Whether it’s with a reluctant crawl, or with a hop, skip and a jump, we’re all experiencing a renewed bout of physical contact with each other. Real in-person contact makes me think that the hair on one’s body may (or may not) need to be crafted to fit some social norms. The hair on many of our heads grew nasty over lockdown. But there are other areas too that could have experienced neglect… The realisation of the current state of affairs on your skin may have come just moments before a fresh tinder date, or in the morning before a cold shirtless swim, or maybe in the shower before dressing up to the 9s for a Sauvignon Blanc with the girls. Or, maybe your realisation came just now. What are you going to do? How will you prepare your fleshy landscape for this complicated and judgemental world?
Forget the haters. Your rough edges were never meant to be smoothed. Instead of cutting the hairs on your body, you cut straight through the bullshit of the pink tax instead. For the lads out there – you’ve never seen any reason to pay attention to the hair that’s not on your head apart from the occasional “eyebrows?” And apart from collecting a few extra smells and bacterial colonies, this is the safest route to take. No nicks and cuts, no chemical burns, no lasers…
I was once told by my high school biology teacher, who was successfully treated for cancer on his nose, that cancer can be triggered by merely picking hairs out of the nose. I’m not going to waste a google search on this because in hindsight it sounds a bit far fetched. Plucking hairs might hurt, but it’s a fairly harmless thing to do. The trouble is it takes incredible patience and precision to pluck. The trauma of hairs pulled from their roots can set up a spot for an infection to settle. Although, all-in-all there’s nothing to be concerned about here.
It’s possible to get a hold of some depilatory cream and use this to dissolve unwanted hair. Chemically this cream breaks the bonds within the keratin protein, which makes up hair and everything comes off in a kind of slime. They’re pretty intense chemicals and according to Veet shouldn’t be used on “sensitive areas”. These kinds of creams aren’t for everyone. With any breaks in the skin barrier, the protein dissolving effects can cause some havoc on the skin – like a chemical burn.
Technology companies will claim laser therapy causes permanent hair removal and scientific reviews constantly claim there is not enough quality evidence to support these claims. I hoped to shed some light on this (no pun intended), but the most succinct point I can make thinking about a laser hitting those sensitive areas is zappy, zappy, ow, ow. James Bond runs from it for a reason.
I’m pretty sure that the biology teacher of mine (from strategy 2) would have undergone a forehead free flap surgery for his nose. It’s the gold standard for nose reconstruction, but it sometimes brings hairline skin over the nose that can look very witchy when it grows out after surgery. The solution here seems like electrolysis. But not just any kind… it’s a 2mm needle that gets placed carefully into each hair follicle. This is nothing like the electrolysis you will see advertised on the Brazilian market. In terms of the research available, there seems to be a bit of “he said, she said” amongst technology company-funded studies, between the benefits of commercial electrolysis and commercial laser (including IPL therapy). Maybe it’s because the evidence is genuinely slim pickings to have such a debate… It seems like you could be signing up for a known side effect risk here, with either laser/electrolysis having an unknown benefit. Would not recommend.
Finally the trusty razor… it’s expensive and to be honest, it does a shit job. Razors leave cuts of course but they most obviously still leave these annoying stubs that arguably can look even worse. If anything, they just show the world you’ve tried. You’ve tried to impress the date with a cheeky manscape, or you’ve decided to get an airbrushed look, or you’ve just tried to show your best face to the world. Good on you for getting out there – hairy or not hairy or some stubbly in-between. Don’t let it hold you back from being physical, now that we are out of lockdown.