7 Natural Hair Removal Options That Work

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Natural hair removal options that work
Wellness Mama » Blog » Beauty » 7 Natural Hair Removal Options That Work

Even though I’ve been known to use hair growth serum for healthier hair, there are some places hair isn’t welcome. There are plenty of hair removal options out there, from chemicals to shaving to electrocution. Here I cover natural hair removal options that work and are gentle on skin.

What’s the Point?

Before we talk about removing hair, let’s talk about why it’s there in the first place. Body hair serves several purposes, but mainly it provides warmth and reduces friction. It protects against sun and wind damage and in certain places (like the nose) acts as a gatekeeper to ward off bacteria and dirt.

According to Encyclopedia Brittanica, every month we gain another ½ inch of hair growth.

Even though hair serves a purpose, we don’t always want it in certain areas. When choosing a hair removal method it’s important to note different options work better on different areas.

Hair Removal Options

Many conventional hair removal options are safe and natural. Others…. not so much. Here’s the rundown of different ways people remove unwanted body hair. I’ll cover the pros and cons of each and which methods are the healthiest for skin and hair.


What it is: A tiny needle is put into each hair to permanently damage the hair follicle. The needle electrocutes the follicle with shortwave radio vibrational frequencies.

Pros: It’s effective.

Cons: It can be painful and destroys a functioning part of the body. Hair follicles perform important functions so permanently killing them can have negative effects. Electrolysis can also cause scarring and infection if not done properly. It requires several treatments, is painstaking, and can be uncomfortable.

Bottom line: This isn’t a hair removal method I’ll be trying any time soon.


What it is: A doctor uses a laser light to damage the hair follicle at the root. There are also laser devices that women can use at home.

Pros: It can permanently reduce or eliminate hair growth in treated areas after several sessions and annual follow-ups. A laser can also treat a wide variety of areas from the face, to underarms, and legs.

Cons: Lasering is expensive and takes multiple sessions. According to Mayo Clinic it also doesn’t work on light-colored hair or people with darker skin tones. It can cause skin discoloration, pain, redness, swelling, blistering, crusting, scarring, and other skin damage. Home laser removal can be even riskier since these devices aren’t regulated like the lasers at a doctor’s office.

Bottom line: There are safer ways to remove hair, so this isn’t my top choice for hair removal.

Depilatories (Chemical Hair Removal)

What it is: A liquid that’s applied to the skin and chemically dissolves hair. These come in a variety of gel, cream, and soap options.

Pros: This type of hair removal can be fast and easy.

Cons: Depilatories only remove hair on the surface so they need to be reused frequently. It can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions according to the FDA. There have also been reports of burns, blisters, stinging, rashes, and skin peeling off. It’s literally burning off hair with harsh chemicals.

Bottom line: Also another hair removal option that is not on my list to try.

Natural Hair Removal Options

So now that we’ve covered what I don’t recommend, let’s look at some of the best natural hair removal options that work.

1. Waxing

What it is: Melted wax is applied to the skin and then pulled off quickly once it hardens.

Pros: It rips hair out by the root so it lasts longer than shaving. Wax doesn’t have to use any harsh chemicals like some methods and can be a natural way to remove hair. Natural wax recipes call for beeswax mixed with rosin and maybe coconut oil.

Cons: Waxing can’t be used on damaged skin, including varicose veins, moles, or warts. It shouldn’t be used on more delicate areas of the body like the bikini line, nose, or ears. Waxing may cause skin irritation and damage, burning, or infection if done wrong.

Waxing can also be an uncomfortable hair removal option. Unlike shaving or tweezing hair has to be between 1/4 to 3/4 of an inch to work safely and effectively.

According to the American Academy of Dermatologists, people taking antibiotics shouldn’t wax. Prescription antibiotics cause the skin to thin and waxing can damage and rip the thin skin. Diabetics and those with damaged skin or circulation problems also aren’t waxing candidates.

Bottom line: Using a natural wax free of synthetic chemicals on healthy skin can be a good option for some. There are however a lot of downsides and the risk of skin damage can be higher than other options.

How to Wax

If you’re up for the challenge, here’s how to do it.

  1. Apply non-GMO cornstarch or arrowroot to the area. This helps the wax stick to the hair and not the skin!
  2. Apply the wax according to the manufacturer’s directions. If you’re using a homemade version people typically melt together 4 parts rosin to 1 part beeswax.
  3. Moisturize afterward with something like this homemade lotion. 

2. Sugaring

What it is: Similar to waxing, a sugar paste is applied to the skin and removed to rip out hairs.

Pros: It leaves skin really smooth and lasts longer than shaving. You can buy or make your own DIY sugar paste. Sugaring can be affordable, fast, and has been around since ancient times.

Unlike waxing this can be done on really short hair, is less irritating to the skin, and doesn’t pose any burn risk since it’s at room temp. This hair removal can also help remove ingrown hairs over time caused by shaving.

Cons: This method can hurt if done wrong, though not as much as waxing.

Bottom line: Sugaring is a safe, natural, and affordable way to remove hair, even at home. Skin stays smoother longer and there are very few risks.

How to Sugar for Hair Removal

If you’re short on time here’s a sugar wax that’s ready to go. If you prefer to DIY then here’s how to do it.

3. Plucking and Tweezing

What it is: Handheld tweezers can remove unwanted hair by pulling it out by the root.

Pros: It’s a very safe natural hair removal option and is good for small areas, like eyebrows and facial hair.

Cons: Tweezers can be uncomfortable and tedious for large areas of the skin.

Bottom line: I’ll use tweezers to trim up my eyebrows and pluck the occasional, pesky out-of-place hair. However, when it comes to legs and underarm areas there are faster, more efficient options. Here’s a good pair of tweezers for trimming up small areas.

4. Threading

What it is: Similar to plucking, two cotton threads are twisted together to pluck out hair by the roots.

Pros: Threading has been around for centuries and is safely used by many. It’s helpful for small areas like eyebrows.

Cons: Threading won’t remove hair from large areas and needs done by a professional. It can also cause skin irritation and infection for some.

Bottom line: When done right threading can be a good option for smaller areas of the body.

How to Do Threading

It’s not recommended to try this one at home. There are DIY videos out there, but risks include tearing the skin and pulling out unwanted hairs (like eyelashes). Check with local salons and spas to see which ones offer threading in your area.

5. Epilating

What it is: A handheld electric device that uses a coil to pull hair out by the root.

Pros: Over time an epilator can help hair grow back smoother, slower, and finer. The results also last longer than shaving since it removes hair by the root. It can be used even on really short hair. Newer versions are used on wet skin and not as painful as dry pulling.

Cons: It can be painful, like really painful. Epilators can also cause ingrown hairs.

Bottom line: Epilators can be a good natural hair removal option, but the discomfort may deter some people.

How to Use an Epilator

There are lots of different options when it comes to epilators. For beginners especially it’s helpful to have a wet/dry option that can be used in the shower. A wet epilator has easier cleanup and is more comfortable. Here’s one of the top-rated epilators for larger areas, like the legs, and one for more delicate areas like the face and eyebrows. This brand is also good, but a little more budget savvy.

6. Shaving

What it is: A razor slices through hair on the surface. You know the drill.

Pros: It’s fast, easy, and familiar. Shaving can leave skin smooth and is one of the most popular hair removal methods.

Cons: The wrong razor or shaving cream can cause knicks, irritation, and ingrown hairs. Shaving is more likely to cause irritation in more sensitive areas, like the bikini line.

Bottom Line: Shaving is a safe natural option as long as you have the right tools to do the job. You can find my recipe for shaving cream and soap here, and get a safety razor here.

7. Turmeric Paste

What it is: Turmeric may make for a mean turmeric latte, but it’s also good for hair removal. Yes, really. Turmeric paste latches onto hair as it dries so hair can be scrubbed away along with the paste.

Pros: It’s a natural and fairly easy way to remove hair. Over time with consistent use turmeric helps hair grow back lighter and finer.

Cons: Turmeric can stain skin temporarily. Because this method pulls hair out by the root it can be a little uncomfortable.

How to Use Turmeric Paste

You can use just turmeric and water, or add in some rice flour, baking soda, milk, and other ingredients. Milk adds some skin softening benefits.

  1. Make a thick paste with powdered turmeric and cow or coconut milk (or water).
  2. Apply to the skin and allow to dry.
  3. Use a warm washcloth to scrub off the paste and the hair along with it.

FAQ About Natural Hair Removal

Does shaving/waxing change how hair grows?

Many people claim that shaving or waxing changes their body hair. While these experiences may be valid, hair supposedly doesn’t change with shaving. According to the FDA, shaving doesn’t change hair texture, color, or growth rate.

Is it more natural to not remove body hair?

Technically yes, however even natural hair dye and styling hair aren’t completely all-natural either. Some women opt to keep all their body hair, while others prefer to remove some or all. It’s a personal decision and either option can be healthy!

What are your favorite options when it comes to getting rid of unwanted hair? Will you try one of the ones above? Leave us a comment and let us know!


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Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


13 responses to “7 Natural Hair Removal Options That Work”

  1. Jay Avatar

    Thank you for this post. Can you tell us more about the negatives of laser hair removal? Specifically, how, like electrolysis, it destroys a functioning part of the body.

    If one does laser hair removal (at a certified clinic) on a large part of the body, will this have some kind of long-term negative health effect? Or is it a thing that once it’s done it’s not a problem?

    For example, could this be analogous to piercing one’s ear? You know, when you pierce an ear, technically you do destroy a living functioning part of the body even though it’s very small. Once it’s done, it doesn’t seem to be a problem.

  2. Nicole Avatar

    I tried almost all of these except the tumeric. I used an at home IPL Laser that helped thin out my leg hair and wasn’t painful (to me anyway) and that was probably the best purchase / solution to leg hair for me. It did not work on my bikini line or my armpits.
    Tried both waxing and sugar wax, but found it was too painful, even with sugar wax. Love that this works for some people, but not for me.

    Honestly, the best and most effective thing I’ve done for hair removal is purchasing laser hair removal (professionally) for my bikini area. It was less painful than waxing and much more effective than the other forms. Razoring was too time consuming and left me with a rash.
    Main con is its expensive, but it’s a lifelong solution for me.
    That’s where I’m at with this!

  3. Shira Sorensen Avatar
    Shira Sorensen

    Which is safest for a teenager in a very dry climate, waxing, or sugaring? I know that sugar causes inflammation and fungus INSIDE our bodies so I’m not so sure about rubbing sugar all over my legs… is honey healthier? Also, how often would I need to do it? Thanks!

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      Waxing is more likely to harm skin than sugaring. Honey would have a different texture and the benefits of raw honey would be somewhat lost if it were heated. The sugar doesn’t stay on for very long though since it’s basically being applied then immediately removed. It doesn’t absorb into the body the same way as eating it.

  4. Nicky Avatar

    Hi Trina! It is definitely an insecurity for me as well. I am sooooo glad this was posted, thank you Katie! Can you please tell me which at home waxing kit you found that you love?

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      Most waxing kits online don’t have clean ingredients, but you can find recipes that use beeswax and coconut oil for an at home version.

  5. Terry Avatar

    What kind of cloth strips would you use for the sugaring method? Do you purchase them, make them?

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      Cloth strips can be made or purchased. It’s recomended to use 100% cotton if making them, and you can find cloth waxing strips at certain stores or online. Some people prefer to just use their fingers or a wooden stick.

  6. Melissa O Avatar
    Melissa O

    I’ve been making my own sugar paste for years – just honey and lemon juice. I apply and pull with my fingers. I find I get fewer ingrown hairs when I make my own vs. using a commercially produced one. I’ve also learned to not use any washes or soaps for at least 12 hours, so if it’s sticky, I just rinse with clear water only. I’ve never heard of turmeric paste, so I’m super curious how it compares to sugaring!

  7. Tanya Avatar

    I’ve tried several of these methods. My Mom waxed religiously for many years in her youth and has no leg hair left at all. I tried but find waxing, epilation and sugaring my legs too painful so I shave my legs. The only part of my of body that I can comfortably use my epilator is my armpits. I like to sugar my arms in t-shirt wearing months. It can be uncomfortable,so I don’t bother to remove my arm hair the rest of the year. I tried lazer hair removal for some facial hair about 20 years ago. I stopped going after 1 session resulted in second degree burns. I haven’t heard of turmeric paste for hair removal, but have a big bag of turmeric in my kitchen. Looking forward to trying this method.

  8. Holly Avatar

    Totally agree, I used to epilate my legs but the pain would make my eyes water! Waxing and sugaring gave me crazy ingrown hairs so for now I just shave. I’ve never heard of the turmeric method, I’m going to try it out ASAP! Thank you Katie!

  9. Laura Avatar

    I’ve not found that any of those safer methods work for the bikini line ? I always get ingrown hairs and red bumps, so I’ve been thinking about a more permanent solution

  10. Trina Chowdhury Avatar
    Trina Chowdhury

    This is such a great post. I know unwanted body hair is an insecurity for me and most women. This blog post is really helpful for those who are seeking to get their hair removed naturally. I recently invested in a wax kit myself and I can honestly say that it has changed by life. Thank you for sharing you insights. I am looking forward to trying out the other methods you have listed.

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