So it’s been over eight months since I REVEALED my “No-Shave Experiment” to you all. Since then, I’ve had lots of great conversations with other people, RANTED, managed to read Plucked: A History of Hair Removal as RESEARCH, lived through an entire summer season without shaving, and still haven’t reached RESOLUTION.
Before letting you all in on the research I’ve done, I thought I should REFLECT* a bit on my year of hairiness. So here are some thoughts, in no specific order.
1. I didn’t expect it to be so hard to let my hair grow. Obviously, the actual hair growing was easy and it was so nice to not have to spend time or money on shaving. But once it grew out, and I actually had to admit to the world (i.e once the Baltimore summer hit) that I had hairy legs and pits, it was hard. I didn’t like feel “unfeminine”, I didn’t like that I was questioning who I was, I didn’t like feel like everyone was staring at me. In short, I didn’t like feeling different than everyone else, which is weird, because much of my life is pretty weird.
2. On the other hand, I also didn’t expect it to be so easy to grow out my hair. I didn’t get any negative remarks from anyone (perhaps not everyone was starting at me?!), and I talked to more people than I expected who encouraged me in what I’m doing.
3. Wearing socks or leggings with hairy legs is painful! Once the weather got cold this fall, I started wearing leggings as pajama pants. The first night, I woke up in the middle of the night with incredibly painful legs, tore my pants off, and fell right back to sleep. The next night, I put those leggings back on, experienced the same thing in the middle of the night, and finally made the connection – right, the tight material is pulling on my hair. Men – are your ankles always in pain from your socks? This is crazy! I think the skin/hair follicles around my ankles have finally gotten accustomed to the socks but I did not like wearing socks for a few weeks.
4. Ellie and Mark definitely notice the hair on my legs and pits. Ellie says things like, “Mama, when I get big, I’m going to have hair like that, right?!” I’m both glad, proud, and conflicted when she says things like that. “Yes, you will, my darling, and we’ll just see how things go when you do – if you want to keep it or shave it off.”
5. I never realized how much shaving actually exfoliated the skin on my legs. Thanks to a couple non-shaving friends, I realized that I needed to exfoliate my legs in another way to avoid lots of flaky dry skin. I started using a brown sugar scrub my sister made for me a couple years ago and it made such a huge difference! That’s a task for December – make some more for myself. (Here’s the recipe I’m going to try, if you’re interested.)
6. Look! I’m so brave, I put two pictures of my bare legs in this blog post. Yes, I know, you really don’t notice any leg hair. On the whole, I do have rather light leg hair but I promise, if you’re up close to me, you will notice that I have hairy legs. (Perhaps in my next post, I will have progressed in my bravery to showing you an up-close picture. We’ll see.)
7. A couple months ago, I noticed that one of my friends had hairy legs (when she hadn’t previously) so I asked her about it and she said that, having read about my “no-shave experiment”, she decided she didn’t need to be bothered with shaving any more either. HOORAY!! Maybe this is the reason I really took on this crazy project? To preach freedom to others? :)
8. Despite #7, I myself am still conflicted on my ultimate decision as to whether or not to continue this experiment, whether to instead call it “my no-shave way of life”.
I’ll keep you posted.
Still to come: the RESEARCH and the RESOLUTION.
(*I know, I know, REFLECT was an unplanned R but I just couldn’t resist!)