I am blessed with lustrous raven black body hair.
For a long time, I thought I was destined for a future of constant, painful, expensive hair removal.
Fortunately, by the time I turned 22 I realized my body belongs to me and I get to decide how it looks. But still, my body hair bothered me.
Everywhere I went, I was wondering if people could see the prickly black dots surfacing from my skin. So instead of fighting an uphill battle, I decided to wave the white flag and accept that this isn’t something I wanted to spend energy maintaining.
So I practiced grooming my body hair instead of shaving, waxing, and plucking myself like a chicken. Here’s what I did.
Did you know you can buy an electric shaver like the one your dad used every morning before work? Yes – they exist for women!
I recently invested in a handy wet/dry number from Philips and I’m happy for a few reasons. First, very little irritation. When your body hair is as thick as your dad’s facial hair, you’re crazy prone to razor burn. I honest to God can’t shave my legs two days in a row because – holy hannah it hurts.
But with this electric shaver, I can trim my legs, armpits, and bikini area as often as I want. It’s still not very often, but at least now I have a choice and my life isn’t ruled my by body hair.
Second, I like it because I can take it with me! It has a rechargeable battery that works with out without water – and never gives you razor burn. This is great because I tend to miss sections or want to multitask. I brought it with me on the boat this summer to quickly “shave” my leg hair and bikini line. It was great.
Every single razor commercial I see shows hairless women effortlessly shaving their invisible hair against the grain. So this is how I thought shaving was supposed to go.
But when my body hair fought back via knicks, bumps, and ingrown hairs I almost gave up shaving altogether! Until I realized you can shave down your leg and still – kinda – get the same result.
Granted, when your hair is dark and thick like mine, it’s definitely not the same. I’m not in love with hairy legs, armpits, and vulvas, but you know what I love less? Bleeding, pain, and plucking hair out from under a layer of my own skin.
Heads up: You don’t have to trim or manipulate your body hair at all. Taking care of your skin and hair can be as simple as getting a nice scrub to exfoliate dead skin and following it up with a lotion.
Personally, I like Aveda’s Rosemary Mint body polish and Aveeno body lotion.
Stick with me on this one, especially if your body hair is of the invisible variety. Think about why you feel pressured to hide, remove, and reduce the amount of body hair you have.
“Because it’s more feminine to be smooth”
Um, says who? Your body is literally programmed to grow hair. So that indicates it’s feminine to HAVE body hair. The actual reason you feel smooth is feminine is because Gillette decided to expand its customer base to women in 1915. They did this by convincing women to remove their “unsightly body hair.”
So do you want to let Gillette decide what’s feminine or your own female body? I’m choosing my own female body – but it’s really up to you. I’m not judging anyone who shaves, waxes, or plucks every hair from their body. You can do whatever makes you happy.
But I will challenge you to ask yourself why you’re doing it. Who are you doing it for? Yourself or the expectations of someone else?
Do you shave your body hair?
If so, why? Have you ever thought about alternatives to razor bumps and prickles?