Dyed armpit hair is becoming a phenomenon on Tumblr and Instagram. The divisive reactions to it show that it’s more than just a beauty fad, since most of the women who have tried it consider it liberating. Eschewing the social beauty norms is the main reason behind this seemingly crazy trend, but there’s also a fun element to it.

Growing out your armpit hair is already considered subversive, but dying it in vibrant rainbow colors is definitely making a statement. Find out more about the dyed armpit hair trend, from the why to the how.

Dyed Armpit Hair – Why Do It

The reasons why some women would quickly jump on this trend aren’t that complicated to understand. From rejecting the mainstream beauty ideal to feeling in control on your own body, the dyed armpit hair trend is a hit with social justice warriors on Tumblr.

Pink Armpit Hairphoto: @ladypithair

Being In Control of Your Body

While women’s rights continue to remain a political issue, and access to contraception and abortion are still under attack, growing armpit hair out is definitely a way to reject the patriarchal structures that are still in place. Using a bright rainbow color to make it stand out can be empowering and even a lot of fun.

Lady Gaga Dyed Armpit HairLady Gaga

Making a Statement About Beauty

The mainstream beauty ideal is being rejected by more and more women, but the question of shaving your pits is not a new controversy. Women have been pushing for their right to do it since the 1920s, but mainstream beauty standards are slow to change. The women who have published pictures of their dyer armpit hair on Tumblr and Instagram (@LadyPitHair), are rebelling against the conventional wisdom that this is completely outside of accepted beauty standards.

Celebrities Who Don’t Shave Their Armpits

Madonna Armpit Hair

While no celebrity has jumped on the trend yet, some have been making strong statements about their bodies using armpit hair. Julia Roberts was the first A-lister who dared to show up on the red carpet without shaved armpits in 1999, and the media was extremely critical. 

Celebrities With Hairy Armpits

Celebrities like Beyoncé and Britney Spears have also attended public events with less than perfectly shaved pits, while Madonna made a bold statement on Instagram with her hairy pits.

Dyed Armpit Hair – How to Do It

If you’re willing to give this trend a try, you’ll need a special dye for body, a little bleach, and patience when it comes to growing out your armpit hair and getting the best results.

Bleaching Armpit Hair

The most important step in getting dyed armpit hair is the bleaching process. Even if you’re a blonde, you’ll probably need very little bleach to ensure that the color stays put when you choose the right shade. You’ll need a professional brush applicator for the bleach, and the time of application depends on how dark or light your hair is. For a medium brown, it can take anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes.

Once you’re getting to the white-blonde shade that’s perfect for getting a vibrant shade on your dyed armpit hair, make sure that you rinse the bleach thoroughly. Finally, dry your hair completely before reaching for the dye.

Armpit Hair Colorphoto: Roxie Hunt

Dying Armpit Hair

You’ll also need a good brush applicator for the dye, regardless of what shade you end up choosing. Pink, blue and green are among the Tumblr favorites so far, but whatever color your prefer, make sure that it’s vibrant to get the right look.

Dyed Armpit Hair Trendphoto: Destiny M

Don’t go straight to the roots, since you might end up staining your skin. Instead, focus on applying your dye at about half an inch from your skin.

Since there are no dyes created specifically for armpit hair, you’ll have to use regular hair dye, but you can also choose temporary hair color sprays.

Blue Armpit Hairphoto: @liquiddsunshine

Dyed Armpit Hair Maintenance

If the result isn’t exactly what you hoped for, you should use gloves for any touch-ups. Use a very small amount of dye and gently press it on the hair with your thumb and index finger. Wear an old t-shirt right after applying the dye to prevent any staining.

Your dyed armpit hair shouldn’t stain your clothing after 24 hours, but the color won’t stay put as long as it would on your head, so be prepared to invest some time and effort into maintaining this unique beauty look.