The practice of removing female body hair is hardly a new concept. The act of removing one’s hair for aesthetic enhancement has a rich and deep history, dating back from pre-historic times.
Body hair removal today is synonymous with beauty and hygiene, but that hasn’t always been the case.
Let’s take a look at the complicated history behind the hair below our heads, and how the practice has evolved to what it is today.
The Stone Age
Neanderthals, or more commonly known as cavemen, are often portrayed as individuals covered entirely with hair in our history and biology books.
This notion might’ve been supported by Charles Darwin’s theory of biological evolution and the theory that we were somehow evolved from primates.
However, recently, archaeologists are starting to believe that the notion and image of a hairy Neanderthal weren’t entirely true! In fact, they are believed to be the first to have embraced the concept of body hair removal – and not surprisingly, it was for practicality and function, rather than beauty.
It’s been theorised that both sexes during that period would shave their heads and faces so that they don’t become a liability when they engage in battle with their opponents from other tribes.
On top of that, the chances of getting frostbite and mites are significantly lower.
Unfortunately, whilst shaving was deemed as necessary, the process itself wasn’t all that great.
They didn’t have our amazing tools such as our IPL laser hair removal or something as basic as a razor, and they had to make do with whatever they had. Their tools comprised of a stone that has been hacked down to a sharp angle before scraping the hair from their face and head. Talk about painful.
Ancient Egypt And Mesopotamia
Thankfully, the tools for hair removal evolved from sharpened rocks to what would predate modern waxing and tweezing.
Ancient Egyptians would use pumice stones, sugar-based waxes and beeswax to rip the hair strands from its follicles. Or, they would sometimes use tweezers made from seashells and copper razors to do the job.
In Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, being hairless was not just a sign of cleanliness, but to also conform to a beauty standard that was set by women like Cleopatra.
Being hairless was also a symbol of high class, seeing as how only the nobles and aristocrats could have the liberty of time and money to indulge in matters of beauty.
With big gowns and dresses, women from the Elizabethan Era didn’t have to concern themselves about having to shave their body.
European women from the Middle Ages didn’t engage in such practise – that is, until Queen Elizabeth. But, it’s not the same type of shaving you might think.
Instead of body hair, women shaved their eyebrows and the tiny hairs on the foreheads to give themselves a longer brow.
Georgian and Victorian Era
Interestingly enough, this was a period where there wasn’t one outstanding beauty standard to dictate how one should present their body hair, or the lack of.
The 1700s Jean Jacques Perret created the first straight razor.
A century later, King Camp Gillette – ring any bells? – introduced an even safer razor into the market.
When the razor expanded its market to target the female demographic, a movement was born.
In 1915, The First Great Anti-Underarm Hair Campaign stated that now that hair removal tools are made accessible, the first area that women should target was their armpits.
Why this area in particular? To put it simply, fashion. Sleeveless dresses were made popular by 1920s, and soon, hairless underarms became a necessity.
After WWII, the production of stockings dropped due to nylon shortage. To make it socially acceptable, women started to shave their legs.
When the 1950s rolled around, shorter skirts were becoming a fashion trend. Hairless armpits and legs grew more common as time goes by.
Now, the 1940s was when fashion took a turn with the birth of the bikini.
Women started trimming up down south and by 1980s and 1990s, a bare mons pubis was common. Brazilian wave hit the mainstream and the rest was history
Come the 2000s and we now have more options than we had before.
If you want to go full bare, you can get yourself a laser treatment for hair removal. If you want to embrace your body hair, you can also do so! Women now have the agency to do whatever they wish to their body – and by extension, body hair – so do whatever that makes you feel comfortable and confident!
At Datsumo Labo, we give women who wish to remove their body hair an avenue to achieve the smooth and hairless skin with our permanent hair removal treatments!
Now that phase 2 of the circuit breaker measures have graced us, you can head down to any of our outlets to zap those hair follicles away!