To Shave Or Not To Shave; The Debate Around Body Hair

Here are some things you should think about first...

As we get older there can be a bit of pressure to shave your legs and other areas to keep them smooth and hairless, but it’s important to remember that this isn’t something anyone has to do. If you’re wondering whether you should start shaving your legs yet, or you are shaving and you don’t particularly want to, here are some things to consider;

It’s a personal preference

The number one factor in whether or not you should remove body hair is YOU. Your personal preference is all that matters. If you feel like you don’t really want to but all your friends are, try to understand that they may be doing it for different reasons to you and if you’d prefer not to, that’s totally fine.

Trends come and go
Unfortunately, like clothes, hairstyles and makeup, body hair and how much of it you have can often come down to trends. In some decades it’s been popular not to remove body hair and other decades more people were completely removing hair. It’s important to remember that just because we’re in 2020, doesn’t mean you need to follow what’s popular on Instagram or TikTok. This goes back to the first point about personal preference.

Some do it for hygiene reasons

Some people sweat a lot and feel like removing hair under their armpits helps with body odour. While there are no scientific or medical studies that say that removing your hair is better for your health, others feel more comfortable exercising or moving around.

It can depend on the colour of your hair

Sometimes people can start shaving a little earlier than other due to factors like hair colour.

If you have light hair in colour and thickness, you might not have even thought about shaving yet, as the hair is not very visible, long or thick. If you have darker hair maybe you noticed hair a little earlier and wanted to do something about it. But in the same way, some people with light hair may prefer to shave their legs or other areas, while others might have dark visible hair and not feel the need to shave at all.

There is nothing wrong with not shaving

You really don’t need to start shaving or removing any body hair too young. You might find that it’s a lot of effort and something that you don’t enjoy doing. If you’re only shaving because your friends are, maybe this isn’t the time to do it. If you’re the first one of your friends to shave your legs, that’s fine too, and if you do start, you don’t have to keep doing it all the time. You can always try it again another time if you decide when you’re a bit older.

The pressure is on women and girls
Like many things in this world, there is more of a pressure on women and girls to remove body hair than boys and men. When you think about the fact that boys aren’t expected to remove their body hair at all but girls sometimes are, it can get pretty frustrating. Keep in mind that this is a societal pressure that’s pretty old-fashioned. Thankfully in 2020 we’re realising that being a girl or a guy or non-binary doesn’t mean you have to act or look a certain way, or do things just because you’re a certain gender.

“I’ve decided I do want to shave”

If you’ve read through all the points, and understand everything that’s being said, and you still feel that your personal choice is to shave your legs, that’s totally fine, well done for making your own decision.

What you need to remember:
Try talking to someone who has done it; if your mam is around, it’s best to chat to her about shaving, as she might be able to offer you some advice, or tips. You could also try chatting to a sister, older friend, or female you can trust who might be able to steer you in the right direction.

Only use trust-worthy products
Stealing a rusty old disposable razor from your dad isn’t going to do, and you could end up with some nasty cuts which nobody wants.

Instead, you could try a trustworthy brand like BIC or Venus (with several blades for a smoother shave) and look out for one that has some soap on the razor so it’s softer on your skin. Also, it’s important to use proper shaving foam if you need one with the razor. While you have seen some home remedies on the internet, for the first time it’s good to use proper foam.

If it’s your first-ever time shaving, try a very small area first to make sure you don’t get any reaction to the shaving foam or razor gel, and most importantly, TAKE YOUR TIME. If you do it in a rush, you might get some nasty cuts.

With all this in mind, you’ll make your own decisions on what you want to do. Remember that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to having or not having body hair.

READ MORE: 

How Can I Become More Body Positive?

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