I’m 37 going 38 and very hairy. I have to wear long sleeve shirts and trousers. I also have to shave my beard and mustache like every day. That’s called hair removal or technically either depilation or epilation. Where I live, excessive growth of hair on the head, chin, upper lip, eyebrows, torso and the limbs is viewed as both unhygienic and something to be ashamed off. It doesn’t matter that I’m not a Che Guevara or a Michael Phelps nor do I expose my nonexistent six packs. It’s just something I’m compelled to do.
So I decided to do some research on the issue, like why do I just have to shave off all that hair?
It wasn’t surprising to find out that hair removal was and still is actually a form of punishment. In medieval Europe, it was customary to shave off all the hair on the bodies of the accused witches in order to discover the so called ‘familiar mark’.
During the Second World War, women who had sexual encounters with German soldiers had their heads shaved.
But not all hair removal is for the wrong reasons. Shaving one’s hair can help reduce the incidence of hair lice and shaving one’s armpits and pubic hairs can help remove offensive odors.
Also since chemical treatments to cure cancerous growths normally result in hair loss, it’s quite common for cancer patients to remove the hair on their heads before the course of treatment.
Now let’s get to the basics. What are depilation and epilation?
Body hair can grow either beneath the skins surface or above it.
If you remove the hair that grows above the surface of the skin you are depicting. Now this could be done by either shaving or trimming the hair. However, if you decide to remove the hair that grows beneath, then you’re epilation, which is normally done by such diverse methods as plucking, waxing, using lasers, etc.
Like me you might be wondering what the demerits of either methods might be
Either depilation or epilation may inflame the skin, create burn marks, leave behind scars or leave the skin ‘bumpy’.
Newer methods of hair removal are being developed even as this article is being written. Medication that targets the hair follicles directly thereby stopping hair growth at the roots has been made and are currently being tested by the FDA. One of the chemicals being used is eflornithine hydrochloride which forms the core ingredient in the drug Vaniqa.
If you ask me the best way to go is to do it naturally. A simple sugar paste can do the trick without any side effects.
Create a mixture of water, lime juice and sugar.
Heat up the mix till it starts to bubble, keep on stirring till it thickens and turns brown
Use an object that has a flat surface to apply the good to the growth of hair
Place a piece of cloth over the mixture and when it hardens pull it off. Rinse and then put on some skin lotion.