About 85% of women in the US may be removing their hair regularly or even on a daily basis. The idea of shaving isn’t new, since women in ancient Egypt and Rome might have been already removing their body hair and considered keeping it uncivilized. But the times have changed and many women nowadays have decided to ditch shaving and keep their natural look.
We at Enlighten got curious about this current trend and decided to shed some light on the reasons why some women aren’t bothering to remove their body hair anymore.
Women see it as their way of accepting their bodies and an act of self-love.
bekah / Instagramjessicasimpson / Instagram
Beauty standards and society may make women self-conscious about the way they look, and having body hair is a part of this. But some women have decided to put their own interests first and choose what’s best for their bodies, regardless of what other people expect from them. And it’s not about judging people who prefer to shave, but about your body and making decisions for yourself.
- I stopped shaving probably about a year ago. I just decided to stop caring about what other people thought about my body hair, and I became much happier with my body. Plus, I get a lot of ingrown hairs and have sensitive skin, so not shaving makes me physically more comfortable. @ Queerandcurious / reddit
- I started shaving my legs when I was 14. I’m in New Zealand and it’s warm here. I ride a bike everywhere and wearing jeans while you ride your bike is fine in the winter, but it’s horrendous in summer. So I decided that I’m wearing shorts from now on. Humans are mammals. Mammals have hair. And while I still have over 20 years’ worth of social conditioning that tells me that shaved legs look better… for sure, they don’t look good enough to be worth all the trouble. @ unknown / reddit
Women want to make a statement.
amandlasponsored / Instagramcaradelevingne / Instagram
Dealing with body hair can be pretty overwhelming since women have to find time in their schedules to remove their hair in the right way to avoid any irritation. They also have to worry about keeping their skin smooth, since hair can grow back pretty fast. And there’s a bunch of beauty products like razors, shaving creams, exfoliators, and moisturizers that women have to use to get the best results and protect their skin from the damage that shaving may cause.
- I stopped shaving to give myself more time for actual productive things, like focusing on my career. I actually timed every time I shaved for an entire month and it totaled out to 8 hours. @ Poopoopeepeeworm / reddit
Sometimes it’s a question of health.
Some people think that shaving your hair reduces your body odor, but this turned out to not be completely true. Removing hair from your armpits helps the deodorant to get absorbed by the skin better, while hair might create a barrier that may prevent it. But this barrier also prevents the skin from getting damaged by friction. And while everybody’s body is different, for some women, not shaving brings more benefits than disadvantages:
- I tried shaving my armpits in high school. It was fine in the winter, but I hated that slimy feeling in the summer when I sweated with no hair buffer. @ NoseFlock / reddit
- This is my second winter of not shaving, and I think it’s actually less smelly than being hairless. I definitely prefer it to having to shave every other day for fear of stubble. @ BigBoud / reddit
Women may have more important things to do.
leandramcohen / Instagram
Some women fight against these imposed beauty standards and are trying to show that we all are allowed to not have to hide our natural beauty. They want to prove that they themselves get to make the decisions about their bodies, have their own perception of “femininity,” and feel good about themselves without pressure from society.
- I stopped shaving because body hair is natural. I decided I wanted to stop doing it just to please others. The history of shaving is pretty misogynistic too. @ radicalchanges / reddit
- Last year, I stopped shaving my armpits. At first, it felt like a badass statement. I felt free, brave, and a little bit embarrassed when in public. Ironically, I feel a lot more feminine and confident now. I think this came with courage. I can still put a red dress and lipstick and feel sexy. My armpit hair doesn’t change that. I feel like it gives a nice contrast to my sometimes very feminine style. I feel like I don’t have to please anyone anymore. @ unnuka / reddit
Women are tired of dealing with skin irritation.
Although shaving is painless in comparison with other ways of hair removal like waxing, many women still have to deal with unpleasant consequences. Razor burn and razor bumps bring a lot of discomfort and cause a red rash, tenderness, and skin inflammation. And since most women remove their hair pretty often, they have to deal with the side effects of this procedure on a regular basis.
- I stopped shaving because of skin irritation mostly. Most of my body can’t be shaved more than once a week without getting red and bumpy, but my hair is highly visible after about a day. I shave my legs once a week, only in the summer, and trim everything else when it gets long enough to be irritating. And its biggest impact on my life is that I’m not in constant pain across 80% of my body anymore. @ betsybraddock / reddit
- I’ve always had bad experiences with shaving and waxing. I got horrible redness, sensitivity, ingrown hairs, razor bumps, rashes, and burns, and most people in my life knew that, so most didn’t comment when I stopped. I do however get looks sometimes if I wear shorts and someone points it out. @ MJWatWat / reddit
Some women just don’t mind having hair on their bodies.
ashleygraham / Instagram
For many women, having hair on their bodies doesn’t cause any problems in their lives and they may not even notice it. They don’t understand why they should spend their resources to get rid of something that’s natural just to try to please everybody else and forget about their own comfort.
- I never saw the point. I was fully comfortable unshaven, but I was always meant to do it to not make others uncomfortable. Why should I irritate my skin and get itchy a few days later when it grows back? Why should I accommodate people who don’t even know my name? I’m a lot more comfortable not having to worry about doing something that’s useless to me, just because I am expected to. @Gluebluehue / reddit
- Shaving is a pain that I don’t feel the need to take part in, except for when I personally want to. I definitely enjoy feeling nice and smooth, but ultimately I just don’t care anymore. We’re all (with some exceptions) born with body hair, where our bodies wanted it to grow. @ arnber420 / reddit
Bonus: How quickly body hair grows back
Everybody is unique and the speed of the hair growth may vary from person to person. Shaving only helps get rid of the hair itself, without damaging the hair follicle, so this process doesn’t interfere with hair growth and you may see the first noticeable hair growing back pretty quickly, like in a day or 2.
Keep in mind that hair on different parts of our bodies has different growing cycles. That’s why you may notice that some parts of your body may get hairy faster than others.
How long have you ever gone without removing your body hair? How did you feel? We’d love to read about your personal experiences in the comments.