What triggers body hair growth?

We talk a lot about removing our body hair and all of the interesting methods you can try to de-fuzz, from shaving cream to coconut oil to, uh, stranger tips. Oatmeal and lemon juice, anyone? However, one thing that doesn’t come up quite as much in body hair convos is growing it out. I’ve spent a lot of time chatting with my friends about the ways to make a waxing session less painful, but I don’t ever recall discussing what happens when you grow out body hair. The closest things have come when someone announces they’ve stopped shaving their legs in the winter, and we all agree.

When you decide to ditch the razors, wax, and tweezers, these are some surprising things that can happen. If you’re thinking about canceling your Brazilian wax and embracing the bush, or you want to grow out your armpit hair so you can dye it rainbow colors, there are some things that would be helpful to know before you start the regrowing process.

Just to be clear, I want you to know that it’s completely your choice what you want to do with your body hair. It’s your body, and you can do what you want with it. And, hey, maybe you want to start showing off your hair all over the place! If you are thinking about taking a decidedly more low-maintenance approach to your body hair by letting it grow out, you should read this first, so you know what to expect. Here are seven interesting things about growing out your body hair:

Things Can Get Itchy

You’re probably familiar with itchy razor burn when you skimp on the shaving cream while shaving. Unfortunately, if you go razor-free, you can still get itchy, irritated skin, at least initially. When you start growing out your body hair, things can get pretty itchy when the hair follicles start growing through the skin. You’ll adjust, though! It shouldn’t last more than a day or two, but don’t be freaked out if it does, especially down there.

It Can Get Pretty Prickly

Once the itchiness is gone, you might think that everything will be okay, but that’s the moment when you will notice how prickly your regrowth is. Sometimes it is enough to make you feel like a proper porcupine. It can be especially uncomfortable in places like your pits and bikini area. Don’t reach for the razor, though, because this phase will soon be over, and shaving it is going to make it happen again.

You Realize It’s Not Totally Maintenance Free

Think that ditching your razor frees you from doing anybody maintenance? Not exactly. You will quickly discover that during the regrowth period, you need to do some maintenance to ensure that you don’t end up with a sea of ingrown hairs. A bit of exfoliation will go a long way. Start as soon as you decide to grow out your hair.

You Shed

Yah. You probably don’t notice the hairs on your head that you shed on a daily basis, but you will be very aware of anybody’s hairs that you shed. First, you’ll be surprised that you have hairs that are that long and thick. Secondly, you’ll be shocked that they’re coming out. Don’t worry, you have plenty more.

Your Hair Gets Really, Really Soft

Once you’ve gone through the itchiness and the prickliness, your body hair will become very soft. Like touchably soft. You will find it hard to imagine that these silky hairs were once coarse things that drove you C-R-A-Z-Y.

You’ll Be Really Aware Of It

You know how when you get a new haircut, you’re always aware of it? You notice the way it feels different when the wind blows through your hair, and washing your mane does not feel the same at all. It’s the same thing with your new body hair. You will be hyperaware of it when you’re getting dressed, when you brush against different things and when you soap yourself up in the shower. Again, it’s something you just need to get used to.

You May Feel Disconnected From Yourself

Yup, you can be very aware of your body hair, but it can still not feel like you. If you’ve been used to being as smooth as a seal for years, it will be very different having a thick patch of hair sprouting from that area. Sometimes it can be downright comical. Give yourself time to adjust.

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