Let’s get right to it: Does shaving body hair make you cooler? Not so much. In fact, the last time body hair played a significant role in regulating body temperature in humans was back in the Paleolithic days (circa 2.5 million years ago). Back then, Neanderthals were top of the chain, our squat, muscular forebears with body hair in great abundance (think Tom Selleck layered over Burt Reynolds, from head to toe). But over time, as the ice age thawed and hunting required long distance tracking, our ancestors with less hair — and greater lung and sweating capacity — won out. Nowadays, even the most hirsute guys don’t have nearly the amount of body hair that could affect temperature regulation — a fact that comes down to the density of hair follicles.
A study done on various mammals revealed that it takes a minimum of 1,000 follicles per square centimeter for the hair to serve any kind of temperature regulating function. For comparison, the average human hair follicle count numbers between 124 and 200 per square centimeter. Therefore, human temperature regulation largely comes down to our biggest organ: the skin.
But what about those kids we grew up with who, the day after school ended, got a buzzcut to stay cool all summer long? Not so much. A recent study that involved two groups of guys — one with shaved heads and one with hair 3 to 5 inches long — subjected to temperature experiments showed no significant difference in body temperature between both hair lengths. The same principle can be applied to body hair, especially considering it’s often less dense than that of our heads.
One thing shaving body hair off will do is give you a look that accentuates muscle tone, defines abs, and even make your goods appear bigger. Given that, here’s some tips on tackling that body hair.
Before You Hit The Razor
For those of us who still plan to opt for the smooth look, before hitting the razor, remember that certain patches of hair do, in fact, serve a purpose, including:
- Head Hair: helps protect the scalp from UV radiation.
- Armpit Hair: helps reduce friction by limiting skin-to-skin contact when walking or running. Some studies even suggest armpit hair acts as a kind of scent diffuser for pheromones.
- Pubic Hair: acts to reduce friction during sexual intercourse, as well as trapping dirt, debris, and microorganisms from entering the delicate nether regions.
- Eyelashes: help bat away dirt, dust, and debris from entering our eyes.
The Best Way To Do It
Nowadays, there are many ways to easily rid yourself of unwanted body hair. Here are some of the most popular:
- Easy and convenient to do at home.
- Relatively cheap, depending on the type of razor and frequency of use.
- Can leave skin rough and prickly, especially on the chest area.
- May lead to ingrown hairs and chafing, especially if done in sensitive areas like the butt and armpits.
- Easily whisks away hair without leaving hard stubble behind.
- Works in a short amount of time.
- Takes little skill and effort.
- Can cause painful reactions in those with sensitive skin.
- Usually stinks to high heaven.
- Frequent maintenance required.
- Fast and effortless. Just sit back and let the waxer do their job.
- No prickly stubble left behind.
- At least six weeks before hair starts to regrow.
- Can be quite painful.
- Treated area may remain red for some time afterwards.
- Could lead to acne breakouts.
We Recommend: Always consult with a licensed professional for a professional body waxing.
- Easy and convenient to do anytime, anywhere.
- Doesn’t require much skill.
- Reduces likelihood of causing irritation or ingrowns.
- Doesn’t provide that clean, baby-skin smoothness.
- Must be maintained regularly.