It's a classic mammalian trait… body hair.
Throughout time and all over the world, the humble hair has held weighty cultural, social, and spiritual significance. Whether celebrating its growth or removal, most of us relate to our body hair in one way or another.
But have you ever thought about the possibility of hair removal as self care?
It may seem like an odd idea, but our attitudes and routines around hair removal can provide opportunities to heal and connect with ourselves. Below are a few possible ways of seeing hair removal through the lens of self care.
Long hair can catch against clothes and pull uncomfortably on the skin, or retain moisture in areas that then become sensitive or irritated. Shortening or removing it is a simple process and may be a huge relief. If you enjoy your hair but not the moisture it captures, use of an absorbent deodorant or clay powder in those areas can help bring relief. You deserve to be comfortable!
As absolutely normal as it is to be *gasp* mammals with hair, it’s also a common experience for many people in our modern American culture to feel ashamed or embarrassed when body hair is present or visible. If you have ever felt too stressed to leave the house because your legs weren’t shaved, you know exactly what we’re talking about. Being aware of this stress is the first step toward making hair removal decisions that feel empowered instead of obligatory.
So what if we frame hair removal and regrowth as just what it is: another cycle of your magical body? We invite you to try looking at your hair removal routine as an opportunity for you to nurture a cycle of growth and renewal. Over time you may begin to notice that where there was shame, now there is love and admiration… for all the unique YOU-ness those little growing hairs represent!
An article from the National Institute of Health describes agency as a “feeling of control over actions and their consequences.”
So much of what occurs in life is beyond our control, a fact which can lead to feelings of despair, hopelessness, and futility -- one dwells on this idea for too long. The bright side is that while many big picture events may be out of our hands, there are many avenues for connecting with the control available to us in our individual lives.
Modifying our outward appearance is one useful way of expressing or practicing agency. Take for example the “ouch!” moment of waxing that comes before we get to enjoy the finished result. This momentary pain is something we choose, rather than something that happens to us. If we are sure of our safety (a sugar wax isn’t hot so it won’t burn you, and it only attaches to dead skin cells) then we can move through the experience with trust and grace. This may be one small action, but it symbolizes the power we have to tip the balance of fear and focus on our abilities to make decisions and see ourselves through all of life’s experiences.
Whatever feelings come up for you around the topic of body hair, we at Effervesce are wishing you well in honoring your process and discovering the routines that best support your wellbeing. Hairy or bald, you’re great the way you are!