All Articles Tagged "shaving"
When your hair is coarse and curly, hair removal can be quite a pain in the — well, pretty much everywhere. Ingrown hairs don’t care where they pop up and inconvenience you, or if they leave scars behind. Thankfully, if letting you hair grow out isn’t your style, there are plenty of ways to keep the hair at bay all year ’round without suffering the painful consequences. And they’re surprisingly simple switches to make. From changing your lotion to rinsing razors differently and some professional options we didn’t know we had, we wish we’d known about these tricks before. But we’re dropping them on you just in time to stop bumps and scars from ruining your upcoming beach (or bedroom) plans.
As the weather gets warmer and you prepare to hit the beach or travel, at some point you likely think, “I need to shave…” For those of us trying to get our bikini lines hairless so people will be staring at our fly swimsuits and not our pubic hair, we know about booking an appointment for a thorough (and painful) waxing. However, there are other options. There is also shaving, depilatories, electrolysis and laser hair removal. But there are a lot of things to keep in mind before picking a removal option. That includes time spent doing it, money needed for it, possible pain, and, of course, figuring out what will and won’t leave your skin irritated and covered in bumps, or worse, boils.
“Shaving seems to give the most irritation,” said Maria Sophocles, MD, of Women’s Healthcare Princeton in New Jersey. “Waxing is painful acutely but there is less irritation and risk of infection; electrolysis is time-consuming and rarely used in the bikini area; laser is expensive, but because the hair is destroyed not at the skin surface but at the hair follicle, there is a cleaner removal of hair with fewer ‘bumps, boils, irritation’ other than some redness the day of procedure.”
According to Sophocles, laser hair removal definitely is a great option if you’re sick and tired of consistently worrying about hair down there. However, it’s important to note that you won’t be able to show off your results as soon as you would like.
“Laser hair removal requires an avoidance of sun exposure to the area being treated,” Sophocles said. “Unless you can be really good about avoiding sun exposure during summer, it is better to begin laser hair removal of the bikini line in the fall, since results typically take four to six treatments every four to six weeks.”
Another popular hair removal option, using depilatories like Veet and Nair, are inexpensive, not too time-consuming, and aren’t usually painful. But knowing how strong those products are from their power and the smell alone, are they really safe for the skin down there? Sophocles says yes.
“Depilatories are perfectly good options given that they are painless and less expensive than waxing,” she said. “They also leave skin hair-free for longer than shaving but shorter than waxing.” She does say, though, that it’s best to use such products on hair trimmed short and on skin that’s been soaked in warm water.
“Just remember, Nair and others are not for internal use and can cause irritation, especially to delicate areas. Try it on a small area first.”
As previously mentioned about shaving, which is what many of us decide to do down there when we don’t have the time or the money to waste on anything else, irritation is probable–if you’re not using the right products or method.
“If you prefer to shave, using a silicone lubricant like Wet Platinum can be used for a close shave with minimal irritation,” Sophocles said. According to her, it’s your best option for avoiding boils around the crotch area. “Boils in the genital area are commonly a result of an intrusion of bacteria into the micro-cuts, which occur from shaving,” she said. “Since genital areas are more sweaty than many other areas of the body, they are more prone to boils. If you must shave your genital area, shave with, not against the direction of hair growth; do not share razors; do not shave dry skin, but use water and soap or shave cream and do not shave inflamed skin. Boils occur more commonly in overweight, diabetic, or immunocompromised women and men — making shaving even riskier for bacterial infections and boils.”
With that being said, what is your go-to method for removing the hair down there? Keep Sophocles’s advice in mind as you prepare for fun in the sun this summer. If not, you might end up somewhere itching or in pain in the house.
The accidental cuts. Bleeding. Those few scraggly hairs that refuse to disappear, even after you went over them with a razor blade – several times. The speed at which your hair grows back after you shave it like it’s on a mission for vengeance. Ingrown hairs.
To put it simply, shaving can be an absolute pain in the butt, especially if you have sensitive skin or are prone to razor bumps. Shaving just may be everyone’s least favorite body chore. But who says you have to shave on the regular in the first place? Or at all, for that matter? There are plenty of less pesky and more effective methods that will remove the unwanted hair that grows on any part of your body, and that will keep hair from growing back at a rapid pace. If you’re not a fan of shaving, put down your razor, toss out your industrial-size canister of shaving cream and try some of these methods on for size.
I shave about once a month now. It’s the best I can do, okay?
When Valentine’s Day came around last month, I wanted to get waxed down there. I really tried, guys. I wanted to surprise my significant other and do all the cheesy/sexy stuff you read about in Cosmopolitan. So I went to one of those European Wax Center websites and prepared to make an appointment. And then I just couldn’t do it.
I was reminded of the time I went and got a sugaring wax, which is supposed to be the least painful waxing option of all, only to leave with everything down there throbbing. The end results were fantastic, but the process to be as shiny as a billiard ball down there? It was terrible, especially since it was my first time getting professionally waxed. (Side note: The first time I tried to wax myself, I was left writhing in pain on my bedroom floor. I was preparing to go back to my college campus the next day and to see my boyfriend at the time. I covered my shrieks in the hopes that my parents wouldn’t wake up and make an uncomfortable situation worse.)
So I exited out of the wax center websites and went home to handle things on my own, Veet bottle in hand and a magazine for my wait to get that bikini hair out of the way. But I just couldn’t put myself through anymore significant discomfort. Especially not for my partner, who would only care about my efforts for like 25 seconds before, you know, getting back to business.
Each time I put myself through such waxing agony, it’s been because I was trying to impress my significant other. I assumed that you should get yourself cleaned up before a possible sexual encounter. And after receiving a less than pleasant reaction to a very serious bush situation my freshman year of college, I realized that hairy situations aren’t necessarily humorous ones. So for a while there, in each relationship, I was constantly shaving.
But I hate it. If left up to me, I would look like the distant cousin of Chewbacca if I knew love interests didn’t give hairy private parts the deep sigh treatment. So I try to keep my legs from looking too Teen Wolf-ish, keep armpit hair to a minimum since I’m hellbent on wearing sleeveless tops before spring, and, at least, trim the hair down there so my fiancé doesn’t have to play I Spy to find what he’s looking for. But I will admit that as time has passed, I’ve gotten a bit lax about it. Sometimes I don’t shave at all because I just don’t have the time or energy for it all. And it seems like many other women are also putting all that primping on the backburner as they get further into serious relationships–to the chagrin of some of their mates.
Like this guy:
“So I’ve noticed with my past girlfriends they stop shaving their legs as often if at all the longer the relationship goes and most of my other guy friends say their girlfriends have done the same. I don’t expect ultra smooth baby skin on girl’s legs 24/7 but it’s nice if they shave at least twice a week or however often it takes to keep from getting really stubbly. So why when you like a guy more and more do you shave less and less for him?”
While others are shaving too much for their partners, to the point that they’re resentful.
Like this woman:
I feel like it’s become such a chore and the whole ‘if it was meant to be hairless, it would be!’ saying comes to mind.
Waxing is hell so I do it sparingly and have to resort to shaving prior to our sexual encounters and I know it only takes a few minutes but no matter how I do (direction hair is growing in, new razor, etc etc) I always end up with bumps/irritation because I have sensitive skin.
Sometimes I wish I could just be natural down there (a close trim, not a massive bush ofcourse!) and have him love it but he’s stated several times that he has a preference for a smoothly shaved vagina.
He also loves going down on me and I can understand how unpleasant it may be to have hair in your mouth but surely a close trim can’t be that bothersome and I’m sure its never stopped some guys from going down on a girl before?
When I bring it up he says its a preference not a neccessity but I can immediately tell he’s not as excited as when its newly shaved.
Is this just one of those things you grin and bare to please your partner?
And according to a survey done by YourTango in 2012 in which they interviewed 70 women around the country about grooming habits, they found that while some cared to keep it free and clear for a significant other, most only shaved sometimes, and did it for themselves.
So with all that being said, I wanted to know in what ways your shaving habits change as you enter into a relationship? How about far into a relationship? How often do you shave and when you do, why do you shave?
Body hair is a pain, and there’s a pressure to get rid of it coming from all sides. God forbid you skip a bikini wax, miss an appointment to get your eyebrows done, forgo shaving your legs because it’s cold outside, and let the hair on your cheeks (or above your lip) grow out a little longer than last time–all of a sudden you’re treated like Wolverine. Thanks, mom.
But one body part I’ve always thought was interesting to be preoccupied with, hair wise, was your arms. However, arm hair is more noticeable than we often think. And when the length of arm hair is pointed out, it can make one very self-conscious.
“One friend confessed to us that during a manicure at an upscale Manhattan nail spa, after massaging lotion on her arms, the technician smoothed the girl’s arm hair perfectly into place, practically creating a comb-over. The girl, who had never been self-conscious about her naturally blonde arm hair before, spent the rest of the day paranoid that the nail technician was hinting that she should wax it.”
And as it turns out, long arm hair has been making people self-conscious since puberty.
Back in junior high, while I was just trying to keep some simple leg hair at a minimum, I went to school with a girl who had quite a bit of hair all over her body. She was small in stature, of a lighter complexion, with long, dark, wavy hair on her head. She was a very cute girl whom the boys liked, but that still didn’t keep them from cracking jokes about how hairy she was. Quips were made about how you could braid the hair on her arms and all sorts of other childish banter (again, we were actual children at the time). Still, it was something she eventually tried to cover up, keeping jackets on indoors, only wearing short-sleeved shirts when it was especially hot, preparing herself for the comments.
By the time we made it to high school, she was no longer the only person trying to cover up arm hair.
On the way to prom with some of my best friends, my BFF shared with me, in a whisper, that she’d gone all out to look her best in her strapless ball gown.
“I shaved my arms. Hopefully, the hair doesn’t grow back thicker. I’m a little worried about that.”
She had commented in the past about how she felt like the hair on her arms was too dark and thick and it was something she was a little insecure about, but I was surprised to learn that she’d actually gone as far as to sit in her bathroom and take a razor to them.
But not only are people shaving and waxing arm hair, but they’re also looking for more permanent solutions for their androgenic strands. Like laser arm hair removal. And when all else fails, sometimes people take more random, sure-to-backfire steps to hide it, like actress Cate Blanchett. She recently revealed to Allure that her worst hair mistake ever was not made with the hair on her head, but rather, with the lengths she went to make her bright arm hair less visible.
“Bleaching my arm hair in high school – it was copper orange in patches and purple in others. Never again.”
It’s too complicated being a woman. It’s bad enough we have periods, are the only ones who can carry babies to term and get paid less–but arm hair too?! C’mon! (*sarcasm*)
If you have longer arm hair, what do you do about it? Do you care to do anything about it at all or is it something you’ve learned to accept?
If you’re a hairy woman, like myself, you know that shaving is often frequent and requires a lot of effort. Between your legs, bikini/mons area, your armpits and even some of your upper lips, hair removal is a chore.
But the game might be changing ladies. All on social media websites, most prominently Tumblr, there are #NoShave and #NoShaveNoShade hashtags which seek to promote and encourage women to forgo shaving the hair that grows naturally on our bodies. There are tons of young women who are refusing to wax, shave or laser of the hair, particularly under their arms, in celebration of what adult female bodies really look like.
And unlike the #Movember movement, where men stop shaving their beards to raise awareness about prostate cancer, this is more of a lifestyle change.
One Tumblr user, Uselessblogga wrote:
I decided a little while back that I was going to stop shaving.
This is the first time I wear a tank out and about and EVERYONE will see zomg!!
The only reason I ever did it was because it was taught. Shaving in general has never come natural to me, I always forget and I end up feeling self conscious when we randomly decide to go swim or something.
So why should I do something, that I don’t even like doing, only to please complete strangers or to feel “normal”
Nah man, fuck that.
I like this. This is normal.
Another user remembered how, in the fourth grade, hearing one of classmates call another “monkey legs” scared her into shaving.
I’m sure many of us have a similar story. But shaving hasn’t always been a mandatory thing. And I’m not talking about in Europe. In middle and high school, I played volleyball and we had to wear shorts well into the fall for our games. One day, after practice, I was loudly lamenting about needing to shave my legs soon. That’s when one of our volleyball mothers proudly showed me her legs, which, as I was noticing for the first time, were very hairy. She said, “Back in the day hairy legs used to be considered sexy.” I looked at her in disbelief but my mother, who is naturally virtually hairless, offered a reputable cosign.
In middle school, I wasn’t trying to hear that. But now that the summer is here and my legs are seeing the light of day again, I’m reminded of how tedious and annoying shaving every 3-5 days can be.
I like the smooth, clean look and feel but I’m also lazy and am not particularly fond of the nicks I often give myself when I’m rushing to shave just so I can wear some leg-revealing outfit.
And while I could possibly be swayed when it comes to letting my leg hair grow in the summer like it does in the winter, I’m definitely not so sure about the armpit part. We all know that hair holds odor and if you sweat a lot, or at all, as most of us do in the summer, you might find yourself a little musty. And that’s no bueno. But the ladies participating in this new trend are not only letting their armpit hair flourish, they’re dying it and sharing it on social media.
In the words of Outkast, “Whatever floats your boat or finds your lost remote…”
What do you think about this no shave trend ladies? Is it something you could see yourself doing? Is it something you’ve been doing for years? Or will you leave this one to the ladies on Tumblr?
No Shave November? Try No Shave Winter. When the weather is cold and, pants are long, there are only a few things worth whipping out a razor for…
In order to be the most beautiful version of ourselves, we women have to go through some pretty rigorous beauty routines. Now, when you’re in a relationship, do you want your man to know how much work you put into yourself, or do you want him to think you were born with it, no Maybelline needed. We checked in with our Facebook followers to see what they had to say.
Jacque: The cellulite cream. And YOU know why, ugh! But he said I look good.
Mommy Needs Alcohol: Girl bye. I don’t hide crap. 16 years together 5 married with 2 kids. He done seen my insides cut open (c-section) so seeing me exfoliate my pores etc is really not a big deal.
November is no shave month, or “Movember,” which is suppose to encourage men to not shave and rock the grizzly look for the entire month. There is some minor controversy about how women are being excluded from the celebration, I guess because nobody likes a hairy woman.
A few summers ago, I was standing around after this film screening event, chatting with some folks when a blonde haired white woman in a tank top, raised her arms and revealed what could be best described as two wooly animals coming out of her armpits. If I had pearls on at that moment I would have clutched them. According to social standards, women are not supposed to walk around with that much visible fur underneath their arms – or, at least women are not supposed to want to walk around like that. Yet here she was, talking and wildly gesturing as if she didn’t even care about the cast of Meerkat Mansion filming in her armpits. I went home that night mildly disgusted. Fast forward a few years later, and I now think that it is quite admirable that she had the furry gonads to publicly assert something that I, along with many women, have been feeling for a while: shaving sucks.
I hate shaving. It’s annoying, messy and sometimes a painful experience. I don’t even know why I do it. Maybe because it’s what we as a society tell people is a necessary ritual, and probably also because my mom does it. Through our cultural conditioning, we have been told that long body hair is dirty, repulsive and the sign of unsophistication. Therefore, shaving has become the rite of passage into both modern womanhood and manhood. Of course, this is in total contrast to my grandmother, who said of women in her generation that only w***es shave their legs. “Just like stockings. It was just something that a lot of women I knew frowned on.”
So when did the presence of hair on a woman’s face, legs, arm pits, and groin area come to be considered as repulsive?
Although there are some religious and practical reasons behind our obsession with being hairless (i.e. biking, swimming and other sports), there is very little evidence to suggest any real hygienic purposes for our increased interest in going bare. In fact, it was in the ’80s when surgeons began denouncing the practice of shaving patients before operations, due to cited evidence that skin damage from preoperative shaving leads to increased rates of infection after surgery.
And according to one article, entitled Caucasian Female Body Hair and American Culture, advertising culture in women’s magazines, particularly Harper’s and McCall’s, spurred a hairless revolution to help sell razors to a new demographic – women. That became a slippery slope of body hair conscious movements about the amount of skin to hair ratio that we all of a sudden felt was acceptable. As the skirts got shorter, so came new places to shave, and the use of different techniques, including Brazilian waxes and eyebrow threading to remove unsightly hair. Now there is an entire industry created solely around catering to our desire for smooth and bare skin.
Over the years, my own regimen of body hair removal and maintenance has resulted in some redness, bruises, abrasions and painful ingrown hairs. However, I still do it. Sometimes, like in the instance of my eyebrows, I like a more trimmed look. However, other instances of shaving, including bikini and leg areas, is done purely out of social courtesy for others. If it was up to me, I would walk around looking like Harry from “Harry and the Hendersons,” but people aren’t ready. I’m not ready. I don’t ever want to be in the position of having someone clutch pearls and make faces at me, much like I did that blonde-haired white girl at the film-screening event.
So that’s why I have decided recently to split the difference. I no longer shave my legs. I figure the hair is so light and thin anyway it shouldn’t matter. And I promised myself to never – and I mean never – try to remove the very faint shadow of a mustache above my upper lip. That decision is based on a cautionary tale inspired by a girlfriend of mine, who made the mistake of going to the electrologist to have her faint five o’ clock shadow removed. Not only did the hair come back, but she said it came back thicker and more pronounced. “Girl, I should have never touched that hair. Now I’m looking like Beanie Sigel,” she told me. Message received. However, I still take the razor and get the wax on my armpits and bikini area–but only in the warmer months and/or in the chance that I go to the beach. But as for right now, it’s winter time, and that’s my time for my body to hibernate and relax from the razor.
The desire to keep pubic hair neat and trim is usually sparked by either the need to keep things intact in a bathing suit (no one wants to get busted out like Samantha did Miranda in Sex and The City) or pressure from one’s sexual partner who prefers his lady simply keeps things polished, has a landing strip, or is as bald as a pre-pubsecnet girl (suspect). Whatever the motivation, family practioner Emily Gibson, MD, says it must stop.
Writing on popular physician blogger Kevin MD’s site, Dr. Gibson explores the origins of the cultural trend, then states plainly “The war on pubic hair must end.”
“It is a sadly misconceived war.,” she wrote. “Long ago surgeons figured out that shaving a body part prior to surgery actually increased rather than decreased surgical site infections. No matter what expensive and complex weapons are used—razor blades, electric shavers, tweezers, waxing, depilatories, electrolysis—hair, like crab grass, always grows back and eventually wins. In the mean time, the skin suffers the effects of the scorched battlefield.”
Going into the biological justifications for pubic hair, she added:
“Pubic hair removal naturally irritates and inflames the hair follicles left behind, leaving microscopic open wounds. Rather than suffering a comparison to a bristle brush, frequent hair removal is necessary to stay smooth, causing regular irritation of the shaved or waxed area. When that irritation is combined with the warm moist environment of the genitals, it becomes a happy culture media for some of the nastiest of bacterial pathogens, namely group A streptococcus, staphylococcus aureus and its recently mutated cousin methicillin resistant staph aureus (MRSA). There is an increase in staph boils and abscesses, necessitating incisions to drain the infection, resulting in scarring that can be significant. It is not at all unusual to find pustules and other hair follicle inflammation papules on shaved genitals….
“Some clinicians are finding that freshly shaved pubic areas and genitals are also more vulnerable to herpes infections due to the microscopic wounds being exposed to virus carried by mouth or genitals. It follows that there may be vulnerability to spread of other STIs as well.
“Pubic hair does have a purpose, providing cushion against friction that can cause skin abrasion and injury, protection from bacteria and other unwanted pathogens, and is the visible result of long awaited adolescent hormones, certainly nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.
I was with Dr. Gibson before I even saw her medical credentials. I always figured pubic hair must be there for a reason, if not, being the evolved creatures we are, our bodies would have done away with it by now. Nothing’s wrong with a little maintenance every now and then I imagine, but making yourself susceptible to disease and irritation for the sake of keeping up pubic appearances is no bueno.
What’s your take on maintaining or eliminating pubic hair?
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