DIY At-Home Hair Removal for Hands, Fingers, Feet and Toes
Have you ever wondered why you have hair in random places, like hair on your toes or fingers? You might think that you, as a human, are mostly hairless. But here’s something that’s going to blow your mind: Human beings are actually covered with little tiny hairs called “vellus” hairs. You know them — they’re the ones that you have to look really closely at your skin to see. They’re usually colorless and soft and cover most of our bodies.
In fact, the only place human beings don’t have hair follicles is on the palms of our hands and the soles of our feet!
The darker, coarser, longer hairs that show up on the pits, privates, and heads of most of us is called “terminal” hair. On men, terminal hair grows all over the place, while on most women it grows primarily in those three hotspots. But in both genders, sometimes it shows up in other, usually unwanted places.
Like our fingers. And knuckles. And feet. And toes.
While some people are perfectly fine with the extra short and curlies, others aren’t so into them and therefore try to figure out the best hair removal method, permanent or temporary. Each body part requires a different hair removal technique. And here at Silk’n, we’ve got the tools for that.
But before we get into the hair removal of it all, let’s take a look at those body parts to learn why we have hair there in the first place. (And then, don’t worry, we’ll tell you how to get rid of it, too.)
Why do we have hair on our hands and fingers?
Despite what your mom might have told you or your brother when you were kids, hair on the hands does not come from surreptitious self-pleasuring. In fact, it’s actually just a lot like the hair on the rest of your body, which is to say it’s likely genetic. For some reason that scientists have yet to uncover, certain ethnicities are more likely than others to have the gene that causes hair on the hands and knuckles.
There are other potential causes of hairy hands, however. For example, some researchers theorize that hair on the knuckles and fingers is the result of exposure to androgens (hormones that are associated more strongly with “male” traits, like a lot of body hair) in the womb. Hairy hands and knuckles could, therefore, be a sign of a hormonal issue. If your parents are hair-free and you’ve sprouted mini-mittens, it might be worth checking in with your health care provider to make sure there isn’t something else going on.
One thing that hair on the hands probably isn’t a sign of is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Hirsutism — which is a fancy way of saying more-than-expected amounts of hair, especially on a woman — is a symptom of PCOS, which is a hormonal imbalance that affects some people with uteruses. But, interestingly, while hair on the back, shoulders, and face are considered “hirsutism” and are potentially symptoms of PCOS, hair on the hands is not. Those hairs are likely caused by slight ethnic and genetic differences, not PCOS.
While other body hair serves a purpose (like the hair on your head keeping you warm and your eyebrows and eyelashes keeping dust out of your eyes), there’s no known purpose for knuckle and finger hair. Really — it’s basically useless. So, thanks mom and dad.
The fact that knuckle and finger hair serve no real purpose makes its existence even more frustrating for people who don’t want to walk around with hairy knuckles. At least a bushy eyebrow is doing something, right? But, nope, knuckle and finger hair is really just there to annoy you. Womp wommmmp.
Why do we have hair on our feet and toes?
Another area that hair likes to show up, even if we don’t want it to, is the feet and toes. (Actually, everyone has hair on their toes. It just might be vellus hair, so you can’t see it as well.) And it’s another thing you can thank your mama (or your papa) for. Hairy toes and feet are likely genetic and are more common in some ethnic groups than in others. So take a peek at your parents’ little piggies for clues about where your hairy toes came from.
People of all genders can have hair on their toes, but those dark terminal hairs are more common on men than on women. And while toe hair doesn’t serve a purpose, per se, a sudden lack of toe hair when you’ve rocked those hobbit feet for life might actually be a sign that something is wrong.
We’re not talking about hair removal here, of course. If you’ve purposely removed your toe hair, then that’s obviously not a sign of a medical condition; it’s just a personal choice you’ve made about your own body. But if you’ve never plucked, shaved, or chemically removed your toe hair and suddenly it’s not there anymore, it could be a sign that you have poor blood flow in your feet.
Poor blood flow is actually a symptom of peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is caused by plaque buildup in the arteries. That buildup is usually caused by lifestyle issues, including type-2 diabetes, smoking, and an unbalanced diet. As an early symptom, it can be a warning that it’s time to make some life changes now, or risk losing your feet or having a heart attack or stroke.
So if you notice a sudden lack of toe hair when there used to be plenty there, make an appointment with your health care provider. Nothing good comes from ignoring potential medical symptoms and getting in to see someone ASAP could literally save your life. (Or, at the very least, your toes.)
And as for those of you who wish your toe hair would magically disappear (without the underlying health condition, of course), keep reading.
How do you remove knuckle, finger, foot, and toe hair?
Shaving is always an option for hair removal, but your hands and feet have something that makes shaving harder — curves. Anyone who has ever nicked their knee in the shower or caught the edge of their ankle bone knows that running a sharp razor over curves is just asking for blood. Plus, who wants knuckle or toe stubble?
Let’s talk for a minute about the most popular types of hair removal. There are two kinds: ones that chop off the hair at the skin and ones that rip the hair out by the root. Methods that chop the hair off at skin level — like shaving — are easy, usually painless, and don’t cost too much per-treatment. But as anyone who shaves their legs or armpits knows, those hair grow back quickly. And for people with particularly thick and dark hair, keeping up with a shaving routine can feel like a second job. Plus, you know, stubble. (No one likes it.)
The other type of temporary hair removal — including waxing, sugaring, and plucking (aka epilation) — pulls hair out by the root. These methods tend to lead to longer-lasting results, but they also hurt. There’s just no way around it: Pulling hair out by its root is always going to be painful, no matter how good your waxer is.
Silk’n hair removal devices
So instead of going down any of those painful or arduous routes, check out the Silk’n intense pulsed light (IPL) hair removal devices, like the Flash&Go Pro that will deliver salon-quality hair removal that you can do yourself, at home. While shaving, waxing, and other temporary hair removal solutions only remove the hair itself, either at skin level or just below, IPL hair removal utilizes an intense beam of light to target the hair follicle, that’s the part of the hair under your skin, where the root grows, resulting in permanent hair removal.
The heat from IPL treatment actually damages the follicle and slows hair growth. After every session, the time between hair regrowth — and therefore the time between treatments — increases. For many people, repeated treatments can lead to periods of as long as eight weeks before it’s hair removal time again.
Oh, and you don’t have to worry about working around those finger and toe curves, either. Silk'n at home IPL devices deliver the silky smooth effects, without the blood common to other hair removal methods.
That’s actually a super common question people have about IPL treatment: Does it hurt? And while results vary by person, IPL at-home treatments are usually no more painful than a quick rubber band flick. Pleasant? Not entirely. But also not terrible — and certainly less painful than waxing or even laser hair removal. And, for some people, there’s no pain at all! It really just depends on your skin type.
Learn more about the products
If you’re still not sure about whether or not IPL treatment is right for your hairy fingers or toes, check out these four interviews with IPL hair removal device customers. They’re a great way to see just how effective, easy, and worth it IPL hair removal really is.