Did you know that facial wax strips are also the perfect size for waxing toe hairs (Flamingo Tip #671)? Or that coconut oil can be used to remove any excess wax stickiness (Tip #801)? How about that keeping your skin taut is the key to a less painful wax (Tip #891)?
One thing I’ve noticed about the discourse surrounding body hair and its adjacent removal is how the conversations being had, publicly at least, are noticeably polarizing. It’s as if letting your hair grow has to be a political statement or it’s not worth mentioning, but then again, removing your hair is not political enough to mention at all. Nevermind that maybe I remove my hair sometimes and other times not, and that my choice might have nothing to do with anything outside of time limitations, or laziness, or, I don’t know, a dearth of new razor heads or wax strips and a definite lack of good ones.
My legs are hairy right now, but not because I’m trying to make a point. I just haven’t made time to wax them. Inevitably, eventually, I’ll make the time, but when I do, I’d like to feel as good as I do when I put on a mask, or apply magnetic lashes — or wash my hair with a dramatic charcoal shampoo. Is that too much to ask?
Flamingo — a brand that makes body care for women with hair (and conveys solid waxing tips) — thinks not. Which I really appreciate! They’ve done tons of research to develop solid razors and wax strips and after-care (and genuinely helpful tips, all of which you can see here) that make the whole process fit seamlessly into the rest of my self-maintenance regimen. They’re not trying to complicate this regimen by pushing a particular version of femininity or further polarize a conversation I can’t seem to stop having. They just want to give me — me! — something good to use to feel good about using. If that sounds like a mouthful, just wait until we get to the below adventures in body care.
What do you do with your hair, and what are your best tips on managing it? Chime in! We’re a sisterhood! Incidentally of traveling follicles.
“I’m super hairy, like a teddy bear. The first time I shaved, I was so focused on removing the hair that I could see that it never occurred to me that I had to shave the back side of my legs, too. It looked like someone had done a really bad waxing job: smooth in the front … teddy bear in the back.”
“My friends often laugh affectionately at my hairs poking through my tights. I don’t shave in winter, I prefer fluff to spikes!”
“Once, in prep for a big school event, I was shaving in the bath. I was quickly running the razor over my leg when I felt something lodged in the razor. I looked down and a huge chunk of skin floated to the top of the bath. And I mean huge — it was like the size of my pinky. I watched as blood began flowing out like something in Jaws. I promise you it was the moment I started appreciating my body hair. I’ve waxed ever since but on a very for-me-to-know basis. I’m never in a rush to do it for anyone but myself, which I’m happy with. And I still have a scar!”
“When I was young, I started growing facial hair which was mortifying. I plucked for a bit before it became more than I could handle, then convinced my parents to get laser which in retrospect didn’t do that much. Now I wax monthly (DIY pro) on my face and chest, and the hair is so much thinner. Should have just started this when I was 13 and saved myself the trouble!”
“To me there is nothing better than feeling smoother than a fucking dolphin. It’s not about conforming to gender norms — I truly think if men realized how good it feels to be soft and delicious then they’d get rid of their body hair, too.”
“I don’t mind letting my hair grow out all over, and it’s been a nice way to weed out partners who don’t feel the same way I do about my body hair. Funnily enough, my favorite grooming ritual is actually taking my electric razor into the shower right before summer and shaving my leg hair to a length manageable enough for a regular razor. It’s so relaxing, and I love how smooth my legs are after all the months bundled up!”
“I have 2 categories: the hair I would like the option to let grow when I feel like it (like my armpit hair) and the hair I want to zap out of existence but haven’t yet because lasers are expensive (my mustache). It has taken me many year of shaving my arms, my tummy, the tops of my big toes to finally find a balance: If I don’t like the hair, it goes, otherwise it stays, and good for it! I reserve the right to be mercurial and some days I feel fabulous with leg hair and some days I don’t.”
“I have let my hair run free for a full year now. My skin is softer, my hairs are fluffier and cute, and I feel hella sexy when my armpit hair is sticking out under my T-shirt. Now I use almond oil as an armpit beard conditioner and it makes me smell like marzipan, which I quite enjoy.”
“As a budding teenager and new recipient to body hair, I remember my mother on repeat telling me I was too young to shave my legs. If I asked her for a razor, she would go on about how I ‘didn’t need it,’ but the first time she saw my armpit hair her reaction was, ‘That’s not very fresh. You need to shave that.’ I was given immediate access to the almighty razor, however severely confused as to why my armpit hair was gross but my leg hair was not. Oh, the double standards!”
“My cousin, who’s a year older than me, was my beauty teacher when we were younger. She told me she started shaving her arms around seventh grade and I immediately felt like I needed to do that too. I’ve now been shaving my arms everyday for seven years and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Screw shaving my legs though; only my arms need to constantly feel like a seal.”
“Even when I was the most sexually active in my early twenties and during my competitive swimming career, I’ve never felt the pressure to shave my pubic hair. I genuinely feel womanly just letting it do its thing and pretty much never doubted my decision to let it be. Armpit hair is a different story: I reflexively shave my armpits every time I bathe without thinking and I can’t determine why!”
“I am a die hard Brazilian wax supporter and recommend them to EVERYONE, even when it’s TMI. Though I always take ibuprofen prior, because who actually wants to subject themselves to pain? Alternatively, I love getting my eyebrows done and love the feeling of plucking them — so satisfying.”
“My favourite body hair ritual is (oddly) shaving my hormonal nipple hair. Those thick, pesky hairs that grow out of my nipple with the gumption of a pea shoot that’s dying for some oxygen above soil. Oh, and I also secretly adore the little snake of hair at the nape of my neck. Love yourself, amirite?”
Photos by Heidi’s Bridge.