Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Body Hair | The Science of Beauty Podcast | Allure

Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Body Hair | The Science of Beauty Podcast | Allure

As on your lips, we don’t develop hair there as a result of our lips are made up of “a distinct sort of cell,” as they’re thought of to be an extension of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, says Mariwalla.

The Historical past of Physique Hair Elimination

If having hair is so essential to the operate of our our bodies, why have we been eradicating it for lots of of years? Effectively, we’ve nobody responsible however ourselves. “We’ve, by communication with each other, established a globalized apply of eradicating hair to make girls particularly look very easy and have baby-like pores and skin; and for males to retain their physique hair,” says Jablonski. “We are likely to assume, ‘Oh, these indicators are very historical. These practices are very historical.’ They are not. This can be a fairly latest obsession.” Jablonski estimates the apply of physique hair removing began about solely 500 years in the past.

Whereas fashionable societal requirements of what femininity and masculinity are nonetheless very a lot linked to hairiness or lack of hairiness, we’ve begun to see a shift within the acceptance and normalization of physique hair, thanks partially to social media, which has even helped us have fun physique hair for the primary time. (Bear in mind #freeyourpits?)

“It is actually great when individuals look at these social norms and say, maintain on, who began this? This can be a bunch of nonsense,” says Jablonski. “They usually notice, ‘Hey, I could be a stunning individual inside and outside with out following these practices.’ It’s tremendously liberating.”

That sense of celebration appears to be extra prevalent than ever earlier than, as we’re residing by a pandemic, which has put bodily interactions between individuals on pause. Due to this, lots of the performances we placed on for others, like physique hair removing, have turn into one-woman reveals, with one-woman audiences.

“So then you definately notice, in your coronary heart of hearts, it is a waste of time,” says Jablonski. “‘Why ought to I take this time to do that factor that’s socially acceptable and permits me to cleave in the direction of a social norm? I am doing simply positive.’ Folks really feel a variety of freedom now.”

Forms of Hair Elimination

After all, for those who do select to take away your physique hair — and that’s positive too! — relying on the situation of the hair, there are a selection of strategies that can get the job executed, says Mariwalla.


For starters, there’s shaving, the act of eradicating hair with a razor. While you shave the hair in your physique (sometimes on the legs, underarms, and face), you’re eradicating hair from above the highest layer of pores and skin, says Mariwalla. She recommends shaving with a cream or gel to maintain the pores and skin hydrated. “The method of shaving is nearly like exfoliating that prime layer of pores and skin,” she says. “So, it is like a two for one.”


Tweezing, alternatively, pulls the hair straight from the follicle. “When you consider a hair follicle, it is just like the little home that your hair lives in,” explains Mariwalla. “Any time you pull a hair from a follicle, it is at all times going to develop again.” Nevertheless it’s going to take longer than while you solely take away it from above the pores and skin.

Waxing and Sugaring

Waxing and sugaring use the identical mechanism as tweezing however with heat substances (i.e. wax and sugar) that sit on prime of the pores and skin and across the hair to coax it out of the follicle. “It’s a course of that’s attempting to heat the pores and skin, in order that the hair follicle opens up slightly bit and the wax solidifies across the hair,” says Mariwalla. “While you take away the wax… you principally rip the hair out of the follicle as you are doing it.”

Depilatory Cream

There are additionally depilatory lotions. “As a substitute of grabbing onto the hair and pulling it, you are placing on a chemical that is dissolving the hair on the root,” explains Mariwalla. “So then you definately principally then simply wipe it away.”

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