Everything You Need To Know About Leg Hair & How To Deal With It

It can be okay for a guy to have hairs covering his legs but can that be said of a lady? Maybe not. Here is everything to know about leg hair.

By Emmanuel Onitayo
Everything You Need To Know About Leg Hair & How To Deal With It

Leg Hair: Is It Anything To Worry About?

A few strands of hair on your legs can go a long way in aiding your overall beauty especially when the hairs are evenly distributed. Hairs on the skin have their roles, and unless their growth is proceeding at an abnormal rate, there is no need to want to get rid of them permanently. Among other functions, healthy leg hairs deliver some level of protection to your legs especially from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. And suppose a stinging insect has crawled up to your leg, the presence of hairs on it would alert you in time to shake it off; hence, hairs on your legs aid your skin in sensing stimuli. Similarly, hairs play the role of maintaining the body's temperature. The skin on your leg can become dry easily without hairs. And in the winter when the air is usually cold and dry, having hairs on your legs can help cushion the effect of the weather to help you survive the weather without damaging your skin. However, despite all the advantages that having hairs on your legs afford, it can grow to a level for which you may wish it doesn't exist in the first place. When your leg hair becomes very thick and completely cover your skin, you certainly need to do something about it. Having a leg full of thick hairs is generally considered inappropriate for some sports and definitely a thing most girls and boys consider not to be physically appealing. As such, there are many methods out there for hair removal either on your legs or the head. However, before we examine some of these hair removal methods, we shall seek to know how hair leg and by extension, hairs in other parts of the body develop.

The Biology Of Leg Hair

Except for a few body parts such as the palm, feet, lips, and navel, hair growth can practically be experienced anywhere on the body. Although the onset of hair growth in some body parts differs from others, the process is pretty similar in all. As for leg hair, it generally begins to surface at puberty and continues to grow late into a person's years. As you might have noticed, the hairs on your legs are not the same in texture and length as those on your head or armpit, and that is because different types of hairs exist. Prominent among the hair types are head hair, androgenic hair, and vellus hair. The leg hair belongs to the category of the vellus hairs that spring up at puberty. Typically, every hair strand on your leg grows from a follicle situated at the dermal layer of your skin. The growth is hormone-mediated such that until a certain age when they are activated, hairs do not resume growth on your legs. Some factors which are mainly genetic determine the thickness of leg hair or otherwise in a person, and both male and female can have leg hair although it is more prominent in men.

Leg Hair And Cultural Perceptions

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The permissiveness of leg hair differs from culture to culture and even between genders. Although the advent of modern hair removal methods and civilization, in general, have challenged many of the cultural myths about leg hair, some sentiments still exist across genders and nations on this subject. In North America and Europe before now, women and girls who leave their legs unshaved were once looked upon as either dirty or primitive. It was unthinkable some centuries back that a lady would walk around with hairy legs as this could even win her some disapproval from her immediate family. However, the male folks have continued to enjoy societal acceptance for displaying their hairy legs around without any prejudice of whatever sort. Many have attributed this double standard to the patriarchal culture that prevailed in those days which saw the female folks as everything but inferior to the male. It was held as normal for a man or boy to keep hairy legs while a female that tried such should be prepared to receive societal backlashes and resentments which can include ostracism in some cases. However, with feminism and gender equality now being championed by women of different cultures and races today, there is a paradigm shift in the societal perception of females keeping the hairs on their legs. Very few women who have leg hair now feel compelled to get rid of it while majority leave it that way. For those who still cherish a hairless leg, they have some options for achieving this which we would discuss briefly below.

How To Deal With Leg Hair

Notwithstanding the liberation that modernity seems to have brought, many stereotypes still abound concerning the idea of a female displaying a hairy leg, and as such, many women and girls are still pursuing the removal of the furs on their skin. Here are some of the available means of getting rid of the hairs on your leg if you aren't comfortable walking around with it.

1. Shaving

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Shaving is the most common method of getting rid of leg hair and even hairs from other body parts. It involves the use of a razor to cut those hairs very close to the skin's surface. Where the shaving is done as it should, it is relatively painless and comes with little or no complication. Also, shaving remains the cheapest of the methods of hair removal. However, for shaving to proceed seamlessly, you need a very sharp razor that can cut the hair once without pulling your skin. Pulling, of course, can lead to skin irritation which can leave your leg short of the beauty you desire of it. If you have an electric razor, your chances of coming down with skin irritation after shaving are minimized, and you don't need any lubrication with it. However, the shave may not be absolutely clean.

2. Waxing

One significant setback to shaving as a means of leg hair removal is that it is not permanent. In a matter of days, your leg hair would regain momentum as it were and begin to grow back. As such, one method that almost puts this out of the way is waxing. Waxing gets rid of the leg hair right from its root on the follicle and as such, delays the growth of another hair longer than you would witness in shaving. The most important instrument for waxing is the wax itself which you may want to view as a flat sticky plaster pasted on your skin. If your leg hair is waxed, you are sure to stay hairless for more than three weeks. However, it is not painless. The process produces a tingling effect which can make you scream depending on your threshold for pain. But then, if you employ the services of a professional, the pain can be drastically reduced. Waxing your leg hair can cost between 50 to 80 US dollars. Waxing is also good in that it removes the possibility of developing ingrown hairs on your leg since the hairs are removed from their roots.

3. Depilatory Creams

I woke up today and realized that I had allowed unwanted hair to get the best of me. It was out of control! Since I dont use razors due to ingrown hairs and I had not made a spa appointment for a wax, I reached for a product I picked up from @dischem_pharmacies a while back. #HairGo Hair Removal Cream in ultra sensitive is the truth! This is the travel size and I'll definitely be going back for a full size bottle. In 5 minutes all unwanted hair was gone and I have zero irritation! #Beauty #HairRemoval #Selfcare #waxing #shaving #Hairless #NoPubicHair #NoLegHair #NoArmpitHair #Armpit #Legs #Pubes #Salon #SpaTreatment #depilatorycream #Depilatory #SmoothSkin #NoShaving #BeautyGuru #AskKavuli #BeautyBlogger #GirlTalkZA #HairBlogger #LifestyleBlogger #SouthAfricanBlogger #melanin #melaninpoppin

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Apart from waxing, another excellent method of leg hair removal is the use of hair removal creams. These are also known as depilatory creams, and they are made of chemicals capable of dissolving your leg hair close to the skin's surface. Most of these creams come as lotion or gel, and their usage requires that you spread it on the area you want to remove the hair from while you leave for some minutes before washing it off. That is pretty simple to carry out, and you don't need much expertise in making use of it. In preventing pain during hair removal, depilatory creams are great. Except you go against the prescribed usage instructions particularly the time allotted, there is no reason to fear coming down with an issue. However, you may be parting with some few dollars to get the creams, and some of them have offensive odors because of the chemicals they are made from. This method is equally not permanent in removing hairs from your leg as it only dissolves them at the skin's surface.

4. Leg Hair Removal By Epilation

Epilation is quite similar to waxing in its hair removal method only that the process still leaves your skin cells intact. Again, the instrument used differs. With epilation, an electrical gadget called an epilator is used to pluck out your leg hairs right from its root manually. That sounds painful, isn't it? Actually, it does. To alleviate the pain especially for first-timers, hair is waxed professionally, and then, subsequent hair growth is removed by epilation. Again, another tactic used by people to reduce the pain is to use wet the epilator on their wet skin. It appears that when the skin is wet, the pain is reduced to the minimum. Whichever way, epilation promises a hairless leg for at least four weeks.

5. Laser Leg Hair Removal

The laser is a cosmetic hair removal method that relies on using specific light that is concentrated to remove hairs from the follicles. This light does not only remove your leg hairs; it also damages the follicles such that with laser hair removal method, you can stay hairless for life. ; Laser hair removal is done in sessions by professionals, and it is relatively painless as compared to what is obtainable in waxing and epilation. For most people too, the hair removal process is permanent, and if everything goes well, it does no further damage to the tissues. However, removing your leg hair via the laser approach can cost you some hundreds to thousands of dollars, and you should be prepared to stay up to an hour or more for the entire sessions to be completed. Many people that have gone for laser hair removal discover that their skin appeared like it was burned for a few days before it returned to the normal state. Well, that is one of the disadvantages too. But then, with a professional handling your laser, the risk of coming down with complication is reduced.

6. Electrolysis Leg Hair Removal Method

Electrolysis hair removal is hardly done at home; you need a technician to carry it out. It involves the use of special devices to get rid of individual hair strand from your leg and also destroying the hair follicles. Thus, removing your unwanted leg hair can be a permanent method to get rid of them. It is equally painful a bit, but the pain and other discomfort are only temporary. With time, it would vanish. However, removing your leg hair by electrolysis can take time because it focuses on each strand at a time.

Leg Hair Dyeing

About leg hair treatment, the fact is that things aren't static. Many are not even thinking of getting rid of hairs on their legs any longer; the in thing now in some places is body hair dyeing. Of course, before the mid-90s, most people have been known to dye the hair on their head, but the practice has extended to hairs in the armpit, pubic region, and also on legs these days. And come to think of it; dyeing your leg isn't free anyway. You can pay up to $300 to dye a single leg depending on the dye of your choice and where you are having it done. Some dyes are permanent while some are only for a while. Your choice here can also influence the price. Be that as it may, if you choose to dye your leg hair instead of getting rid of it or allowing it to just grow on its own, you owe yourself the responsibility of ensuring you get it done properly and choose the best product. Remember, most dyes are chemically composed and can cause some harm if something goes wrong.

Leg Hair Loss

For most people, losing hair on the head is just normal, and from available scientific shreds of evidence, every human being suffers some strands of hairs at a point in their lives daily. But losing leg hair sounds quite strange although it is true and quite some reasons can be responsible for that. First, if you discover you are losing hairs on your legs, one of the first things you want to look out for is if there is no obstruction in the flow of blood to your legs either because of a disease or as a result of lifestyle practices. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition that arises when the arteries that are supposed to supply oxygenated blood to your legs are clogged by plaques causing a kind of narrowing. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) submits that about 20% of individuals who have passed the age of 60 come down with PAD while many who smoke, have conditions: heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure are highly predisposed to PAD. One way to know if PAD is the reason for your leg hair loss is that the skin on your leg would become cooler, smoother, and more shiny than ordinary. Some lifestyle habits that can lead to this hindered flow of blood include wearing excessively tight pants and eating too much of food high in cholesterol. Whatever be the cause, it is better to seek appropriate medical help as and when due especially when you have adjusted your dressing and food, and there is no much change. Another medical condition capable of causing hair loss on your leg is anterolateral leg alopecia. It arises when your body immune system treats your hair as a non-self and starts fighting against it. It is not peculiar to the leg alone but can occur anywhere there is hair growth on your body. A predisposing factor for this alopecia is majorly age as averagely old women, and men constitute a large proportion of those who suffer this condition. Losing your leg hair can do significant damage to your total outlook, and for this reason, you may want to get rid of the entire hair if medications seem incapable of bringing them back. The hairs on the leg can be done away with without much public disgust whether as a man or woman.

Leg Hair - Conclusion

Be yourself. People don't have to like you, and you don't have to care.

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To many, it is a blessing while to some; it is an issue. Whichever side of the divide you are, leg hair shouldn't be a reason you would dislike or look down on yourself. It has a purpose rather than becoming resentful of it; it's far better to appreciate and take care of it well. As presented in this piece, the various options available if you've gotten leg hair are dyeing it, keeping it, or getting rid of it. Whichever choice you take, don't forget that it is still your body and as such, it behooves you to take maximum care of it. Each of the available options for getting rid of leg hair has its own merits and demerits and what often determines which one a person settles for includes individual needs, the threshold for pain, pocket size. But in general, having hair leg whether as a man or woman isn't a thing to be shameful about.