The Ultimate Guide to Managing Your Hair


What a loaded topic. On one hand it is completely natural and we should not at all be ashamed of it, and on the other hand society has dictated that especially "women" should be hair free and smooth to be attractive. Modern societal standards of what femininity and masculinity are still very much linked to hairiness or lack of hairiness. 

I think to fully understand we need to learn more about the fascinating origin of body hair, its true purpose, and why it occurred to us to get rid of it in the first place.

Now, before we talk about the what of body hair, we have to speak to the why. Why do we have body hair? Well, to answer that, we have to go back to the beginning. Millions of years ago, the ancestors of human beings were covered in hair. The reason for this was due to a number of functional purposes. 

Body hair keeps mammals warm. It also protects the skin from a lot of external influences, chafing or rubbing, water, chemicals, parasites and more.

At what point in time did human mammals begin to lose most of their hair?

The short story, is that we lost most of our body hair probably beginning around two million years ago due to the adoption of an active lifestyle. Our ancestors were not couch potatoes — they weren’t just sitting around or hanging around in trees, like our closest relatives the chimpanzee. They were active, walking, running, really, really active creatures

And with all of that activity, plus the hot climate in Africa, (where our ancestors came from), they built up a lot of body heat. So what happened, is instead of being covered with body hair, our bodies are covered with more and more sweat glands that help us lose heat through the evaporation of sweat. It has been estimated that we lost our body hair over a half a million-year period, evolving from fairly hairy beings to almost completely hairless ones, with the exception of a few areas.

Why do we have Body Hair?

We have an estimated five million follicles of hair on our bodies — from our scalp to our pubic area to our toes. “You're born with all of them, You don't develop more as you get older.” says dermatologist Kavita Mariwalla 

You may not grow more hair as you age, the hair that you do have — and its distribution — changes over time. For example, when babies are born, they’re often covered in soft peach fuzz called lanugo that eventually falls off.  As you get older, your hair matures and differentiates depending on where it is on your body.

For instance, pubic and underarm hair, as well as the hair on your head, is called terminal hair, which is noticeably stronger and thicker than the rest of the hair on the body. The lighter, thinner hair, found over most of the rest of your body is what’s known as vellus hair.

However, thanks to hormones, vellus hair can transform into terminal hair as you get older!  Yep, you heard me right!

You have vellus hair on your whole body and then you go through puberty, when you have a lot of androgens or testosterone and these hormones change the hair follicle to grow hair that's coarser and thicker. A very obvious example of this is when a young boy has light vellus hair on his face, but after reaching puberty, his facial hair becomes thicker and more noticeable.

But going back to why we have hair in specific places on our bodies is actually quite fascinating. "For example, the most significant reason for the hair on our heads, is to regulate our brain’s temperature. We have these really big brains, and in order to keep them cool, we need to keep our whole body temperature within a fairly narrow window,” says Mariwalla. “It turns out that especially really curly hair is remarkably effective at protecting the scalp and the brain from excess heat, and it also allows the evaporation of sweat very efficiently. So it’s this remarkable, important structure.”

Along with the hair on our heads, you’ve probably noticed it densely grows in a few key places on the body: the underarms, the pubic region, and the eyebrows. Underarm and pubic hair have stuck around because they helped disperse odour, that communicates about our reproductive status. Our eyebrows allow our expressions and moods to be determined or communicated from one person to another, even at a great distance.

And what about the hair you can’t noticeably see on the body?

The Vellus hair whose function is substantial. There are tiny, tiny, tiny hairs coming out of hair follicles all over our body. They allow our skin to heal properly—they are little repositories of stem cells, which help us to heal our wounds. While the majority of your body is covered in these tiny hairs, there are three areas of your body that don’t grow hair: palms of your hands, soles of your feet, and the red of your lips.

The History of Body Hair Removal

Hair removal is not a novel concept; in fact, women have been removing the hair on their bodies for centuries.                                                                                    Women in ancient Egyptian, Roman, and Indian cultures were subjected to hair removal practices similar to today’s. Dating back to 3,000 BCE, the first razors made from seashells were used by women to shave off head and pubic hairs. Egyptians also removed hair with sugar-based waxes like modern-day waxing practices. Fast forward to the sixth century BCE where evidence of hair removal among Romans points to a multitude of tools like tweezers, pumice stones, and depilatories (creams/lotions for hair removal). For the Romans, body hair was a sign of class: the more prestigious one’s place in society, the less hair they were expected to have.                                                                                                   Fast forward again, to the Middle Ages where Elizabethan women took hair removal practices a step further and shaved their facial hair. Queen Elizabeth I initiated this trend in an effort to create a longer-looking forehead — women even removed their eyebrows!                                                                                                                 The development of the beauty industry only continues from here, and the encouragement, nay expectation, for women to remove their body hair to appear more attractive and cleaner begins amid these centuries. It is without a doubt fascinating to understand and know that hair removal has a place in world history, though it begs the question about today’s hair removal practices and expectations, assumptions about gender and cleanliness, and the dynamic between gender and body hair.                                                                                                               While modern societal standards of what femininity and masculinity are still very much linked to hairiness or lack of hairiness, we’ve begun to see a shift in the acceptance and normalization of body hair, thanks in part to social media, which has even helped us celebrate body hair for the first time!

“It's really wonderful when people examine those social norms and say, hold on, who started this? This is a bunch of nonsense, and they realize, ‘Hey, I can be a beautiful person inside and out without following these practices.’ It is tremendously liberating.” says Nina Jablonski (prof. of Anthropology at PENN State)

That sense of celebration seems to be more prevalent than ever before, as we’ve lived through a pandemic which put physical interactions between people on pause. Because of this, many of the performances we put on for others, like body hair removal, have become one-woman shows, with one-woman audiences. So then you realize, in your heart of hearts, this is a waste of time,” says Jablonski. “‘Why should I take this time to do this thing that is socially acceptable and allows me to cleave towards a social norm? I'm doing just fine.’ People feel a lot of freedom now.”

Types of Hair Removal

Of course, if you do choose to remove your body hair  - that’s fine too!  

Depending on the location of the hair, there are a number of methods that will get the job done.


For starters, there’s shaving, the act of removing hair with a razor.  When you shave the hair on your body (typically on the legs, underarms, and bikini), you’re removing hair from above the top layer of skin. Results will last 1 -2 days


Tweezing, on the other hand, pulls the hair directly from the follicle. Any time you pull a hair from a follicle, it's always going to grow back. But it’s going to take longer than when you only remove it from above the skin. Results will last 3-4 weeks

Waxing and Sugaring

Waxing and Sugaring use the same mechanism as tweezing but with warm substances (i.e. wax and sugar) that sit on top of the skin and around the hair to pull it out of the follicle. It’s a process that is warming the skin, so that the hair follicle opens up a little bit and the wax solidifies around the hair, when you remove the wax… you pull the hair out of the follicle as you're doing it. Results will last 3-4 weeks

Depilatory Cream

There are also depilatory creams. Instead of grabbing onto the hair and pulling it, you're putting on a chemical that's dissolving the hair at the root. Depilatory creams, while efficient at removing hair, come with a bit of added risk, if some of the chemicals get into the follicle, which they do, you can get a lot of skin irritation. Results will last 1-2 days

Laser Hair Removal

My favourite hair-removal technique, especially for people who have to shave almost every day to stay smooth. However Lasers target the pigment in the hair follicle and because of that, they’re not effective on light hair. The people who do the best with laser hair removal are those who are really fair and have jet-black hair because the difference is so stark.

Technology has now advanced enough to safely target dark hair on darker skin tones, but blonde hair and red hair still elude us, regardless of your skin tone.

You get an 80 percent reduction in hair, and you might need a touch-up once a year. It's an investment, but it's one that will last a lifetime. Results will last a lifetime


No matter which hair removal technique you choose (if you so choose), I ALWAYS recommend exfoliating before and a few days after treatment, so that the hair has its best chance of breaking through underneath the surface and coming out of the skin. Otherwise, you run the risk of experiencing ingrown hairs, which are hairs which have grown under the skin rather than on top of it. While fairly common, ingrown hairs can become quite painful and possibly lead to infection if left untreated.

As always I am here for any questions you may have about your hair, skin nails... you name it! Please feel free to send me an email or book in for a free consultation to discuss ANY issues you feel you may have.

Fleur't is an inclusive environment that helps to foster confidence in oneself 🏳️‍🌈 🏳️‍⚧️

Thanks for reading

April ❤️


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