It was only when I started writing this story that I realized I haven’t shaved my legs since the coronavirus lockdown started six weeks ago. Now that time has no meaning and I don’t know what day of the week it is, let alone the actual calendar date, I just… forgot. My bikini area has also been ignored; I was due for a Brazilian the week we began social-distancing measures so you can guess how my downstairs is looking.
On the scale of big important things happening in the world right now, body-hair maintenance just doesn’t seem that high of a priority. Waxing, like my balayage, regular manicures, and Botox, is just one of the many extras I’m happy to live without during self-isolation as we try to keep COVID-19 in check. (Although I may invest in a bikini trimmer, per the excellent advice of one woman I spoke to.)
Am I alone in my half-hearted approach to hair removal? (I will admit; I am maintaining my armpits.) Here, I asked women — and one dude, because his answer was really good — how they’re maintaining their body hair (or not, because to each their own always) during lockdown. Here’s what they said.
“My body hair is wild and free, but I’m alone with my cat and I’m blonde and — not to brag — but my body hair is soft and sparse like baby hair, so I almost never take care of it. Armpits notwithstanding — those are always in good order. — Sara
“I’ve shaved my legs once since quarantine started, just because it started to feel itchy and uncomfortable rubbing against my sweatpants. Not going to lie, it did make me feel SO much better. Then I remembered that I could be saving money on razors right now, so decided not to do it again. I haven’t been seeing or sleeping with anyone anyway. I have done some plucking around my eyebrows and upper lip, primarily because sometimes on Zoom calls or FaceTime I feel insecure about the hair on my face. I swear I wake up sometimes in a cold sweat thinking about not being able to get an eyebrow appointment since they’ll likely be booked up for weeks [once things are back to normal].” — Melissa
“I shaved my legs for the first time in weeks after a man I follow on Instagram posted a photo of his new coronavirus ‘beard.’ My leg hair was longer than his stubble.” — Candice
“I tried a depilatory cream on my entire private area. You leave it on for 10 minutes and scrub off with a washcloth. It doesn’t hurt or sting or feel like anything, really — you just have to waddle around for a bit while it sinks in. The problem is, it doesn’t last long. It’s nice and bare for like 24 hours and then the stubble starts, so it’s basically like shaving. I use Veet strips to do my bikini line; one strip on each side. They aren’t too painful and they grab a lot of hair. Sometimes they leave ingrowns, which I HATE. I want to try doing my own Brazilian, but I’m not brave enough yet.” — Katherine
“I normally shave my legs every day. Now, for the first time in forever, I only shave them about once a week. It’s probably the stress and anxiety of the pandemic, so I’m letting the shaving slide. I’m also pretty much only wearing sweatpants at home and tights when I go for a run, so it feels less necessary to shave. If it warms up enough to wear shorts to exercise, I’ll definitely be shaving daily.” — Karen
“I waxed my best friend’s bikini line and armpits with sugar wax, which is less painful. When I was waxing her, I was trying to tell her it was a mental game — once the strip is on, you have to take it off and your hair is going with it. We played 50 Cent’s ‘Like My Style’ to get the adrenaline up. I waxed myself a week later. I have dark underarms, so when I shave, I get major razor burn and scarring. This quarantine has opened up things for us to experiment with. Now, Tuesday evenings are wax nights every three weeks. Hopefully by the end of quarantine we will have no hair on our bodies. I don’t feel external pressure to maintain, but I don’t like to have body hair.” — Rabia
“I’ve lasered it ALLLLLLLL! What a great investment.” — Meghan
“Hell yes, it’s business as usual. One of my biggest fears is going to the hospital and being stripped down and shocking the shit out of the medical staff with untamed body hair.” — Patrick
“My legs and armpits aren’t that hairy. As for my bikini line, I go every eight weeks for a Brazilian wax and my last appointment was cancelled because of the virus. I’ve since invested in a bikini trimmer. I haven’t tested it yet, and I may just leave it wild as I’m single and have no visitors down there.” — Vanessa
“Since lockdown I have not cared to keep up hair maintenance on my body. The only part I am maintaining is my face. I usually go for laser-hair removal treatments, but now I’m plucking and using Nair wax strips for my face.” — Isabella
“I started shaving my legs and armpits when I was 12 or 13. I usually do it twice a week. I don’t feel the pressure, but it does make me feel better about myself. I’m pregnant and currently living in maternity sweatpants and leggings, so it feels nice to be groomed underneath. I usually get a bikini wax, nothing elaborate — just a classic bikini line cleanup. I would consider doing it myself, but I can’t actually see or reach my bikini line due to my nine-months-pregnant belly. I do plan on DIY-ing it once I’m physically able to. I have so much time on my hands due to social-distancing, I might as well learn a new skill.” — Anya
“Blessed be the invention of laser-hair removal, which has now turned into me using an at-home laser for the one or two armpit hairs I have left over. I’m living my best (hairless) life.” — Lisa
“I usually get my underarms lasered and my legs sugared, so right now I’m just shaving both. Shaving is worse — with sugaring, the hair doesn’t grow back that quickly. My friends are waxing themselves everywhere, including their bikini lines. Some shave, but most of them wax.” — Hawie
“Eyebrows are fully grown in, but I attempted to create my own sugar wax to get the bikini intact. I think I did better than the salon. I made it with sugar/water/lemon juice on the stove. It was a bit painful in certain areas, but worth it. When you’re in control, I feel like it hurts less. Legs are maintained, but likely only because I share a space with my boyfriend and am trying to make up for the lack of effort in makeup and my attire.” — Emily
“I originally thought I would be okay to let my body hair grow and then deal with it once services opened again. I figured, if I wanted to send nudes to my man, who I’m not seeing in-person because of social-distancing, surely he wouldn’t be able to see a few light fuzzies here and there, right? But as my hair started to get longer, I started to feel less confident. (Who knew hair removal could be psychological?) I’ve tapped my sister to help wax EVERYTHING. And it’s definitely changed my mood and boosted my confidence for the better. — Cassie
“I get laser-hair removal everywhere and was long overdue for an appointment. Now that they’re closed, I’m kind of panicking because my hair is coming back. Since you can’t wax when you’re getting laser, I’m just going to have to shave until they (hopefully!) reopen.” — Christina
This story was originally published on Refinery29 CA.
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