health

Stop Shaving Now: 7 Great Reasons To Leave Your Body Hair Alone

by Rebecca Endicott
Becca is a writer and aspirational dog owner living in NYC.

All human beings naturally have body hair; it’s just part of our deal as mammals. But when it comes to people, there’s a huge gap between how men and women deal with it.

Men are expected to groom the hair on their head, trim or shave their beards, and maybe tweeze a few stray nostril hairs here and there. For women, on the other hand, practically all hair is questionable.

It can be an incredibly emotionally fraught process, as we saw with the young woman with PCOS who has to shave her face to stay smooth.

Some women love going bare while others prefer to buck expectations, and let it all grow free. A lot of women fall somewhere in the middle, and might groom some parts of their bodies and leave others alone.

There’s no right choice to make; all that matters is that each and every woman feels comfortable with her hair, or lack thereof.

But if you’re on the fence, it might be time to consider the case for dropping the razor and letting your body hair do its thing!

Check out a few reasons to let your hair grow free in the gallery below!

History Of Hair Removal

History Of Hair Removal
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Human beings have been removing hair since just about the beginning of recorded history.

The first recorded instance of hair removal dates back to ancient Egypt, where a method called “sugaring,” still used today, was employed to pull unwanted hair off legs.

Historically, both men and women remove body hair — in many ancient cultures, both men and women were expected to remove pubic hair — but in recent years, a lot of the onus has fallen upon women.

About 100 years ago, as skirts started creeping upward, American women began shaving their legs, and gradually losing more and more other body hair.

Now the trend might be coming back around, as women explore the many reasons that it’s totally fine to leave your hair exactly where it is.

Reason To Be Hairy #1: Shaving Irritates Your Skin

Razor bumps
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Removing your body hair can be really tough on the skin, no matter what method you employ.

Shaving, as we all know, is an easy way to end up with nicks and cuts immediately afterward, and razor bumps or rashes hours or even days later.

Meanwhile, waxing, sugaring, and plucking all leave us vulnerable to painful ingrown hairs that develop when the new hair tries to push up through the empty follicle.

Reason To Be Hairy #2: Hair Regulates Your Body Temperature

Leg hair
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

We probably don’t spend much time pondering why dogs have hair or why bears have hair, because the answer is pretty obvious: They have hair to help them keep warm.

Humans have hair for the same reason, which is why we have so much on our heads, to insulate our skulls, keep us warm, and protect us from the sun’s rays beating directly down on our noggins.

Our body hair, while lighter, serves the same function: It’s there to keep us warm, to alert us to cold, and to help us sense changes in temperature early, and adjust accordingly.

Reason To Be Hairy #3: Shaving Removes Your Natural Protection

Bacteria in armpit
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Ingrown hairs and shaving cuts also share plenty of less-than-pleasant qualities, not least of which is the fact that they open your skin up to infection.

It’s easy for opportunistic staph infections to take hold in these little wounds, which can be painful or even dangerous if left unchecked.

It’s also important to note that hair, especially pubic hair, is a huge part of the body’s immune system. It’s one of our first lines of defense against germs and other icky stuff, and helps to trap foreign particles outside of the body.

When you strip away your hair, you also lose a key level of immune defense.

Reason To Be Hairy #4: Science Says Body Hair Is Sexy

Arm propped up
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Hair keeps stuff out, but it also helps to keep stuff in, especially when it comes to your more personal areas.

Pubic hair and armpit hair trap sweat and hormones that the body secretes, leading to a naturally musky smell.

That musk is rich in pheromones, which are chemicals that the body produces to help attract partners and stimulate arousal.

While intense (unwashed) body odor is unpleasant, just a little bit is a well-known trigger for intense sexual chemistry.

Reason To Be Hairy #5: Hair Removal Is Expensive

Empty wallet
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

It’s no secret that body hair maintenance can get insanely expensive.

Women’s razors are well-known for costing an arm and a (very smooth) leg, while waxing and sugaring procedures usually require seeing a specialist and forking over big bucks.

Don’t even get us started on laser hair removal; it may be semipermanent, but the initial investment tends to be in the hundreds of dollars, if not the thousands.

Meanwhile, if you forgo hair removal, you’re likely to add a nice tidy pad to your monthly budget.

Reason To Be Hairy #6: The “Ouch” Factor

Pain from waxing
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

We’ve already been over the irritations of cuts and in-grown hairs, but what about the fundamental pain of removing it in the first place?

We’re supposed to have hair, and it’s not supposed to leave until it’s ready to, so it makes sense that ripping it out early might be a little painful.

Shaving is not too bad, since you’re really just cutting the hair extremely short, but plucking or waxing, where the hair is yanked out at the root, is intensely painful.

Laser hair removal, particularly on the pubic region, is known to be particularly agonizing.

Reason To Be Hairy #7: Think Of The Time You’ll Save!

Ready in 5 minutes
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

The average woman spends 72 days of her life shaving her legs. That’s more than two months, and it doesn’t even factor in all the other hair removal that goes on.

An hour spent in a waxing parlor getting your follicles painfully unburdened could be spent in so many other ways — reading a book, eating a delicious meal, taking in a concert — that would be much more enjoyable.

If nothing else, skipping the shave and pluck routine gives you more time for other parts of your life!

What do you think, would you ever stop hair removal completely?

Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to SHARE and let your friends weigh in on this hot-button topic!