Sunday, January 15, 2012
How to get softer leg hair.
Oh man. Just the title alone is going to send readers running for the hills, I can tell.
Well, it's been over a month since I posted Happy Hairy Hippie Hoyden and everything has grown out nicely. The hardest part of growing your body hair out? Not giving a damn what people think. My underarms have a tiny little crop of fluff that I look at in the mirror and go "...so, what was the big deal about all this in the first place?" It's not summer, so you don't get the details of my bikini line, sorry devoted readers.
But...the legs. At first, two weeks into my experiment I was doing good. Soft skin, prickly post-shave hair, life was going well. But, my hair wasn't getting any softer. At all. Many people will rhapsodize about how wonderful growing your leg hair out can be, but I don't think these people shaved daily since they were 12 years old. I am talking about some coarse freaking hair. Now, many beauty websites will explain that shaving your hair does not make it grow back faster or thicker. (Or many balding men would be shaving religiously once a month or so.) What it does do is cuts the hair follicle off bluntly. So, the hair appears darker growing back because you see more of the hair. It also causes the hair to feel coarser because instead you have a blunt tip instead of a soft point (like you'd have on the hair on your head, which is trimmed at an angle with a sharp blade).
Of course, having hairy legs in this house is not easy. My dad nicknamed me the "incredible spider girl." My brother-in-law made some comments about my boyfriend being a strong-stomached fellow. My sister pinched a fingerful, yanked it out, and crowed that I had "hairy man legs!" So, I folded. It was christmastime, and although this wonderful blog post maintains that "Nobody shaves their legs at Christmas" I went bare. But before I did, I tried to look for some information on how to make leg hair grow in smoother.
The results were not heartening. Responses ranged from, "Please be a dude asking this." to "That's disgusting. Just shave it." I was surprised at the knee-jerk reactions folks had to something as simple as body hair. The basic answer I got was, if you want softer leg hair, remove it with something other than a razor. Lasers are never going to happen, I didn't have the time or cash to wax, and after a few unfortunate teenage experiments Nair is nowhere near my bathroom. So, what to do? I could make my own homemade sugaring recipe, or find another way to nix the fluff.
So I bought a $1 pack of "Lassy Legs" from the dollar store. Abrasion hair removal is something that's not talked about a lot - buffing mitts are used occasionally, but most American women haven't done that path since the 1940's. Apparently, as part of war conservation efforts, young women would tape pieces of 600 grit sandpaper to the back of paddle hairbrushes and use them to buff off the hair.
Well, after using the lassy legs, my legs were smooth all right. Smooth, dry, and ITCHY. So, I got a pumice stone. And that, my friends, gave me the secret to bunny-fur soft leg hair. Pumice in itself is touted as a hair removal method, but I don't have fine leg hair so it really doesn't remove all that much.
So, if you want soft leg hair and you don't want to wax, listen up! I have the solution. It's not expensive, it doesn't hurt, and it's actually pretty relaxing. You can do it while watching TV.
You Will Need:
- A pumice stone. I got a nice curved blue one at the dollar store, but really, whatever pumice makes you happy.
- A seriously thick, greasy lotion or a body oil. I've done this with skin so soft, body butters, and a natural lotion that my sister gave me in an unlabeled container that smells mostly like beeswax and lanolin. Any way you want to go with this one.
Optional: An episode of Gray's Anatomy, Sherlock, Glee, Storage Wars...whatever makes you happy. Buffing away to "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" is oddly morale boosting.
You need the lotion to be thick, greasy, and not quick drying because it's going to act as a buffer between the pumice and the skin on your legs. Value your skin? BE GENTLE. You will scrape skin off if you don't take some care with this. Slather the lotion all over your legs (you can add some to your pumice stone if you want) and rub the stone in small circles. I do 15 circles clockwise, 15 circles counterclockwise. Move on to a new area. Continue until you've buffed your entire legs. Knees can be tricky. Be gentle with them unless the skinned knee 8 year old look is for you.
I tend to do this before bed, but you can do this whenever you have time. Your skin will be soft and silky smooth, and the hair on your legs grows in slower, softer, and lighter. So there's my secret!
Get softer leg hair without waxing, for about a buck.
Definitely worth the time.