(To read I Don’t Want To Look Like A Wookiee, Part 1, click here.)
On board and ready to go with a little lighthearted look at something that plagues most of us. Hair, of the bodily kind. I will attempt to weigh in from the other side of the pool (the gene pool, that is, my danger zone isn’t ready for swimming just yet). And to just put this out there….I think Chewbacca is adorable and, in another life, I would totally welcome looking like that. Just saying.
As a young child I would lather up my legs and make washcloth origami, so it looked like a blade (as much as it could). Then I would “shave” my legs during bath time. I was a lucky youngster. On a side note, I would also lather up my chest and draw boobs on myself. How’s that for knowing at a very early age that I was not at all content with my present gender?
I was blessed, momentarily, by having a fantastically smooth body. Blessed until about 4 months after puberty. About that time came the worst part of growing up, besides the deep voice (which is a blog for another time) came the most unwanted and most unattractive part of male adolescence. Body hair. I loathed it and it was everywhere, but luckily not my back…..GROSS! I had seen older friends growing their walking carpet and how proud they were, but I watched woefully at the girls around me, wishing terribly that I would go through their changes and not the ones awaiting me. No such luck.
I guess I was predisposed to be a shaving kind of girl since that was the norm, and for a guy to have a razor was not a stretch of believability. Despite not wanting the hair, it stayed until I was in college and started being able to have more time to myself to get ready. I lived at home to save money and the house was mine as soon as the parents would leave for work. I had grown tired of wearing two pairs of hose to cover the unsightly mass of hair growing on the legs. It was time to take action.
The razor cut through the forest of hair like it was nothing, which was amazing. I hadn’t felt my legs so smooth since Jr. High. I only went as high as my knee to start but it wasn’t long before I went the distance. The higher the shaving, the shorter the skirt, just so you know there was indeed a correlation there. I was warned by a female friend of mine. Do not shave in any direction that you do not wish to shave for the rest of your life. Good advice. I didn’t take it.
It seems that on the male body, if you shave anything that has hair on it, you have really upset the system. Not only does it grow back rather quickly, but it is also more coarse and thicker than ever. Even more disgusting. But, since I had started this, and really liked how I looked sans the body hair, this ritual became a daily practice for several years. It worked but I had hoped to have something a little longer lasting than this.
I finally tried waxing about 12 years ago. It was not for me. It was messy. It hurt. I was a baby. (and that was just opening the package!) Once I finished about half the jar of wax I threw it away and never looked back. Wandered a lot, but never looked. Despite the mess, it was nice to be stubble free for a period longer than two days.
I went from waxing to NAIR and VEET. NAIR was first. Nothing I put on my skin should ever smell worse than the entrance of Wal-Mart as they give the perms to the old ladies who still think it’s a good look. The smell, combined with the burning and itching that went along with the ritual made it one of the worst hair removal experiences I had tried. It wasn’t messy, for the most part, but the foul fragrance that stuck with you was disgusting. And this was the better smelling formula? I would have hated to smell the prior incarnations of this product. The hair was gone as I rinsed off and my skin smooth. Guess that’s what happens when you chemical burn and peel your top three layers of skin. VEET was supposed to be the New and Improved thing on the market. No longer a lather up and rinse off, this mimicked the act of shaving, which was a little odd. If I was going to go through that motion, why not just shave and alleviate the wait time, the smell and everything else. However, I gave it a shot. Well, it did not smell as atrocious as NAIR but it was not a bed of roses either. It took a little longer for the tingle to start but when it did…WOW! Let’s just say that accidentally getting this too close to the bikini line is just asking for a pain that will not stop….not that I know from experience or anything. I was disappointed in the hair removal with VEET and the amount of time spent smooth. A couple days and stubble was back. About the same as with NAIR. No short shorts for this girl.
About 2 months ago I branched into the world of the epilator. I researched this for quite some time before going with a BRAUN. They make good mens shavers so I thought it would be wise to go with them for the ripping out of annoying hairs. I should point out that I had looked at these back in the 80s/90s with the Epilady but had never purchased one. I had looked at them again but it was the conversations with Sarah that led me to the purchase. Yes, we are girls and we do talk about these things (and numerous others things too).
I made my purchase at Target and went straight home to use it that night. Let me start by saying this. It is not a wise thing to go ripping into your leg hairs when they are a little bit on the long side. The pain was horrific, though oddly pleasant. I decided that what I needed to do was shave and then epil when the hair was just starting to grow back. So a few days later I went at it again. Much better, though still painful in some areas. The lower leg, no issues at all, but once I hit the knee to thigh, YEOUCH! I am glad that I had this thing on high or I would have never made it. The tingle of the rollers over the skin does nothing to prepare you for the 48 rapidly rotating tweezers that grab and go as they race across your skin.
Not only are the tweezers a bit daunting, but the extremely loud sound of the gears is a bit frightening as well. I ended up realizing that it went so much better if I was watching or listening to something for those 45 minutes it takes me to de-forest. Sci-Fi and Action are good ways to remove yourself from the task at hand. A good set of Skull Candy headphones, the sound cranked to the highest level you can stand and you are good to go. Music is also a good dampener, so you can pay closer visual attention to you plucking and not accidentally grab hold of a crease in your skin. Pain times 1,000! I find that either RUSH, DEPECHE MODE, THE SPICE GIRLS or RAMMSTEIN tend to serve best at taking the attention away from the pain. The pain that is somewhat pleasurable, though. Before Christina Amphlett sang about touching herself, she sang about the fine line between pleasure and pain. (Christina is the vocalist for The Divinyls). But, alas, I digest.
The epilator is serving me well. Well, it was. I hit a point where I just did not have the time to devote to it any longer. Just my own laziness, really, but I am getting back to it now. It didn’t keep me smooth for weeks. My cursed gene set decided to stop growing hair on my head while allowing the hair on my body to grow like an unwatched weed patch in spring. I epil about two times a week, sometimes three, and it works well. It does thin the growth out a bit, I have noticed, so maybe over time, I will be among the other women who really only have to do this every week or two. It should also help when I start hormones and stop this damn testosterone from wreaking any more havoc on my body. I have not worked my way up through the danger zone with this weed whacker just yet. I will admit that just scares the hell out of me, but I will get there. As well as arms, chest and stomach.
I guess my vote would have to go to epilating as the main choice for hair removal and then shaving. Despite the fact that I am prickly within a day of shaving my body, it still tends to work for me until I can get the courage to attack all my hair with extreme prejudice. In a pinch I will use NAIR or VEET, but that is a long shot. I would have liked to have given waxing a real go, but I think I would have to pay someone to do this to me. I am not a badass, but I play one on TV. In certain clothes I am badass, but that is another blog yet again. I am a baby and despite my high threshold for pain, the ripping of hair far exceeds the pain of running through a glass door (which I have done), or it did. Again, it’s a pain that has a soothing side to it. A pain that I’m used to.
I always hold the cost of electrolysis and laser hair removal as a hindrance, but if I add up all the money spent on blades, shavers, epilators and product, I probably could have had something done to permanently remove all the unwanted hair. The face will get that treatment first, though. I hate to shave and I hate facial hair. What’s a part time woman to do?
Part time for now.