possible.
5. I position my elbow as straight up as I can, and fold my forearm in holding the skin as tight as possible with this hand (on the same arm as the armpit I'm getting rid of the hairs of).
Basically, I try to stretch the skin as much as possible, and my way of doing that is to position my elbow straight up, tighten my skin with the hand of that same arm, and try to keep my skin as straight and tight as I can while epilating with my other hand.
6. I use the opposite hand for epilating, and I hold the epilator in an area until I can't feel any more pain.
So if I'm epilating my right armpit, I'll use my left hand to hold the epilator, and vice versa.
I start to epilate in a spot, usually the very top, and then hold the epilator in place as it does it thing.
I essentially know that it's done and I can move on when I stop feeling pain in that area when I continue to hold the epilator still over it.
This works whether or not I have a mirror, as if there's something for the epilator to catch, it will catch it (though it may take some time) causing some friction and pain.
The first day, i.e. the day I shaved, I can usually get a considerable amount of hairs out this way.
I have the Braun Silk-épil 9, so I'm not sure if this is down to the fact that the epilator is quite good.
Either way, it's not too painful this first day when shaving, but is painful enough that I know I've gotten a decent amount of hairs out.
7. I continue to move the epilator down a little as I stop feeling pain, then to the left, then to the right, and continue down in this way. Slightly down, slightly left, slightly right, then down again.
Once I'm done one very small section, I move the epilator down a little, make sure every hair is gone there by waiting until I feel no pain, and then move the epilator a bit to the right, then wait, a bit to the left, then wait.
Essentially my goal is to do little sections at a time, waiting until I feel no pain when I put the epilator over them so I know it's caught every hair it can, then I move on to a very small section that's adjacent, and keep moving side-to-side, up-to-down, until I've finished my entire armpit.
8. I take plenty of breaks and keep trying to do as much as I can.
I don't often epilate my entire underarms in one go without taking any breaks.
I'll usually take a short break maybe midway through if I am just too annoyed with the pain. Or even earlier.
The first time I epilated my underarms, it took a while because I took a lot of breaks, but because I kept trying to do as much as I can, I made a lot of progress.
9. I do my whole armpit if possible, but don't go too hard on myself if I can't handle all the pain, and do as much as I can.
There are some days I just can't do my entire armpit because I can't handle the pain in that moment.
In that case, I try to give myself a break, and go back to it another time.
It's okay to not have the whole thing done, eventually if you keep making progress, you'll manage to get all your hairs.
10. The next day, I will repeat the process minus shaving the area. So I will shower, but not shave.
The day after this first day of trying to epilate my armpits, I will hop in the shower and clean the area thoroughly, dry the area, and start the process of epilating my armpits.
This second day the epilator usually catches a lot more hair than the first, but it's not too bad at all.
11. After a week of repeating, my armpits are pretty great.
I keep repeating the process of showering and then epilating my armpits until I've essentially gotten all the hairs, and usually after a week of epilating, my armpits look and feel much, much better.
Epilating your armpits is definitely worth it in my experience.
Epilating makes your underarms look a lot better than simply shaving ever could, and the more often you do it, the less pain you'll have.
Sooner or later, epilating your underarms will be a breeze. And in my experience, it's often sooner rather than later.