My Experience Of Not Shaving for 27 Days
The way I changed my shaving routine after relaxing from the razor.
Last year in November, I decided to go against the embedded routine of shaving for as long as I could. Now a year later I'm doing it again and I wanted to share what the process was like, and how it felt to go against the norm I knew.
I originally chose November because it was a colder month where I wouldn't have my underarms or legs showing in public to my comfort in the observation. This was something I wanted for myself and I knew I would be opening myself up for unwanted ridicule from family and other impolite people if I went in public with noticeable body hair.
Growing up, I was in judgemental environments that would point out the flaws of the body, I was concerned about that occurring for me from fickle people and I wanted this for myself to observe without unwanted critiquing. It took a few weeks to get accustomed to go against my routine of shaving every part of my legs and underarms. Being comfortable with it in my psyche was another challenge that I'll be addressing throughout this article.
Shaving In Society
When I noticed that women in media or the women around me have embraced being natural body hair, I was intrigued for the change they did for themselves or to go against society. I never judged their decision to not shave, and it had me thinking about the pressure of shaving in society.
It's the usual norm to know that shaving is apart of our life,now it's a balanced acceptance to shave or to not. Our society has changed it's original over analyzing of the grooming habits of women.
Shaving is a routine that has been a regime that has been embedded into our society to remove body hair to feel better about ourselves. I have to admit I liked that factor to enjoy smooth and hairless legs. It was advertising that I could get on board with.
I started shaving when I was 11 years old, not because I wanted to advance my maturity in evolving to the next stage of being a woman and be like other girls. My evolution to the eventual feminine routines that I would have to have growing up wasn't thrown onto me to be "lady-like" or "mature". I just decided casually decided what it would be like to shave my legs and my mother helped me shave my legs and showed me what to do. But then in time, this shaving habit had gotten me into a self-scrutinizing mindset that I had to have all the hair removed from my body, even the minuscule stubble bothered me. I would have raw spots on my body from over-shaving and I ended up looking like the cast of Cabin Fever.
Within The Skin
I've had problem with my self esteem on the exterior of my skin and within my skin as far back as being ten years old. I fluctuate in weight problems from pressure and ridicule, I know I'll never be comfortable with my weight from all the criticizing that has been embedded into my brain to constantly have me worry about my weight. I struggle with my appearance to be at ease with how I enhance my looks with makeup, but I still felt that I just couldn't get it right for me.
It's just been a natural feeling that I couldn't find peace within my appearance. Shaving was something I became obsessed with so I could at least have the part I could control. I couldn't change my face, or get my body weight down, but I could get rid of the hair. It was a unstable way to think that shaving was going to help me.
My decision to do my personal observation to go without shaving all started when I saw a YouTuber named Ingrid Nilson post a video about how she stopped shaving, I was intrigued since she has been a beauty vlogger that has always provided a part for every part of primping and health. She did a video to dismiss the myths, tell the entire history of how shaving got to it's placement as apart of the hygienic and cosmetic.
The part about the fact that shaving was a medical reason and not a cosmetic reason just put the thought into a different way when I think about shaving now.
After seeing Ingrid Nilson's shared story of this information, I took to my search bar on YouTube to look at other women who shared their story as to why they stopped shaving. Most of it was fighting back against the pressure of peers and loving their body.
Jess Greenash, had explained her reasoning to be neutral and casual.
Then I decided to do it myself, I was going to test my endurance to see how long I could go without shaving. I went 27 days without shaving and it changed the way I shave. It changed my life in the way I see this beauty regime.
Week Test Run
Prior to my endurance of going without shaving, I did a tiny test run in October for a week. In order for me to be comfortable with my body hair and being sure that I didn't reach for the razor, a week was good test run to teach myself to get out of the routine to prepare myself to not reach for the razor. When it came time, for my month run, I was already familiar of what it would be like to go into the shower and not shave.
I'm not gonna lie, it felt weird to be out of routine, I did have the awkward feeling to go against the routine of shaving in the shower.
It was a weird feeling to automatically feel that vulnerable even though it was just me, myself, and I. When we've become accustomed to a certain grooming habit from having the habit instilled into us, it's hard to fight against what has become second nature. Standing the shower, I did feel a little discomfort to feel my armpit hair when I moved my arms. My legs were uncomfortably prickly of having to get used to my porcupine legs. I've been used to shaving everyday or every other day.
Of all the parts of my body, that was the most difficult was the armpit hair. I've always hated armpit hair, not because of being told it is needed to removed to be attractive in a sleeveless shirt, but the feeling of it had bothered me. For the first couple days of my test run was eating at my anxiety, but to know what that was to feel like to refrain from shaving. It prepared me for when I had to do it for 27 days.
If your planning on going all natural and skipping the shaving and you would find it hard to do for a month, do it for a week to steadily get used to having body hair again.
When it came time for my month without shaving, I was prepared to get out of routine.
When I was two weeks into my month without removing body hair. I decided to see what my clothes would look like with short sleeve dresses or shirts. I was surprised to see some of my clothing actually covered up my armpits and if there was a portion of my armpit that showed, it didn't bother me because of how minuscule it was. I held my arms up to see how the sleeves would move, and it gave me a sense of comfort that I could wear this article of clothing without having to feel I had to shave. It was relief to know that I didn't have to deprive myself of an outfit I wanted to wear.
I couldn't believe that I never thought to actually see for myself if my armpit hair would show or my leg hair would show and I was just presumptive that I needed to shave no matter what outfit it was.
I could give my skin some time to breathe and know I didn't have to shave for every outfit. It didn't warrant any anxiety to feel it would make the outfit less attractive. It gave me the insight that I could wear whatever I wanted.
Besides, it's not like I was going to be raising my arms up that high, no one would have seen that I have body hair under my arms or on my thighs.
As the weeks went on, I did gain a bit of confidence, I didn't see it as disgusting, it was just a part of me. Body hair wasn't as disgusting as I thought it was.
I only went for 27 days instead of the full thirty as I originally planned. I decided to shave again and see how my mindset would be. To my surprise I didn't rake my skin of every bit of hair from my legs to my arms, I felt comfortable to just shave certain parts of my body. After the first shave post-experiment. I used to feel the need to make sure that every part was shaved, now it's comfortable to my mindset that shaving didn't have to be mandatory.
Having those 27 days changed the way I did my shaving habits and my shaving schedules. I didn't feel I had to see my skin and micro analyze if I had a patch I didn't shave and to leave the stubble be. The second nature of shaving was altered to my routine to reduce the razor time.
I do have my shaving habits, I still do my armpits, and my legs. But I don't chase to erase it off my body every time I'm in the shower, I shave once or twice a week. After the clothing tests I did, I could shower without worrying that I needed to shave for the sake of an outfit.
I don't shave all of my body like I used to after observing what parts of my skin showed. There wasn't a need to shave up to my thighs because of my knee socks. There wasn't a need to shave the backs of my legs since I primarily sit down a lot, what was the point in shaving an area that would not be seen at all? It would take one hell of an asshole to have to point out the hair on the backs of my legs when I'm sitting.
When I started this, I knew that my decision to do this wasn't going to be going against the norm. I see it now as giving my skin a break to heal from all the times I've had to shave. I was comfortable with my skin for the first time in years.
It's experience to really learn how to be comfortable with your skin again, it's literally just body hair, it doesn't take away with how you look at all. It was a shame I didn't have to have. The skin we live in can be shown in any way we desire, either shaved or natural with hair.
After this experience, I would say it's more of a balance to beauty now. Like I said, I still shave, but not as strict as I made it. The week regime got me accustomed to see how much I rake my skin with a razor. Then the month had me observant to my skin and accepting it.
The idea of embracing body hair in our society has been wonderful to see many women just letting their skin breathe.
Like me, not all can just jump on the train to put down the razor. This is my way of meeting in the middle, to just stop for a month, give my skin a break and taking the time to see my body that doesn't feel different, that it's still me, the body hair didn't change that.
Now it's something I look forward to.
But if you are going to have a shaving sabbatical, here are a couple things to keep in mind.
- You are still hygienic, body hair doesn't change your hygiene.
- Please keep in mind that No Shave November is actually for cancer awareness, so be mindful when you say "I'm doing No Shave November".
- If you want to pick a month, go for October or November because it'll be chilly enough to wear a sweater to cover up while your getting used to your body hair growing out. But it won't be as cold if you decide to wear a short skirt or short sleeve shirt to test your confidence in public.
You choose how you want your body to be. It's OK to skip a day or a week to shave, your still beautiful