Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Would you dye your armpit hair? How women are embracing the 'empowering' A-list beauty trend


Beauty and female body hair traditionally sit together about as well as harsh chemicals on sensitive skin, but thanks to mainstream ideas of beauty becoming more fluid - and hair dyes less toxic - we now have the colourful armpit, a trend that's been growing out of control since late last year.

US hairdresser Roxie Hunt is credited with sparking the movement after she dyed her female colleague's pits blue and blogged about it.

Naturally, a Tumblr followed, along with women posting proud Instagram selfies with the #dyedpits hashtag.

Miley Cyrus recently showed off her hot pink take in a post liked by 396,000 people.


#PANK #dirtyhippie

A photo posted by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on

Hunt, 31, details her thoughts on embracing body hair in her Free Your Pits Manifesto, in which she writes: "We aim to normalise the concept of body hair on women and help others embrace their own if they so choose."

"I work in the beauty industry which is as everyone knows an industry that pushes a lot of standards on women," Hunt told Seattle news site KOUW. "But I strongly believe in a woman's right to choose what she does with her own body."

"I'm a huge advocate of empowering women to really think about the choices that they make and make them for the right reasons," Hunt added.

She also charges $65 (£41) for the service in what the New York Times calls her "feminist-leaning salon" Vain, in Seattle.

Embracing armpit hair in the name of feminism is, of course, nothing new, but now Insta-friendly pops of colour are driving the zeitgeist, rather than a sole desire to destigmatize the way women are expected to groom themselves.

However, the majority of entrants in China's much-talked about armpit hair competition last month kept theirs au naturel, while Girls star Jemima Kirke was also sans dye for a red carpet outing last month.

Jemima Kirke

Some headlines did shout about Kirke "flashing" her "bushy armpit hair," but it was a choice that drew a far more muted response than the media fanfare that surrounded Julia Roberts when she wore unshaven underarms with a glitzy dress at the 1999 premiere of Notting Hill.

It could be that Kirke isn't quite as A-list as Roberts and is known for starring in a feminist TV show, but thankfully, 16 years on, there does appear to be a thawing in popular perception of what women should or shouldn't do with their bodies. 

Julia, the world just wasn't ready for you.

Julia Roberts

Feminism and female body hair have always been uneasy bedfellows. Some women prefer to be ultra-groomed, others don't remove their body hair at all, and there are others who might grow and dye their underarm hair but wouldn't feel comfortable letting their moustaches grow out or be seen with pubic hair poking out of their bikini bottoms.

Ultimately, how people want their bodies to look is nobody's business, but seeing more females shunning razors - whether they dye the resulting hair or not - is one way to normalise the fact that adults of both genders produce armpit hair and that women do have a choice in whether or not to remove it.

Women showing off their #dyedpits:

hairy fairy #dyedpits #manicpixie

A photo posted by Zora Beer (@unicorn.inc) on

Fancy an underarm dye job? Here are some DIY tutorials:



“I’m excited about not spending any more on hair removal – ever”


20 awesome bobby pin hair hacks

little girl remove hair HERO.jpg

Mother lets her little girl shave her head for a brilliant reason


“At last – no more shaving, waxing or epilating”


The best and worst forays into facial hair by our favourite A-list men


Natalie Portman shares the beauty lessons she learnt from the French



31 killer beauty looks for Halloween

Scary good

by Anna Pollitt
24 Oct 2016

30 beautiful constellation and astronomy ear piercings

Get on board with the latest piercing trend

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Oct 2016

This is the one reason you need to wash your makeup brushes

Be right back, we've got some cleaning to do

by Sarah Biddlecombe
19 Oct 2016

YouTube star Tanya Burr defends the blogging industry

“Bloggers don't deserve to be vilified”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
14 Oct 2016

“I dream in perfume”: Jo Malone on her life in fragrance

The perfumier tells Stylist of how her remarkable sense of smell has shaped her entire life

by Harriet Hall
14 Oct 2016

Harry Potter make-up is here just in time for Halloween

You can now wear a love potion on your lips

by Sarah Biddlecombe
12 Oct 2016

MAC’s new Nutcracker-inspired make-up collection is truly magical

Totally dreamy.

by Moya Crockett
12 Oct 2016

Tiffany Blue nails are now achievable

"I believe in manicures"

by Anna Pollitt
10 Oct 2016

Read my lips: Stylist pays homage to the high-impact lip trend

Bold lips for autumn winter

by Joanna McGarry
10 Oct 2016

How smart is your vagina?

From smart vibrators to clever kegels, technology’s new frontier

by The Stylist web team
03 Oct 2016