A Curious History Of Body Hair Removal

A Curious History Of Body Hair Removal

America is built on razors and waxing strips.

If you are constantly short on time, like me, chances are you have lamented the fact that shaving is a societal expectation and something that takes away your few, few minutes you have in the morning or the precious minutes in the shower at night. You might have even wondered to yourself the purpose of all this body hair removal: for women, shaving or waxing legs, armpit hair, bikini area, upper lip, eyebrows, and even peach fuzz on your face. For men, shaving pubic hair, shaving beard and mustache area, waxing eyebrows, and even excess chest hair. This may seem excessive to you when all laid out in a list, however many people do all of the above every day.

This body grooming may seem new to you, however, it is a tradition that has been traced back to 3000 BC, through ancient art and depictions of women from Egyptian and Mesopotamian times. Additionally, the nude Greek statues that were often depicted as hairless began the human movement toward the removal undesirable body hair: one that continues to this day, and one whose history is ever evolving and changing.

From 3000 BC to now, much has changed on the topic of body hair removal, and public persona and viewpoint with it.

Methods of body hair removal have begun to evolve greatly, even more with technological advances like laser hair removal and mechanical evolutions such as epilators, changing the efficiency and ease that body hair removal requires.

With basic methods such as waxing and tweezing ranging to higher tech and even perhaps considered “trendy” versions like sugaring and body hair removal cream. The wide range of body hair removal tactics has made the action commonplace and thus is a contribution to the societal expectation. The capitalist driven market of body hair removal continues to drive the propagation and image of the hairless human, perhaps costing us those extra minutes in the shower.

The reasons why we remove our body hair may be nuanced, however, there are several evolutions in history that likely encouraged the ritual of continual body hair removal.

For women, World War 1 in the 1940s caused a rise in the popularity of shorts, causing leg shaving to be commonplace. The rise of the bikini led to a more extreme case of hair removal, increasing the popularity of bikini waxes. On the men’s side, the rise in popularity of bodybuilding (Arnold Schwarzenegger) led to the exposure of more skin, and thus the men’s body hair removal tradition begun to gain traction.

However, perhaps as a backlash to all this body hair removal, the general population seems to have had enough. Movements like feminism have begun the protestation against these rather rigid societal expectations. So the next time you’re in the shower, remember that while body hair removal may be expected, it is always optional.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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My Hair Journey After Box Bleaching My Hair

Although it may seem cheap and easy, the reality of box bleaching your hair is disastrous. Professionals, this article is dedicated to you.


In 2017, I made the disastrous decision to box bleach my hair that I am still paying for today.

It seemed cheap, easy, and was something fun I could do at midnight. Little did I know, this would be a choice that I would still be regretting to this day. Besides the awful reality of box bleaching your hair, such as the chemicals in store hair dye already being disastrous for your hair, if you don't know what you're doing you not only run the risk of damaging your hair, having your hair fall out, but could also seriously hurting your scalp.

Follow me on my hair journey over the past two years and use this article to look back on if you're ever bored and in need for a change. Wait to go to a salon!

May 23rd, 2017.

Nichole Doty

I like to call this moment the calm before the storm. Back in 2017, I had long dark hair. I loved my hair and was very proud of how long I grew it. This is the longest my hair had ever been at this point in my life, and I absolutely loved it.

July 31st, 2017.

Nichole Doty

This was the day that everything changed. I made the terrible decision to not only box bleach my hair but to add box pink hair dye on the underneath of it. Not only did it look terrible, but it was also an irreversible decision that was made that I would have to live with for the next few years to come.

August 12th, 2017.

Kasey Bauner, (kasey_bauner via instagram), who works at Jay Marie Salon and Spa in Schereville, was able to save my hair in a beautiful way.

Nichole Doty

HALLELUJAH! My hot mess was fixed! Through hours and hundreds of dollars later spent at the salon, they were able to salvage my hair without shaving all of it off!

December 9th, 2017.

Nichole Doty

A few months later, after some length came in, that's when the roots started to appear. After the first glace at the outgrowth, I knew that I would have to keep chopping my hair until the roots fully grew out.

January 5th, 2018.

Nichole Doty

This was the first big chop I had to do since the box bleach disaster I did to my head. I knew that I didn't want to dye my hair back to its original color, so this began my repetitive cycle of hair growing out, getting a drastic chop, and growing it out again.

July 5th, 2018.

Nichole Doty

In July, my hair started to show more length since I had to originally chop it. My roots were starting to come in the dark so I had to try and wear hairstyles that would discretely cover how much my hair had grown.

August 31st, 2018.

Another big chop when school started in the fall of 2018. There's something so disappointing about having to keep growing out your hair just to chop it, but unfortunately, that's what I signed up for when I got myself into this mess.

November 29th, 2018.

At this point, my roots looked terrible. From the back of my head, the roots were growing towards the middle. I had to keep reminding myself that I couldn't see the back of my head so I could gracefully ignore how terrible it looked. Aside from this awful outgrowth I had going on, the color in my hair was starting to settle into a yellow mess.

January 31st, 2019.

Nichole Doty

As if I didn't learn my lesson from the first time, I started to experiment with different colors. I used the L'Oreal Colorista Semi-Permanent dye. I will say, though, this really is the most Semi-Permanent dye I have ever used as it would fully wash out in two weeks without any traces of color left behind.

April 25th, 2019.

I felt as though if I added different colors to my hair it would make the roots look more natural. As it did, I do NOT recommend the Kiss Tintation hair dye. This was the most patchy dye I have ever used, although I did love the blue.

May 12th, 2019.

Nichole Doty

As of just a few weeks ago, my hair was a big green mess. The dye would not leave my hair, so I started to panic that I really messed up this time. I could no longer wait at this point as I felt the frantic need to chop my hair.

May 23rd, 2019.

Nichole Doty

Here we have it! At the end of my journey thus far, I have managed to almost have all of my natural colors back! Although there are some green strands still left behind, I am mostly back to a full head of hair being the same color.

Overall, I want this article to serve as a warning to those who are like me and don't think through decisions properly. I'm the type of person when I want something I want it at that exact moment no matter what. My rash decision has led to poor self esteem and issues throughout these past two years. Am I being dramatic? Maybe. Maybe I'm like you who feels as though your hair is a big part of your identity and who you are as a person. Thank you for following my hair journey and remember: ALWAYS think through big decisions properly and wait to go to a salon to get your hair done!


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