The Lowdown on Body Hair

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Often times we are self conscious because of the amount of body hair we have and for whatever reason, we feel the need to get rid of it right away. To us, sometimes our body hair seems like a burden, unpleasant, or even downright gross. However, body hair has been around for a long time. As genes are passed down from generation to generation, certain traits are replicated and others are not. This could mean that your family happens to have thicker, coarser hair, while others have little to none. That’s just the way that breeding and evolution works. Who knows, we might all lose our hair eventually, but for now, we have to learn what to do with it.

What is Body Hair Actually For?

We don’t “use” body hair in the same ways that our ancestors did. Believe it or not, each different type of hair on our bodies is used for a very particular task. For example, eyebrows are not only used for keeping sweat out of our eyes, but it also plays a huge part in how we recognize each other. Whether we know it or not, our brains scan a person’s features and store that information in our memory. Eyebrows are a distinguishing, unique feature on every person’s face. They help our brain to recognize people almost instantly.

Another example is that nasty armpit hair! Armpit hair is used to wick away sweat from the glands under our arms, making us more comfortable when it’s hot outside. It also reduces friction between our arms and bodies when walking or running quickly. Lastly, it helps to distribute our “personal scent” or pheromones, which help us attract a potential mate. I bet you didn’t know that!

Should I Shave It?

Now that you know what it’s used for on our bodies, you’re probably wondering why it became socially normal to shave it, right? Well, it’s thought that some form of hair removal has been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years. However, the “modern” shaving craze didn’t hit it big until the turn of the 20th century. Up until that time many women didn’t feel the need to shave. Marketing changed the game — and quick. Sleeveless dresses and outfits became all the rage in around 1915 or so and those who did the selling told women it was unacceptable to show body hair. As they say, the rest is history.

So, should I shave? Or should I rebel against this marketing tactic? Is it bad to shave? There is nothing wrong with shaving your hair and there’s nothing wrong with keeping it around. The point to understand here, is that body hair is natural. Genetically, we have hair for a reason and we shouldn’t be ashamed of that. Our bodies are beautiful just the way that they are. Now, your body means your rules. In a modern society, we have other means of attracting mates, wicking away sweat, and keeping our bodies warm. So, by no means do you have to keep you body hair around if you prefer to shave it off.

Natural Ways to Control Odor

You should know that hair does not necessarily equal odor. Sweat glands around your body are used to keep your skin cool, when it’s hot outside. When that sweat picks up bacteria sitting on your skin, you might start to put off an odor. If you have a particularly pungent smell, that odor can stick to hair in your pits, for example, and linger for a little longer than you’d like. Yet, simply having body hair does not make a person smell. If you’re someone who get’s a tad bit smelly when you sweat (most people get smelly in some way or another – it’s nothing to be ashamed of), you’re likely going to have to deal with that smell even if you don’t have body hair.

There are many ways to naturally control body odor (with or without hair). Certain oils like tea tree, peppermint, and lavender are great for stifling bacteria and stopping you from smelling. If you want to keep it really simple, just dab a few drops into your pits before you start your day. If you have sensitive skin, I suggest using a tiny bit of carrier oil (like sweet almond, coconut, or grapeseed). There are also tons of natural deodorants on the market that contain ingredients like arrowroot powder and charcoal, which are great for absorbing and wicking away sweat, if that’s a concern of yours. You can also check out the plethora of DIY natural deodorants out there. Those work just as well as any store bought deodorant.

Don’t you feel so informed now? I hope you can see why body hair is completely natural and you can decide if you’d prefer to shave or keep it around for the summer. In addition, you can see that there are so many options out there for stopping odor in its tracks, without having to compromise your body hair if that’s something that’s important to you. I say, treat your body the way you want to, not how society tells you!

About the Author

Trisha is a freelance writer from Boise, ID. She is a dedicated vegan who promotes an all-around healthy lifestyle. You can find her on twitter @thatdangvegan and check out her blog thatdangvegan.com





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