Hair removal plays a big part in the lives of women, dating back all the way to cave-people, who used sharp stones or seashells to scrape hair from their bodies, and later the and ancient Egyptians, who invented sugaring (aka ‘sweet’).
Have you ever stopped to think about why you shave/wax/torture yourself? We have, and most of the reasons given– such as hygiene –are actually unfounded. In fact, removing your natural body hair can be less hygienic than leaving it, and even lead to infections.
Read on to learn why you should consider going au naturel:
There’s a Hefty Price to Pay for being Hairless
Think about how much you actually spend on denying your genetic makeup:
Hair removal cream costs around 16LE. That’s 16LE that will end up an icky glob of gook being flushed away or thrown in the bin.
Wax strips can cost up to 40LE. You’re paying 40LE for sticky pain paper.
A pack of razors? Anywhere between 15LE – 40LE. For sharp blades that you run against your skin….
‘Sweet’ can cost from 3LE – 5 LE for a few pieces, and think about how many you actually need to get the job done….
How often do you rid yourself of body hair? Once or twice a week? Every other day? Twice daily like Chrissy Teigen?
According to a British survey, the average women spends 72 days– that’s approximately 1,728 hours –shaving their legs over their lifetime.
In this instance, time is money; literally. The more often you engage in hair removal, the more often you will purchase products to do so.
With inflation creeping up on us month by month, lord knows how much more vanity is going to cost. Because that’s what it is, isn’t it? Vanity. The feminine hygiene industry sure knows it; ever heard of pink tax? Men generally just shave their beards, whereas women shave their arms & armpits, legs, bikini area and in some cases, their facial hair. And that’s why hair removal products marketed to women are more expensive.
The industry is playing on your insecurities about the way you look. Which brings us to the next point….
Stop and Think about Why You Feel the Need to Shave
Women claim hygiene plays a part in it (more on that next), but the main reason behind striving for smooth skin is insecurity under the guise of vanity. After all, who was it that decided hairless arms and legs were the ultimate beauty standard?
Who are you afraid will see you in your natural state– your friends? Love interest? Family? Colleagues? Strangers? What are you assuming they will think?
When we asked Egyptian girls why they remove their body hair, these are the responses we got:
“I do it to feel clean, for myself.” – H.E.
“Ma2darsh ashoof sh3r f gesmy.” – D.A.
“It’s necessary for a woman’s beauty. If her arms have hair and are showing, people will think she’s like a boy!” – F.E.
Think for a minute– how would you feel about ditching your razor for a week? A month? A year? Does the mere thought freak you out? Disgust you? Why? You don’t shave your head, pluck out your eyelashes and eliminate your eyebrows, do you? Why should leg hair be any different? Why are eyebrows, which collect sweat just the same as arm hair does, not considered unhygienic?
Constant Hair Removal Leaves You Vulnerable to Infections
Your hair is there for a reason. It’s not a sick joke your body is playing on you where it grows for no reason, you get rid of it, and then it grows back like your Sisyphus with the boulder. But that’s what ends up happening, isn’t it? A cycle of epilation. By engaging in hair removal, you are actually removing something evolution developed to protect you.
“Hair anywhere on the body is important for maintaining skin health,” explains professor of cell biology at the University of Bradford, Des Tobin. “Each hair follicle [the tiny structure that sprouts hairs] is not just producing a hair fibre, but also has masses of blood vessels, nerves and fat around it. Hair follicles are also rich in stem cells – cells that never lose the capacity to renew themselves – which help the skin heal. If you compared a wound on the outside of a man’s arm, where the hair follicles are larger and more numerous, with a wound on the inside of the arm, the one on the outside would heal better, because of the increased stem cells and blood supply, among other factors,” says Professor Tobin.
Whats more, pubic hair is especially important, as it protects the skin from bacteria while also providing a cushion against friction, which can cause rashes or even thrush. When irritation and open micro-tears from shaving or waxing are combined with the warm, moist environment down there, it can become a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, namely group A streptococcus, staphylococcus aureus, and methicillin resistant staph aureus (MRSA) (no, those are not terms we just made up– they are very real, very dangerous pathogens).
Still not convinced? Did you know that the hair removal products that you use contain parabens, artificial fragrances and an array of chemicals that all are absorbed into your bloodstream, headed straight for your liver?
Your Armpits Play a Part in Your Love-life
Ever heard of pheromones? You know, the naturally occurring chemicals that send out subconscious scent signals to the opposite sex that trigger very powerful sexual responses… Well, armpit hair helps to diffuse that invisible sexy scent when you sweat.
Contrary to Common Belief, Hair Won’t Make You Any Dirtier
In addition to releasing pheromones, armpit hair also wicks sweat and bacteria– which could have led to odor and infection –away from the skin. So essentially, having armpit hair is actually more hygienic.
The pressure to have hairless underarms dates back to the early 19th century, when advertisers suddenly decided armpit hair was “objectionable” and you couldn’t be seen unless your pits were made to look “refined”.
Yet another example of how the industry preys on your need to fit in.
Finally, before you start stretching out that ‘sweet’, think to yourself, ‘do I really want to look like a prepubescent ten-year-old?’ It’s actually kinda creepy when you look at it that way.
When your body hair arrived, so did your womanhood. Be proud of it. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re less feminine in your natural state.
By Salma Thanatos Rizk