5 Reasons Why I Stopped Shaving

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2020 was the year I stopped shaving. I figured I could not go anywhere, so why bother? No one is going to see my armpits or legs. Now it's 2021 and it is starting to get nicer out and I have decided I am not going to shave. My reasons are very similar to why I don't wear makeup, which I shared in a previous post here, but some are different. 

1. It Helps The Environment

Razors are not easily recyclable due to their mixture of plastic and metal (source). You can get sticks where you can change the heads, but even the heads have plastic in them. 

There is a program called TerraCycle that has teamed up with the razor company Gilette/Venus, but after watching the Netflix series Broken (highly recommend), I wonder how much they are actually recycling, and even if they are, TerraCycle is just contributing to the problem of plastic pollution. What we need is for companies to stop using plastic, not providing them a scapegoat. It should not be the consumers' responsibility to recycle.  

Our world is contaminated by plastic and the less used the better, so ditching the razor is one way for me to limit my plastic consumption.

Besides plastic, shaving uses a lot of water. Most people I know that shave, do it while taking a shower, so that's about ten to twenty extra minutes of water running. 

2. It Saves Money 

While shaving isn't as expensive as makeup, it's still money that could be spent elsewhere. 

According to Ivy Laser Salon, the cost of shaving for a lifetime is estimated between $5,680-$7000 (source). totalbeauty.com estimated after 20 years the cost would be $3,456 (source). Obviously, the cost is going to vary depending on what brands you buy and use.

3. It Saves Time

For me, this is the worst part of shaving. I would use up the hot water in the shower just shaving my legs because it took so long to make sure I got every spot.

Ivy Laser Salon estimated that a lifetime of shaving adds up to 2,283 Hours (source). totalbeatuy.com estimated if you shaved for 20 years, the time you spent shaving would add up to 25 days (source).

There are better things I can do with my time than shaving, so like makeup, it's just not worth my time. 

4. The Message I'm Sending My Daughter (and other little girls)

This is probably my biggest reason to stop shaving. I remember when my daughter was around three, she noticed my hairy legs and said: "You need to shave." 

She told my husband the same thing when she saw his legs, so at least she had not made the connection that it is something only women are expected to do by society. She generalized and thought everyone needed to shave their legs, so the concept of looking a certain way (of beauty) was already beginning to form in her young impressionable mind. 

Given that she was only three and I was taken off guard, I didn't make much of it, but I remember my first instinct was to say: "No, I do not need to shave" (I didn't speak this thought aloud though). That hit me hard. Shaving was not a need, it was something I felt I had to do. 

I remember seeing the Gillette Venus commercials growing up, so I knew it was something women did, but it was not until middle school when I overheard some girls talking about another girl's hairy legs that I began to feel the pressure to shave. I actually can't remember if I asked my mom for a razor or if it was something she just began to get us after we hit puberty, but I know I started shaving in middle school. 

I shaved because I wanted to fit in. I shaved because I didn't want to be made fun of. I shaved because I was told (by the media and society) that no boy would want a girl with hairy legs and armpits. When it came down to it, I never shaved for me, I shaved for everyone else. I shaved to please others. That thought now makes me feel sick, but when you're a teen, all you want is to blend in, to be like everyone else. Standing out was a bad thing, but in doing so, we lose ourselves, so when the pandemic hit, I decided it was a safe time to stop shaving. I wasn't going anywhere anyway. 

Well now that it's 2021 and the weather is warming up, one look at my hairy legs and I find myself calculating all the time it would take to hack off what has grown over a year, and I realize I don't care that much. I have other things I would rather do for an hour than shave. The hair is here to stay and I'm not going to lie, going out in public with my hairy legs makes me anxious. I feel vulnerable, nervous that someone will say something, and it's pretty much a guarantee that there will be people whispering behind my back. It takes a lot of courage to go against the grind and the reason I'm willing to brave the storm is so that maybe my daughter or another little girl won't have to. 

I want every little girl, every woman, every person, to know that you are beautiful with or without body hair. Body hair is not dirty or ugly. We all have it. It's what makes us human.

5. It's Sexist & Misogynistic 

Gillette started marketing towards women in the 1900's as a way to expand their market and make more money.  Since most women did not have facial hair, unlike men, they instead told women they needed to use these razors to remove their armpit hair in order to be beautiful and clean, legs would come later due to World War II, and then pubic hair thanks to the bikini and the porn industry (source).  


This was sexist from the beginning. Why is body hair only "embarrassing" for women? Why not also tell men they need to shave their armpits and legs? Why is body hair only "dirty" and "ugly" on women? 

The reason women shave today is because a man (Gillette) decided they should so he could make a profit, which Gillette is still reaping the benefits of today.

I highly recommend watching this TEDx talk:

Are There Alternatives?

I stopped shaving and I have decided I am okay with my hairy legs and armpits, but I realize that others may not be, so here are a couple of alternatives that are better for the environment: 

Sugaring (Not waxing!) is one eco-friendly alternative. The sugar paste is made up of just sugar, water, and lemon. The downside is that it is painful, but sugaring is said to be less painful than waxing. It's also better for the environment than waxing as there is less waste involved (source). 

Laser hair removal is another option. It's eco-friendly in that you don't need razors, shaving creams, or water, and it saves time. The major downside is the upfront cost. It costs less than shaving for twenty years, but the cost of razors and shaving cream is spaced out over that time. Not very many can afford to drop $2,000 to start laser hair removal treatments.