Let it grow? 1 in 5 women are embracing their body hair and shaving less

LONDON — Is armpit hair the new fashion trend for women? A poll finds women are more likely to embrace their body hair today, with one in five saying they’re actually content to let their leg, armpit, and bikini lines grow.

The survey of 2,000 adults suggests body hair trends have been changing in recent years, with 22 percent of women now “more likely” to leave body and facial hair unshaven when it suits them. For some, this approach is liberating, as 14 percent say their body and facial hair allows them to express themselves.

However, the findings suggest many are keeping their body hair due to wider concerns around removal methods and painful past experiences. Half are worried they’ll get skin irritation or have an allergic reaction from hair removal products, while one in three fear they’ll get spots, and 31 percent worry the process will hurt.

The research was commissioned by Philips, makers of the Facial Hair Removal 5000 Series, to look at changing attitudes towards body hair.

“Women today are much more concerned with finding the best hair removal tool for them, especially when it comes to their face. Rightly so, as incorrect facial hair removal can lead to hyperpigmentation, irritation and, in the worst-case scenario, even scarring,” says Dr. Kemi Fabusiwa, who is working with the brand and has an interest in skincare, in a statement.

(Photo by cottonbro studio from Pexels)

Of the 87 percent of women who say having facial hair bothers them, 19 percent choose to remove their “peach fuzz” because it prevents them from having a smooth base for their skincare and makeup. However, 62 percent of women have tried to physically remove hair from their face — with 73 percent using tweezers to do so.

The study, conducted by OnePoll, also found 12 percent have risked injury using scissors, while 12 percent have attempted to pull it using their nails. Another two percent have even resorted to using tape to rip off their facial fuzz.

“We know that every individual woman’s grooming routine is as unique as they are,” says Chloé Fallon, a spokesperson for Philips. “And all women should feel able to express themselves via their body hair in whatever way makes them feel most confident. If or when they choose to remove their facial hair, we want them to feel confident in their method of removal – and not reach for the dangerous, painful or unsuccessful techniques we know people have resorted to in the past.”

Dr. Kemi’s Top Tips For Removing Facial Hair:

  1. Always start by gently washing and drying the area of the skin you are working with to clear pores and help prevent irritation.
  2. Ensure you have a mirror and good lighting to clearly see where the hairs are and the areas you want to focus on.
  3. Finally, use an electronic facial hair remover, which will gently cut the hairs close to the skin without causing friction or skin irritation, as you would see from more traditional hair removal methods.

South West News Service writer Rob Knight contributed to this report.

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