A “Pit Puff” Veteran Dyes Her Armpit Hair For Spring

Dyed pit hair: popular with second graders!

Avital Norman Nathman

Bright pops of color are all the rage for spring this season, from clothes to nails to… armpit hair? Yup! Not only are folks getting on board with the trend of growing out your pit puffs (once Miley Cyrus does it, it’s official, right?), but they’re experimenting with ways to make their armpit hair stand out in a crowd.

In fact, The Gloss has even named dyed pit puffs “2015’s Coolest Beauty Trend.” From turquoise to pink to purple, armpit hair dyeing tutorials have been popping up everywhere. Hairstylist Roxie Hunt was one of the first to popularize these colorful tufts of hair at the end of 2014, when she wrote a post for Offbeat Home celebrating pit hair and offering a tutorial on how to DIY dye it, garnering over 37,000 shares.

As you may know, I’m no stranger to rocking my own pit puffs, yet in the many years I have sported them, never once did it occur to me to dye them. But there was no way I was going to pass up this fun trend.

I started by reading a number of DIY blogs that detailed how to properly dye your pit hair, and then just went at it the best I could. I started by bleaching the hair under my armpits with Sally Hansen’s Creme Hair Bleach. This was the easiest part, as the bleach only needs to stay on for about 10 minutes, and it didn’t stain my skin at all. I pulled some double duty and used some of the leftover bleach cream solution to get a few dark hairs on my upper lip. Multitasking at its best! When I rinsed the bleach off it was a light orange-ish color that was pretty cool. I debated leaving it at that, but I was on a bold color mission.

I decided that pink was the way to go and chose ION’s Brilliance Bright in magenta. This part took more patience, dexterity, and skill. I kept getting the dye on my skin, and as I applied it to my hair, I had to continuously stop and wipe it off to make sure I didn’t end up with hot pink skin as well. I also had to keep my arms elevated for about 40 minutes. It was a shame I had wasted time earlier in the day going to a yoga class since I got a pretty fantastic arm workout (aka my arms were super sore after all of this). When I add a pop of color to my (head) hair, I usually blow dry the dye in before I rinse it out, so I tried that here. I’m not sure if it made a big difference or not, but the warm air felt nice after hanging out shirtless for almost an hour, so at least there’s that.

Avital Norman Nathman
Avital Norman Nathman

Unfortunately, when I rinsed the dye out, I was a bit disappointed with the color. While I had managed not to get a ton on my skin, I also didn’t achieve the super bright color I’ve been seeing all over. And, only a day afterward, the color came off a bit on my t-shirt after a particularly vigorous walk (aka with some sweat). Not cool!

So, I decided why not pizazz it up with some Manic Panic in Purple Haze. A few days later, I went through the process again with the dark purple dye, and was thrilled with the results: Vivid, lush color, right on trend!

All dyed up, I couldn’t wait to sport a tank top and show off my trendy pit hair.

Avital Norman Nathman
Avital Norman Nathman

Reactions:

My husband: He refused to be quoted for this story, unfortunately. The most he would give me was “that’s different.” For the record, he’s totally nonplussed by my pit hair in general, so that’s not an issue, but perhaps having it Crayola purple threw him for a loop?

My 8-year-old son: He was the most effusive in his praise out of everyone. He thought it looked awesome and said that if he had any hair there, he would totally do the same. Dyed pit hair: popular with second graders!

My hairdresser: I happened to have an appointment to get my hair done a couple days after dying my pit hairs so of course I had to show my hairdresser to get a professional opinion. She thought they were awesome and even said they were pretty damn hot. Stylist approved!

Random folks in my yoga class: I got some stares, double takes, and a few smiles, but nobody outright said anything. I’d like to think that my deep purple pits brought an aura of peaceful calm to class.

Unfortunately, the vivacious purple only lasted me about a week before starting to fade. I’m not sure if it’s just my pit hair in general that doesn’t take well to the dye or if there’s some secret trick I’ve yet to master. I’ll most likely try again a few times this summer, but with all the prep, time, and upper arm soreness that goes into the process, I don’t think this trend will become a weekly regimen here. My pit puffs will have to content themselves for being trendy only some of the time.

READ MORE: On Body Hair and Changing What It Means to Be Feminine