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Body hair, including belly hair, is completely normal. Some people keep the hair on their belly, while others choose to remove it.

There’s no medical reason to remove the hair from your stomach — it’s purely a personal preference.

There are several ways to remove belly hair, including:

  • waxing
  • shaving
  • hair removal creams or lotions
  • laser hair removal

If you’re considering removing the hair on your stomach, it’s a good idea to learn the pros and cons of these methods and how to practice them safely.

There are several methods for removing hair on the stomach. These methods vary greatly in terms of cost and how long they last before you have to do them again.

All of the methods are considered safe as long as you follow the instructions.

Depending on your skin type, personal preference, pain tolerance, and budget, you can decide which method works best for you to remove unwanted hair from the stomach.

Stomach waxing

Waxing involves putting wax on the skin and then using a cloth strip to pull off the wax along with the hair.

Salon waxing can cost anywhere from $30 to $100 or more each time, plus tips, depending on the body part.

Waxing can be less expensive if you buy the wax and do it yourself at home.

Pros

  • Waxing is very effective at removing hair from the stomach.
  • Results can last for about a month and sometimes longer, since the hair is removed at the root.
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Cons

  • It can be uncomfortable or painful.
  • You can burn yourself if you use a hot wax too soon before letting it cool.
  • It can cause acne and ingrown hairs.
  • If you get your waxing done by a professional, it can feel awkward to have a stranger wax your body.
  • You’ll have to wait for the hair to grow back before you can have it waxed again.
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Sugaring

Sugaring, or sugar waxing, is similar to waxing, but instead of a wax, it involves a mixture of sugar, lemon juice, and salt.

Pros

  • Many people find sugaring less painful and less irritating than regular waxing, because the sugar wax doesn’t stick to the skin.
  • It’s a better option for people with sensitive skin.
  • It gently exfoliates the skin.
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Cons

  • It’s less painful than waxing, but it can still hurt.
  • It can be more expensive than waxing.
  • You can make sugar wax at home, but the right consistency can be difficult to achieve on your own.
  • It can be messy.
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Electronic epilators

Epilator devices work by using an electric current to remove hair. A tweezer inside the device grabs the hair close to the skin and then applies a current.

Pros

  • The results of epilators can last for a month or longer since the hair is removed at the root.
  • You can find epilators online for as little as $20.
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Cons

  • It can be painful.
  • It can cause ingrown hairs.
  • There’s no evidence to show that it can permanently remove hair.
  • The devices aren’t regulated.
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Laser hair removal for your stomach

During laser hair removal, a laser light is used on the skin to heat and destroy the hair follicles.

Laser removal is considered semipermanent and tends to work better for people with dark hair and light skin.

Pros

  • Laser hair removal delays hair growth for long periods of time. In some cases, results can last for years.
  • There’s little to no recovery time following a session.
  • The hair that regrows will be finer and lighter than before.
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Cons

  • It can be expensive as it can only be done by a professional. The average cost is $287 per treatment.
  • Side effects can include blistering, redness, swelling, skin pigment changes, scarring, and infections.
  • It can be painful. A numbing cream is used during the procedure to help minimize the pain.
  • The results aren’t permanent, and there’s no guarantee that all the hair will be removed.
  • You’ll need regular sessions to keep hair from regrowing, roughly every 6 weeks at first, and then maintenance appointments once or twice a year.
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Nair and other depilatories

Hair removal creams, gels, and liquids are also known as depilatories. Common brands are Veet and Nair.

Depilatories use chemicals dissolve the protein in the hair just below the surface of the skin.

Pros

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Cons

  • The chemicals can irritate the skin or even cause burns. It’s a good idea to test the product on a small area of skin before using it to make sure you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients.
  • They may have an unpleasant smell.
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It’s important that you follow the directions carefully. Never use these products on skin that’s already irritated or has a cut.

You should probably avoid depilatories if you have sensitive skin.

Shaving

Shaving involves running a blade over the skin to cut off the hair at the surface of the skin. You can use disposable razors or an electric razor.

Pros

  • Shaving is inexpensive.
  • It’s likely the easiest and fastest option for removing belly hair.
  • It’s usually painless if you’re careful.
  • It can be done while you shower or bathe.
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Cons

  • You’ll have to shave more often compared to the other hair removal methods, possibly every day.
  • It can cause skin irritation, razor burn, and cuts.
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To minimize irritation, try shaving in the shower so your skin is moist and soft. You can also use a shaving cream or gel.

Change your blade often, and shave in the same direction that the hair grows.

Getting rid of stomach hair permanently is possible but can be difficult and costly.

Contrary to popular belief, laser hair removal isn’t permanent. Laser therapy can last a long time, but it has to be retouched often and can’t guarantee full removal.

The only way to remove stomach hair permanently is with a procedure called electrolysis. Electrolysis uses an electric current to kill the hair root.

The current is distributed through fine needles that are placed directly into the hair follicles. It can only be done by a dermatologist or a certified electrologist.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers electrolysis a permanent way to remove hair. All hair colors and skin tones can receive electrolysis.

The biggest downside to this method is the cost. Electrolysis can cost anywhere from $35 to $200 per session, but you’ll need to go in for follow-up sessions every 2 weeks.

Typically, electrolysis requires more sessions than laser hair removal. Once the hair is gone, no maintenance will be required.

Belly hair usually isn’t as noticeable in women as it is in men, but it’s completely normal for women to have hair on their stomachs.

While the color and thickness of the hair varies from person to person, everyone has at least some hair on their stomach.

Hair can also appear on the stomach during the course of a pregnancy. This hair growth is normal and caused by hormonal fluctuations. The extra hair is harmless and will likely go away a few months after giving birth.

At-home hair removal methods, such as shaving, waxing, or depilatory creams, are considered safe for pregnant women.

Belly hair is totally normal for both men and women, and there’s no medical need to remove it.

If the hair is bothering you, you have many options. Ultimately, it’s up to your own personal preference. If you find one method that doesn’t work for you, you can always explore other methods.

Laser hair removal and electrolysis are two options that offer long-term hair removal solutions, but can be expensive.

Talk to a doctor or dermatologist about the best options for your personal needs.

If you’re a teen trying hair removal for the first time, it may be a good idea to ask a parent or other trusted adult for help.