Monthly Archives: December 2014

Why Do You Want to Remove Hair from Your Body?

no-body-hairFor most people, hair grows all in most places of the body, including places where we don’t want it to grow and for many of us, the hair does not grow in places where we would like to see more of it. Still, hair removal has become a multi-billion dollar industry as people around the world remove hair from all different parts of their bodies.

Hair Removal for Non-Aesthetic Reasons

There are different reasons for the removal of hair, including the practical and hygienic removal of hair follicles for reasons of surgery for example.

Hair removal is also part of the military tradition in which a new recruit has their head shaved. But this was developed for hygienic reasons to stop the spread of lice and other parasites. By the mid-19th century, the tradition of the US Marine Corps was long hair and long beards, but the spread of lice changed that tradition by the turn of the 20th century.

In addition, the removal of head and body hair is a part of many sport traditions as well, although its practicality has come into question from time to time.

head-heair-removalFor example in swimming body hair is often shaved or waxed away to help increase speed.

In boxing, facial hair is kept to a minimum when possible so that potential cuts can be fully addressed and the same is true for the legs of soccer players and cyclists.

Also, the removal of hair has been used as a form of punishment as well, stripping away the dignity of the person depending on the society in which they live.

The Aesthetic Reasons for Removing Hair

The removal of hair goes back many thousands of years. In Egypt, many women plucked the hair from their eyebrows and even their scalp to achieve a certain appearance. Many of these traditions are still in effect today as men and women remove hair for a aesthetic reasons. Throughout the centuries in virtually all cultures, the removal of hair is a sign of beauty, masculinity and even power.

remove-body-hairToday, the aesthetic reasons to remove body hair are varied and depend on the sex and the culture in which a person is living. For example, the shaving of men’s body hair is a relatively recent phenomenon that may have more to do with the appearance of youth than anything else. Chest hair, once a prized possession of men is now downplayed more today in favor of a clean appearance.

For women, the removal of underarm hair for example is quite popular in the US, but in Europe many women still allow their underarm hair to grow which is again a sign of culture.

beauty-faceHowever, facial hair on women is generally considered unattractive in most cultures with the exception of India where a certain sect of women actually have more “sideburn” hair which has been deemed attractive in their particular region.

There is no doubt that what is aesthetically pleasing today in terms of the removal of facial and body hair will no doubt be different in the future. However, there will always be an industry dedicated to hair removal no matter the times in which we live.

The Different Methods of Hair Removal

There are actually several different methods that are used to remove hair in one form or another. The sheer number of hair removal brands are considerable, but what follows are some basic methods of hair removal that are available.

razorShaving

This is the most common form of hair removal as most adult men and women shave a particular part of their bodies. For the most part, men shave their faces while women often shave their legs and underarm areas. There are other places which are shaved of as well depending on what is desired.

Shaving is arguably the most temporary of removal processes because it only lops off the hairs at the level of the skin which means that they will continue to grow and generally reappear in most men and women within 24 hours.

Plucking

This is a technique that actually goes back thousands of years. Here, the individual hairs are plucked from the skin. This is a somewhat painful technique and is often used in a limited fashion such as around the eyebrows or in places where the hair is sparse.

Since the entire follicle is removed, it will usually take a week or even longer for a new hair to form and start peeking through the skin. So, this is another temporary measure, but the more the hair is plucked out totally, the returning hair tends to be finer and not nearly as thick as the previous one.

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waxingWaxing

This technique generally uses warm wax on cloth that is placed on the skin and allowed to cool slightly so that the hairs are gripped in the wax.
Then the cloth is ripped away quickly which pulls all the hairs away at once. Waxing is really the same as plucking except more hair is removed at once and it is still somewhat painful.

The waxing process means that the hairs are removed for one to two weeks before they start to re-grow again just like when plucked.

Electrolysis

This is the application of electricity to the hair follicle which causes it to die. The hair will then fall out naturally and will eventually be replaced by a new follicle. However, the new follicle will be thinner and more slender than the previous one.

This type of hair removal is popular because it lasts as long, if not longer than waxing or plucking and there is far less pain. The hair will stay gone for up to two weeks or longer depending on the person.

Chemical Hair Removal Creams

hair-growth-inhibitor

This is the use of chemicals which actually destroy the hair while leaving the skin virtually untouched. The hair falls out of its socket much like electrolysis and remains gone for a considerable amount of time. The use of chemicals was quite popular in the 1970s and 80s, but has fallen out of favor somewhat today.

There are certain types of skin that do not react well to the chemicals used, but it can work as fast as electrolysis with about the same length of time for the hair to re-grow.

These methods of hair removal are still popular today and millions of people use them on a regular basis to keep a more youthful appearance.