It’s the latest beauty craze that everyone seems to have an opinion about. But as scores of women take to Instagram to display their unshaved underarms, not everyone is sharing in their loud-and-proud approach to female body hair.
So is it an act of social defiance, a collective ‘we give up!’ to the hassle of regular shaving and waxing, or just women having a little fun with their look?
In recent weeks and months hundreds of women have been posting pictures of their grown out underarm hair on Instagram. These women aren’t just going au naturel though, #dyedpits shows a rainbow of boldly coloured armpit hair proudly on display. From pink and purple to green and blue, the trend is all about making a statement, the brighter the body hair the better.
The spree of images has raised a few curious eyebrows because it goes against a long standing fashion for women to remove the majority (if not all!) of their leg, under arm and pubic hair.
It’s a practice that is so well embedded in our beauty regimes that over half of women are concerned about excess body hair, placing it just below weight gain in terms of body dissatisfaction.
The idea has gained momentum as several celebrities have added their voices to the pro body hair campaign. Miley Cyrus was an early adopter of #dyedpits and Madonna, Jemima Kirke and Lena Dunham have all also shown their support for the hairy underarm.
And it’s not just underarm hair stars are publically talking about! In ‘The Body Book’ Cameron Diaz devotes an entire chapter to body hair, titled ‘Praise of Pubes’.
But how do everyday women get along with razor-free life – is there still a stigma attached to female body hair?
Cosmopolitan magazine interviewed several women in their twenties about their choice to stop removing their body hair and the answers when asked about their relationship with their (hairy) bodies were also incredibly positive:
- I think I’m happier now.
- I feel a kind of pride when I’m not removing [my hair].
- I love myself so much more! Ridding myself of shaving and other exterior ‘beautification’ burdens has made me a happier person.
Though the women admitted, the response from other females hasn’t always been supportive:
- My mother berated me about it pretty often.
- Other women have commented on it and will openly say it’s ‘unfeminine.
- A lot of people… think it’s weird. My male friends actually think it’s less weird than my female friends.
So women aren’t all sold on the idea of body hair, and according to some (very) candid interviews conducted by Get the Gloss website, men are far from embracing the trend. When asked about their preferences for female grooming the male volunteers’ responses included:
- I find female hair is the thing most likely to put me off a girl, physically.
- My preference is for women I’m dating to not have hair from the eyebrows down.
- You can wax or shave just as long as I don’t have to look at it.
Body hair is absolutely a matter of personal preference! Every person should have as little or as much as they please, and unwanted hair shouldn’t impact upon your confidence or self-esteem.
For those who choose to remove their body hair, Laser Hair Removal is a highly efficient, virtually pain free treatment to permanently reduce hair growth; saving the time and hassle of regular shaving and waxing.
Hannah Carlile, Nurse at The Harley Medical Group said
There is a strong argument made in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine that (armpit) hair actually acts as a pheromone diffuser spreading your natural, irresistible scent to potential mates, which obviously isn’t a bad thing. However, confidence is key. If you can’t proudly dance with your arms in the air without worrying about what people think when they see stubble or full-on growth, then Laser Hair Removal may be an option. The most important thing is that anything you go ahead with is right for you, that's why we have such a vast range of option - including three different types of bikini-line treatments!
And for those in the pro-hair camp… go ahead, let it grow, dye it blue! Why not, it’s your hair!