Body hair: We all have it, but we never talk about it!
Body hair through the ages has seen some pretty eccentric styles and trends. The Romans were firm supporters of cleanly shaved nether-regions for both men and women, whereas the Middle Ages were all about bush. Weirdly enough, in the olden times where sanitation was scarce, the creepy critters we now call ‘crabs’, were not uncommon so many people shaved their privates but used wigs, or ‘merkins’ for fashion!
Fast forward to the 20th century and the swinging sixties fully embraced body hair of all varieties as part of the free love mentality which embraced the au-natural look. 20 years later ‘The Brazilian’ revolutionised pubic fashion for women who, due to teeny tiny bikinis, opted for an ‘all off’ approach.
So where are we at now with the body hair revolution?
It’s something that literally everyone has had to deal with since the beginning of time, yet we’re still as clueless now, as we were 10,000 years ago! So let’s break it down…
All Body hair serves a purpose.
The fine hairs that cover our entire bodies (apart from our palms and the soles of our feet) are there to keep us warm. They may not seem like they are doing much, but that prickly feeling when it’s chilly outside? That’s the tiny muscles around the hair follicles contracting, which in turn makes our hair stand on end to trap warmth.
In terms of the dreaded pubic hair – it’s there to protect our bits from bacteria causing infection, bumps and scrapes, friction and other pathogens. Some people like it, some people don’t. It really is as simple as that – preference.
Eyelashes, eyebrows, nostril hair and ear hair – all serve as a barrier to protect some of our vital sensory organs from foreign objects such as sand, dust, sweat and bugs… ew.
Embrace or Erase?
Women are often under pressure from society to remove all body hair: armpits, legs, pubic regions and everywhere in between. Recently there are more and more women going against the grain of expectations and embracing their hairy armpits. In many places all over the world, to be hairy is to be beautiful.
Men, on the other hand, are often under pressure to keep their body hair. Masculinity dictates that men should be hairy. To have a beard or a hairy chest is often considered manly. The fact of the matter is, many men don’t like having body hair. In truth, with the high levels of personal hygiene that the modern world has bestowed upon us, we don’t depend on these methods of protection from the elements anymore, because we have houses, and showers…
“Some people like it, some people don’t. It really is as simple as that – preference.”
Some Athletes choose to remove body hair for performance enhancement reasons. Many olympic swimmers will be clean shaven all over so they glide through the water with ease, same with some cyclists and runners.
If you want to remove your chest hair, shave your legs, epilate your armpits (wouldn’t recommend – v. painful 😱) or pluck your eyebrows – do it. Similarly, if you’d rather opt for the more natural look and let your luscious locks grow, do that too! Shout out to my main gal Frida Khalo, for representing the bushy eyebrow squad and embracing her body hair in the most courageous way!
Not only is hair growth an uncomfortable issue for most, so is hair loss. Losing your hair can make you feel embarrassed, sad, vulnerable and out of place and there can be loads of different reasons behind the cause of it. Some people will never experience hair loss, but a large number of men and women experience it due to something called ‘male or female-pattern baldness’, this will affect 50% of men by the time they reach middle age, and contrary to popular belief, women are not immune!
It’s surprising to think that something which affects such a large proportion of the population is still considered to be an embarrassing issue! Where there are many treatments and remedies for hair loss, these are not always necessary. Always remember that you are more than your hair!
Whether you’re a fan of a hairy pit, or you like a clean shaven chin, have long curly hair or a shiny bald head; embrace your fuzz or erase your whiskers according to your own preference – nobody’s else’s!😝
Something as trivial as the the hair that grows on our bodies carries with it so many varying levels of significance … but does it really matter? If we’re happy, healthy and hairy or bald – what’s the big fuss?!
If you are experiencing unexplained hair loss, it’s best to speak to a professional as it can sometimes be your body telling you that something’s not quite right… be sure to see a doctor or medical professional if you’re worried, or speak to one of our digital mentors on our community for more info!