In elementary school, I rode the bus with Andrew, a tiny green-eyed wordsmith. When he caught on to the fact that my arms were fuzzier than your average third-grader, he coined what would become my least favorite term. I was a hairy turtle on the bus, a hairy turtle on the playground, and in my fifth grade yearbook, Andrew’s only words to me on the eve of becoming a tween were: “You are a hairy turtle.”
For this reason and others (but mostly this reason), I’ve been waxing my arms forever. But it’s expensive and messy to do at home (particularly messy to wax the arm attached to your dominant hand). Here are two options well-suited to large areas of skin – and I know about these things – that are less of an ordeal than going to get waxed at 11.
If your hair is dark but not particularly thick, bleaching might be the way to go. Jolen Crème Bleach ($10) is consistently good – you can even switch it from one arm to the other (less gross than it sounds) so you don’t have to mix up a gigantic batch.
Then there’s the no!no! ($250). I was conflicted and confused about the name, but I just tried it and I promise it doesn’t hurt – skin will feel warm and you’ll smell burning hair (no!no! warns you about this), but that’s about the extent of the cons.
The device is close to the size of a cell phone but twice as thick, and it sends pulses of heat into the hair shaft to get rid of the hair. It looks and smells like you're just singeing hair off, but it's a bit more complicated than getting too close to a candle. All told, it’ll take you a lot longer to read the directions than to de-hair a forearm.
And after I went to all that trouble for a decade, Andrew sent me an inebriated text a few weeks ago: “I’m sorry I called you a hairy turtle all the time when we were little. It was because I liked you and didn't know how to properly express my emotions.” GRRRRRR.
Peruse our Hair Removal Guide for more ways to get rid of hair on your arms and other places you don't want it to be.