OK, prudish people – or potential suitors Brad Pitt and Emile Hirsch – look away now. I want to talk about something controversial. Well, some may think it’s controversial. I prefer to think of it as a very fascinating thing called nature!
Ladies across the world can empathize with the feeling of lazy relief when summer is over, and you are free to enter a new phase of natural body wilderness. By this, I mean a complete carefree approach to hair removal! As the vest tops get packed away and 90% of our bodies get covered up, many of us have no interest in hairy legs, pits (or indeed wherever nature chooses to hair you up!)
With the exception of those who don’t give a crap all year round ( we salute you..!) and those who continue their waxing regime well into the winter, most of us are more than a little sporadic with hair removal when no one needs to see our bodies. But this begs the question: What’s so scary about a hairy Mary anyway?
Last summer, whilst scanning my bathroom for it’s green credentials, it dawned on me that disposable razors contributed to a huge amount of my plastic waste. Even though I kept my razor and occasionally purchased replacement heads, over a year I was throwing away at least 8 blades (not the mention the ridiculous plastic packaging it comes in). This doesn’t sound much as an individual, but when you consider that Bic alone sells around 11 million disposable razors daily (about 4 billion disposable razors annually) it really adds up!! With plastics taking hundreds of years to decompose, I was more than a little put off by buying razors.
I have never liked chemical smelling hair removal creams, and epilators seemed like the most brutal way to remove something so small, harmless and natural to your body. Waxing was equally painful, and mostly involved throwing waxing strips of fabric into the landfill. Other green living blogs suggested making your own sugaring kits and washing the fabric after use, but I didn’t fancy the effort; and had learnt from experience that sugaring was just as messy and time consuming as waxing. I was going around in one big hairy circle and could never quite come up with a 100% green solution to hair removal.
That’s when it hit me, why couldn’t I just leave it be and not care about what it looked like? Hair grows on our bodies to protect us and keep us cool, so why not just back off and let it do it’s job? I knew I would save money, time and needless landfill in the process. So followed not one, but two months of my green hair removal experiment. I set aside any thoughts of vanity or pride, and wholeheartedly embraced the fact that I really was becoming that hippy cat lady vegan with hairy armpits!! But hey ho, you are what you are I guess!
At first it was very liberating, and at times kind of sensual, to be in tune with my body and let it do its thing. My boyfriend didn’t actually seem to care and I even bravely wore a high sleeved top to yoga one day. I wasn’t heckled out of the studio! It really wasn’t as dramatic as I thought and, apart from feeling like an utter hippie, it confirmed that all the fuss about women hair removal is ridiculous. It’s really not worth the time, money and environmental impact.
But then, one evening, as I relaxing in my (shallow and chemical free…) bath – either by habit or impulse – I absentmindedly reached for my old razor and BOOM! My legs were as smooth as a Siamese cat! I realised that despite my green intentions, and the ease in which I had lived my hairy life; now and then you just want a good old pamper and defuzz! I guess I hadn’t counted on the fact that that I actually liked the feel of smooth legs, freshly shaved and moisturised; no matter how it went against my ambitions for zero waste.
But now I am back at square one. Whilst my wild and free days are over for now, I am much more restrictive in my razor useage. Maybe one day I’ll treat myself to a fancy eco wax (if they exist?), but I stay happy in the knowledge that there really isn’t anything scary about being a hairy Mary whenever I see fit!