Body hair and hair removal was pretty much the bane of my life. Due to my Asian heritage I have dark, thick hair that is very visible and I’ve had it since I was pretty young. If I wasn’t hairy I was covered in red dots and ingrown hairs from various methods of hair removal (when I was about 15 I was wearing a midi skirt to the park because it was a really hot, sunny day and one of the boys we were with pointed to said bumps and shouted, “What the fuck is wrong with your legs” in front of everyone and I wanted to die.) It’s something that I was incredibly self conscious about for many years, something that I would try to hide and something that I truly hated about myself.
I was about 10 when I went for my first leg wax. I was with my mum and my cousin who was a few years older than me and who I looked up to hugely and I was really nervous. Everyone was really nice, my cousin held my hand when it was painful, I was definitely not an easy customer! I winced and squirmed at the temperature of the wax, I yelled when the strips were being pulled off, I wanted to give up half way through but when it was all over I could not have been happier with the results.
Now I know you’re all thinking 10 is pretty young to be getting waxed but believe me, by then it was necessary. As anyone with an Asian heritage knows, we don’t grow up with invisible, blonde hairs. My hair was dark and definitely visible. I’d always been warned against shaving from my mother, hearing horror stories of ingrown hairs and the hair coming back thicker and stronger so my hair removal journey began with waxing.
Anyone that’s been waxed will know it’s not what you’d call a fun experience and can really vary depending on where you go and who’s doing it. Boiling hot wax being scraped against your flesh and then ripped off, it’s nothing short of eye watering. And by the way, my leg hair didn’t stop at the knee like most people, I had to wax my entire leg. Waxing has great results, you’re left with super smooth legs, no in grown hairs if it’s done properly and it can last 2-3 weeks (depending on how fast your hair grows- mine grew fast.) However it’s, painful, time consuming and you have to wait for your hair to re-grow to a certain length before you can get it done again. So there was always an in between hairy stage. This is all well and good when you’re young but as you become older it can become a problem. Obviously eventually the bikini line and underarms came into play and soon going through an in between hairy stage just isn’t an option.
So into my teen years and early 20’s I’d flit between epilating, hair removal cream and- against my mother’s wishes, shaving. For those who don’t know, an epilator is an electronic, hand held machine with loads of little tweezers that spin round plucking out all of your hair. Funnily enough I find epilating really painful, especially around the thighs. I would literally be in tears as I was doing it. However it is super convenient and as it’s plucking the hairs from the root they don’t grow back as quickly. Again, there has to be a bit of hair there to be plucked so there needs to be a regrowth period. It also took ages and I was often left with sore, red legs for the rest of the day. I wouldn’t even DREAM about trying to epilate my own bikini line (just writing that has made me shiver) so that’s where the hair removal cream came in. Easy, quick and painless but with a pretty short window before regrowth started to appear.
When I was 20 I was with my first serious boyfriend and that’s when I started shaving regularly. I needed to be smooth fast and be able to do it as often as I needed. It would take SO long I’d literally have to set aside an afternoon for hair removal of basically half my body and I’d be stubbly again by the next day. The worst part about shaving though was the ingrown hairs. This is when the hair grown downwards into the skin for some reason and because it has nowhere to go it sort of coils around itself. If they’re really bad they can get infected. Some of them you can sort of scratch out if they aren’t too deep, some can be squeezed or popped out like a black head (sorry, gross) but some are so deep it’s impossible to get them out. I remember having to perform MINOR SURGERY on my own calf once with a pair of tweezers and was left with a hole in my leg for 2 weeks. The ones you can’t get out and that don’t get infected kind of just stay there. So I spent most of my teens and early 20’s with tiny grey and red dots covering half my legs JUST WHAT EVERY GIRL WANTS!
*(The below pic is NOT of my legs)
Due to all of the above I have always been INCREDIBLY self conscious of my body hair. All of my friends were blessed with that invisible hair that you can’t even see when it’s been left to grow for weeks on end and that basically falls out at the sight of a razor. I hated getting my legs out, they never really felt or looked smooth unless I’d been for a wax, and even then I still had all the ingrown hairs. The first time I went to Ibiza I was so scared about going out with my 2 super smooth legged friends I had packed tights with me even though it was like 30 degrees. The saddest part was that my legs are like my only decent feature, I’m not a fan of the rest of my body shape but I have an o.k pair of pins! Hair removal was a constant struggle for me. It was painful, time consuming and never truly gave me the results I so badly wanted.
That is until I started Laser Hair Removal. I started doing it YEARS ago when it wasn’t that easily available and it was super painful and super expensive but I’d spent so many years feeling shit about myself that I thought it had to be worth a try. To be honest with you in those early days it wasn’t anywhere near as effective as it is now. I went to a lot of different clinics over that time and I can’t count the amount of times I’ve actually had it done. However I’m so happy with the results of the last 3 or 4 years I literally want to do my entire body! I’m a different person come Summer time, I’m happy my legs out now, I finally feel confident enough to do so. Apart from my legs I’ve also had my bikini line, under arms and arms done and for me it was worth every single penny. I still go back for top up sessions (there can be areas that grow back even after you’ve completed a full course) but every time I go I come back with even less hair. Lucky for me thick pigmented hair on my skin tone is pretty much the perfect candidate for laser hair removal so I started seeing results straight away. I know it may sound shallow or trivial but this was something that deeply affected me, I was so embarrassed about my body hair, I’d had people make comments about it all my life, from teenage boys to grown men and it was absolutely mortifying!
It’s amazing that Laser Hair Removal is now so accessible to most people and it’s nowhere near as painful as it used to be. It can be done so quickly now and can be pretty affordable if you find the right place. I highly recommend my clinic, Lazeaway if you’re thinking about it and are in the London area. It really has changed my life.
So why am I telling you all this you may ask? Well female body hair is one of those things that isn’t really talked about, men just expect you to be as smooth as a fucking seal at ALL times but wince if you dare to mention what you had to go through to achieve it and I just don’t think that particularly fair. We’re all human we all have body hair, some more than others. That’s the way it is, whether you like it or not. Somewhere along the line society decided that women weren’t allowed to be hairy, not just that they weren’t allowed to be but that it was gross and weird if they were! Well I just want people to know that being hair free is not fucking easy, it’s not fun, it’s a ball ache and it’s expensive. So maybe just think about that next time you run your hand up a girl’s leg and it’s a bit stubbly.