Sorry if this question is slightly gross.

I happen to have a significant amount of hair on my arms and the back of my hands. When preparing food using my hands (e.g. kneading dough), sometimes hair gets in the food. How can I avoid this? What would a serious / professional cook do?

Would they wear gloves and long sleeves? Would they shave their arms? Are there other approaches?

  • 4
    Neither gross, nor inappropriate. Welcome to Seasoned Advice. I doubt anyone is going to have a better answer than gloves and long sleeves, but it's worth a shot.
    – Jolenealaska
    Dec 13, 2014 at 18:20
  • Sounds like waxing or IPL for a semi-permanent solution?
    – Ming
    Dec 15, 2014 at 1:27
  • 3
    Bit extreme a grown man shaving/waxing his arms for the sake of baking don't you think? I don't think women even shave their arms 😜
    – Doug
    Dec 15, 2014 at 17:19
  • Sharpen and test the knives more regularly, that usually deals with the hair on one arm :) Sep 22, 2016 at 10:30

3 Answers 3


I have a similarly hairy hand/arm issue. I scrub my hands and arms quite roughly with soap, hot water and scouring pad prior to any prep. In an effort to remove any lose hairs before giving them a chance to get in any food. Suffice to say I've never noticed any hair in any of my food.

Gloves may help stop any hand hair's getting in there but I can't see how a long sleeved top would, all you'll end up with is dirty cuff's. If it really does get bad just clingfilm your arms ;-)


To add in to @Doug's answer, Chef garbs may also help, with the long, loose sleeves. The fabric is usually a bit rough which may help catch some of the hairs.

chef garb


A simpler solution than Doug's scrubbing, but you might have luck just brushing or rubbing at your hands and arms prior to cooking, so that any loose hairs can be shaken off before you begin cooking. Hairs seem to shed rather slowly, if all the loose-ish hairs are knocked off prior to cooking I would expect it to be unlikely for there to be more loose enough to fall (without intervention) within the hour or two cooking a dish usually takes.

Alternatively, you might have some luck rubbing oil or cream on your hands and arms a bit before cooking. It would encourage loose hairs to be shaken off before cooking begins, much like brushing, and it may also let your skin stay a bit moister, the better to catch stray hairs or perhaps prevent them from coming loose as quickly.

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