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Women have long been told to hide their natural body hair, even if it means beginning the expensive and often painful habit of shaving or waxing half your body all the time.

I became completely normalised to harbour the notion that you are only attractive to men without any body hair at all, like a naked mole rat. However, the times are a-changing.

Women across the world and celebrities alike are embracing body hair, with some even choosing to dye their armpit pair (Miley Cyrus, who else). The movement has now been pushed to the forefront by Billie razors.

The brand released their 'Project Body Hair' video one year ago, which was the first ever razor ad to show female body hair.

"We very much wanted to not only acknowledge that body hair exists, and to show it," Billie co-founder Georgina Gooley told Glamour. "But we also wanted to move the conversation around the message that razor brands have been sharing with women—and that shaving is a choice, not an expectation.”

They've now smashed even more taboos by becoming the first ad to show pubic hair. Ideas of what constitutes beauty are definitely changing, courtesy of women like Janelle Monae and Ashley Graham.

Billie wants to normalise pubic hair with its newest campaign, Red, White, and You Do You, to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Image: Billie

The video shows the pubic hair of models in various states, from a total clean shave to a full bush. It's a pioneering idea, with the campaign being inspired by the spirit of last year's video but with a summer vibe.

"If we’re not acknowledging body hair exists, it’s a form of body shaming,” says Gooley, who believes that grooming is another way to force women to be "beach body ready".

“There has been this shame around body hair, and a lot of that is the shaving category talking about the topic as a problem that needs to be fixed with the product they're trying to sell. We didn’t want to be part of that conversation.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The director and photographer of the ad campaign, Ashley Armitage, who also directed 'Project Body Hair', agrees with Gooley wholeheartedly:

"In our film we wanted to normalize pubic hair because it’s exactly that—normal,” she says. Authenticity is deeply lacking in the advertising and beauty industry,

“Body hair grows on people of all genders, and it doesn’t suddenly become 'gross' or 'unhygienic' when it is on a woman, trans woman, or nonbinary individual. We wanted to show that body hair is a choice; shave it, wax it, grow it, or do a bit of both. All are valid."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The razor brand chose not to showcase a single actual razor in the ad, but the female-focus feels beautifully candid and truthful. Breaking stigmas has never felt this good.

“I think for us it’s always been about putting our audience ahead of our product,” says Gooley. The brand have received huge support on social media, and sold out of razors after the video.

“With Project Body Hair we showed women with body hair and without body hair. We actually had the razor in that one, because we were making this statement and calling out the shaving category. But we were also saying that’s a choice, and with this new video, it's more of a celebration of that choice.”

Feature image: Billie/Unsplash

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For most women, if not all, removing hair from their neck down to their toes is an integral part of their grooming process. Having perfectly smooth and silky skin makes them feel confident and beautiful. Today, there are many methods of removing this hair, with each of them having their benefits and drawbacks.

Creams, waxing, laser treatments, and razors are some of the methods, but for most women, it all boils down to whether to choose a shaver or an epilator.

The two hair removal devices are the most accepted among women, especially those who do not want to spend so much in beauty parlours and those looking for a less risky method with great results.

But what should you choose between an electric shaver and an epilator? Below we discuss the key differences between electric shavers and epilators to make it easier for you to decide.

Working Mechanism

The primary difference between an electric shaver and an epilator is based on whether the hair is removed below or above the skin level. Shavers use cutters to slice the hair off at skin level, leaving the root under the skin.

On the other hand, an epilator uses tiny, rotating tweezers to remove the hair at the root level, leaving a much smoother skin. The surface of the epilator rotates as it passes over the skin, grabbing the hairs and slickly removing them from the follicle.

Comfort

Epilators are quite painful and offer a certain level of discomfort, especially your first time. An epilator uses about 15-20 tweezers to pluck out hair from your skin, so you can be sure you'll experience some amount of pain.  

This pain factor can limit where the device can be comfortably used.

For most women, the face, armpits, and genital areas are too sensitive for epilator use. However, most epilators have two rotation speeds, and hence you can use the slower one for such areas.

Moreover, once you use it repeatedly, you get accustomed to the pain, and you don’t experience it as such. Applying some ice on the skin surface can help soothe the pain.

On the contrary, a shaver will barely hurt since it just trims down the hair. You can comfortably shave even the sensitive parts. However, you need to be careful with the curvy parts, so you don’t cut yourself.

Stubble

Since shaving cuts down the hair at the skin level, it just makes it shorter rather than completely removing it from the skin surface.

Though you’ll find the skin smooth right after shaving, the hair will grow quicker, and stubble will be visible in just a day or two, especially if you have black hair.

When you use epilators, the roots of the hair are destroyed, and the hair takes a relatively longer time to grow again, offering a more lasting smoothness.

Speed

When choosing the right hair removal device, it’s important to consider the speed of operation. How much time do you want to spend removing the hair on your legs, arms, and back? Shaving is considerably faster than epilating.

This is because, when epilating, you have to hold the device perfectly perpendicular to the skin so as not to break the hair mid-way. When it comes to shaving, you can shave as fast as you can as long as you’re careful not to cut yourself.

Effectiveness

As mentioned earlier, epilators work by plucking out hair from the roots beneath the skin. This leaves a smoother skin surface, and since the roots are destroyed, hair takes much longer to grow again. In addition, the hair that grows is much thinner than before.  

On the other hand, shavers cut hair at the skin’s surface, leaving a relatively rougher skin and the hair grows much faster. In addition, the hair that grows after shaving is thick and coarser than the previous.

Therefore, it is quite clear that epilators offer better results in terms of smoothness and durability hence are more effective than shavers.

Hair Length

The two devices also have different requirements regarding how long the hair should be to successfully remove it. Typically, an epilator is most effective when the hair is at least 0.25inches in length. On the other hand, a shaver can cut the hair at any length, even that which is closer to the skin.

Cost

An epilator can cost you between €26 and €180 depending on the quality of the device, brand, and the features offered, but there are no other costs once you’ve bought it.

Electric shavers, on the other hand, are cheaper, ranging from about €8 to €80. However, you will need to replace the blades now and then.

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It's about time!

A razor company has made shaving history by featuring women with real body hair.

Banished are the days of watching women 'shave' their hairless legs – which makes no sense at all.

Not to mention the whole argument of why women are supposed to be hairless in the first place, in order to be seen as attractive. (EYEROLL)

However, Billie's Project Body Hair is the breath of fresh air we need when it comes to normalising women's body hair.

The razor brand, Billie, launched a campaign to celebrate a normal woman's body hair – Big fat YEP to that.

Speaking of the campaign, Billie's co-founder, Georgina Gooley said:

"Only showing smooth, hairless legs seemed like an archaic way of representing women. We have always said shaving is a choice."

 

A post shared by Grupa Ponton (@grupaponton) on

"It’s your hair and no one should tell you what to do with it. We’re excited to launch a campaign that will help normalise body hair and change the one-dimensional way in which women are portrayed in mass media," added Georgina.

If we didn't love them enough for paving (hopefully) a new trend for all shaving companies, they've gone and donated their photographs to stock image website Unsplash.

It might seem insignificant, but we challenge you to find ANY stock images that show women's body hair in a positive way — yeah, finding all the same hairless images; harder than it seems eh?

 

A post shared by Parallels Co (@parallelsco) on

Director and photographer Ashley Armitage commented on her involvement in the advertisement. 

"It’s amazing that Billie is the first shaving company to actually show women with body hair. In all razor commercials, for some reason, I can’t wrap my head around the fact that models already have smooth hairless skin.

"How can you know that a razor is even doing its job if all it's doing is swiping off some shaving cream? And more importantly, why is showing female body hair so taboo?"

We ask ourselves the same questions daily tbh!

Photo Credit: Clare Martin (@clarencethebearence)

Though you should never feel ashamed as a woman to embrace your body hair, we know we don't live in an ideal world, particularly as the media seem reluctant to make the change.

Therefore, steps like Billies' is taking are seriously important in the fight towards normalising women's body hair, with one day – it becoming the norm.

It should be purely your choice to shave or not – You're SLAYING either way.

Check out their rad advert below:

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We're all guilty of it. 

You're half way through your second shampoo when the empty can of shaving foam you meant to replace catches your eye. 

In an attempt to make up for your inconvenient, albeit unsurprising, forgetfulness, you reach for the nearest bottle of shower gel or conditioner, because hey, it's all the same at the end of the day, right? 

Well, as it turns out, it's really not. 

Dermatologist Dr. Anita Sturnman told Popsugar that while it may seem like a trustworthy substitute, using shower gel, conditioner or shampoo in place of actual shaving foam is actually doing you more harm than good. 

It seems that by using products that weren't designed to be used in conjunction with a razor, we're actually making it harder for ourselves to achieve a close shave. 

"Shaving has a naturally exfoliating mechanism of action, so you need to use products that are designed to work in synergy with your razor and improve glide, reduce friction, and the risk of irritation and cuts," she explained. 

"These formulations will coat the hairs, making them thicker and more difficult to shave."

She went on to explain how some products can clog razors, meaning they'll become blunt even quicker, costing you money in the long run. 

So, if you're after close shave that won't cost you an arm and a (silky smooth) leg, ditch the makeshift formulas and instead invest in a good quality shaving cream. 

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New research has revealed that almost 25 per cent of young women have stopped removing their underarm hair.

According to independent.ie, figures compiled by analysts Mintel show a steady decline in the amount of females aged 16 to 24 choosing to shave their legs and underarms.

In 2013, the same study found that 95 per cent of young women shaved under their arms while in 2016 that figure dropped to just 77 per cent. 

Associate director in beauty and personal care at Mintel, Roshida Khanom, reckons the decline may be due to millenial women's increased interest in feminist and wellness movements.

"Clean eating is behind some of those changes. They're worried about causing irritation from their skin because of these products.''

She continued, "There's also some pushing back against societal expectations of what women should look like."

In the past celebrities like Madonna and Julia Roberts were never been shy about showing their natural growth and more recently stars such as Miley Cyrus and Lady GaGa have followed suit. 

So, have you decided to go for the 'au naturel' approach? 

 

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While we haven’t made it to ‘bare-leg’ season just yet (and who’s to say we ever will?), there are few among us who haven’t – at some point – experienced the dreaded strawberry leg after deciding to showcase our pins in warm weather.

Dubbed the ‘strawberry leg’ due to its resemblance to the fruit, the skin on our legs can develop small red dots after a waxing or shaving session, but not many of us know exactly why.

Well, wonder no more, ladies.

According to those in the know, the pores on our legs widen and fill with oil during hair removal which attracts bacteria and dead skin cells.

When they begin to oxidise, the pores turn a darker colour and before we know it, we’re sporting a pair of ‘strawberry legs’.

Speaking to Byrdie, makeup artist, Carly Hobbs, insists that there is one handy hint which will always help conceal this.

“You can banish the appearance of pesky pores on your legs by firstly giving them a rinse with cold water – the chill factor encourages them to close.”

Duly noted, Carly.

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Do you groom your pubic hair daily or weekly? If so you are classed as a ‘high frequency’ groomer and new research has found you at a higher risk of catching an STI.

According to research published in the Sexually Transmitted Infections journal, ‘extreme groomers’ – those who groom up to 11 times per year –  are also at risk of acquiring STIs.

It's not all bad though! Luckily, groomers are less likely to have pubic lice – always a silver lining, right?!

However, while extreme groomers are more likely to get frisky, this ultimately increases their chances of getting an STI.

“By contrast, low intensity/ frequency grooming was associated with a doubling in risk of a lice infestation, suggesting that grooming might make it harder for lice to breed successfully,” researchers said.

During the study, over 14,000 people, aged 18-65 answered questions about their grooming habits, focusing on the intensity, frequency, and tools used.

With 74% of the respondents saying they had groomed their pubic hair before, men opted for electric razors, while women favoured the manual razor.

Divulging their sexual habits as part of the study, 7470 participants said they had at least one sexual partner.

The researchers surmised that the link between STIs and grooming could be based on the theory that increased grooming could lead to higher levels of sexual activity, which may result in skin lesions. Thus allowing bacteria and viruses into the body.

Lead author Dr. E Charles Osterberg said, “Intensity and frequency of grooming also seemed to be linked to the magnitude of risk.”

“Among high frequency and extreme groomers, the practice was associated with a 3.5 to 4- fold heightened risk, particularly for infections that arise through skin on skin contact, such as herpes and HPV.”

However, the observational study has not proved that grooming causes STIs, so “no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect”.

“The researchers were not able to determine the timing of grooming relative to acquisition of infection, or account for either safer sex practices, or indeed risky sexual behaviours.”

So, don't bin the razors just yet.

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After years of heartbreak and two subsequent best-selling albums, there's no doubt Adele has finally found the man for her in the form of Simon Konecki.

And while rumours circulate that the couple, who share a three-year-old son together, are set to tie the knot, Adele is more concerned with setting the record straight on another issue.

Having recently revealed she's ditched the razor in favour of the au natural look, the When We Were Young singer was keen to remind her fans that her partner had absolutely no say in the matter.

And rightly so.

During her candid interview with Vanity Fair where she opened up about her struggles with postnatal depression, Adele addressed body image and revealed that she only starting shaving her legs at the beginning of her tour, but generally opts for a more natural look.

Reflecting on her partner's take on her decision to ditch the razor, Adele insisted: "He has no choice!"

"I’ll have no man telling me to shave my f**kin’ legs," she said. "Shave yours.”

And that, ladies, is why we love her.

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While they aren’t often talked about in a public way, the side effects of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome can have a huge impact on those living with the condition.

But thanks to one brave Perth-based blogger, the realities of dealing with PCOS are finally being exposed in a very open, honest and powerful way.

After sharing her story of PCOS with parenting blogger Constance Hall, Tina-Marie Beznec’s very real account of this hormone-driven disorder has made her somewhat of a viral superstar.

After introducing herself as a sufferer of PCOS and listing a number of the condition’s far-reaching side effects, the fitness blogger decided to tackle the rather taboo topic of female facial hair head on.

Tina wrote:  “Hi my name is Tina and I have Polycystic ovary syndrome. As well as depression, anxiety, infertility, weight gain, hormonal imbalances, bloating, abdominal pains, acne, cysts, increased risk of cancer and everything else, a lot of woman including myself have to deal with facial hair.”

“Do you know how UNFEMININE this can make a woman feel?!? I've always been super self conscious about it, but really just have to put this out there because I want create more awareness around this syndrome and how much it can impact someone's life especially if they don't know they have it.”

Tina – who previously lost over 36kg through clean eating and exercise after being diagnosed as morbidly obese – continued by encouraging people not to judge women who are overweight, have bald patches or possess facial hair.

Alongside pictures of her shaving her own face, Tina said: “You never know what a person is going through and it's unfair to put someone into the ‘lazy and unhealthy’ category without knowing their story.”

“I know it's only natural for some of us to judge someone based on how they look but remember we are all fighting our own battles and you can never understand if you aren't willing to learn and listen.”

The blogger’s powerful message finished by encouraging others with PCOS to seek help.

Tina’s post has since received a great deal of attention online with inspired women sharing their own stories of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in the comment section.

So far Tina has responded by writing: “I’m just an average woman battling what 1/20 other women battle every day!  I may be hairy like a man but I’m still a queen.”

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A French teenager has kicked off a new Twitter trend which supports women who choose not to remove their body hair after she was teased at school for not shaving.

According to the Mail Online, 16-year-old Adele Labo started the hashtag #LesPrincessesOntDesPoils – which means “Princesses have hair” – to show women that the removal of underarm, leg and facial hair should be viewed as a choice rather than a necessity.

Since the tag first emerged, it has been used over 25,000 times on Twitter as women take to social media to share pictures of their hair.

 

In a video shared by AJ+, the Lille teen said: “I created the hashtag to encourage people to post about their body hair and relax, be comfortable with their own body.”

“And I wanted women in general to not feel obliged to shave their hair but to feel that they have a choice.”

“In society, the woman has to be shaved, soft, beautiful.  We ask the woman to be natural and herself but we impose a lot of stigma on [hair] and it bothers me.”

 

Adele was keen to stress that the movement is about acknowledging that the removal of body hair should be viewed as a personal choice rather than some form of social obligation and said she is not implying that all women should stop shaving and waxing in favour of a more natural look.

She said: “[Remove your hair] if you really want to.  But if you feel obliged to do it, don’t.”

“The movement is not at all to prevent women from [shaving].  It’s really to tell women they have the choice.  They shouldn’t feel forced.”

 

“They shouldn’t feel dirty or ashamed for not doing it because it is normal.”

The tag has launched quite the debate online with some Twitter users saying they wish they'd had Adele’s courage when they were a teen, while others have described the trend as “disgusting and foolish”.

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If tending to your bikini area with a razor is second nature to you, you may want to consider the warnings issued by experts who know so much more about the inner workings of our bits than we could ever claim to.

Commenting on the trend which exists among a vast majority of women who choose to remove most – if not all – of their pubic hair, Dr Vanessa Mackay of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists suggests we need to rethink this practice.

Speaking recently to The Independent, she explained: "Pubic hair offers a natural barrier to keep things clean, to decrease contact with viruses and bacteria, and to protect the tender skin of the area."

According to those in the know, when we go to town on ourselves with the razor for both hygiene and aesthetic purposes, we are actually increasing our chances of contracting infections.

"While protecting against diseases and skin problems, pubic hair prevents foreign particles like dust and pathogenic bacteria from entering the body," she continued.  "Pubic hair also helps to control the moisture of the area which decreases the chances of yeast infections."

It sounds like we might need to start embracing our natural look…

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The opinion about waxing and shaving varies from person to person. Whether you only do one, or vary from one to the other. Here are the important differences between both.

Pain
Pain is the first thing we panic about when we consider waxing. Of course it hurts slightly, but it depends on the area and the person. Waxing lasts a lot longer so if you find you get sore after shaving, you will have to experience that pain more regularly, whereas waxing is just a second of bravery, intense pain and then, boom, smoothness all round.

How long does it last?
Waxing removes the entire hair follicle rather than just slicing off the top of the hair which is why waxing lasts for so much longer. Over time, waxing also causes the hair to become thinner so it will stop growing back as much as it did before. Shaving needs to be done regularly and doesn’t grow back as nicely as the hair that you’ve had waxed. Shaving can cause stubble and itchiness. However, in order to be able to wax the hair it needs to be quite long so you need to wait for it to grow back.

Problems
There can be problems with both waxing and shaving but like anything, it depends on each individual person. Both can irritate the skin, leaving it itchy and red. Shaving can also cause the hair to grow back thicker and darker which is why you should never shave areas such as your face and arms (even if you’re tempted for a quick solution.)

The pro’s of shaving
1. It is quick
2. It is less painful
3. It is helpful in emergency, going out last minute scenarios
4. It’s cheap

The pro’s of waxing
1. It lasts much longer than shaving
2.  It can reduce hair growth
3.  Skin stays smoother for longer
4. Ingrowing hairs are less common

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