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Hairy fashion: we’ve come a long way, baby

Hairy fashion: we’ve come a long way, baby
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Hair loss and regrowth treatments MelbourneHumans have a long history of doing all sorts of weird stuff with their hair – growing it long, cutting it into patterns, shaving it, pulling it out, and colouring it. Our hair (or lack of) plays such a big role in our self-expression and social norms, but is hardly talked about because it’s so ingrained. 

Of course I get a regular haircut. Of course I shave my legs/underarms/face. We don’t think too hard about those things, but the way we do our hairs – all the hairs on our heads and bodies – has come from some cultural change that appeared before us that dictated that to have, to have in a certain way, or not to have hair was the best way forward.

Hair comes with complications – headlice, being one particular annoyance that is still a problem. Ask any parent.

Everyone in history has had a go at hair removal, even cave people. Archaeologists have found art depicting hair removal from thousands of years ago, sometimes as far back as 20,000+ years ago – women had long braided hair, but men didn’t have any, for example. They had sharp things, just like we do, that they chopped or shaved it off with. The reasons for this are mere speculation; they had their reasons, which were probably as vague as ours: fashion, maybe?

Ancient Egyptians loved to remove hair from all over their bodies, except their eyebrows. Any hair on the body was considered, so far as we can tell, uncivilised, including pubic hair or a beard. Hair equalled classiness, and the hairy were the underclass.

Egyptians from beyond used tweezers to pluck, pumice to wear down, and beeswax to pull hair out. Ancient Egyptians also developed the sugaring method of hair removal, which is very similar to waxing, but uses a sugar mixture instead of wax. Sugaring is still used at some salons as an organic, chemical-free hair removal method, but it can be done at home on the cheap.

The Romans also liked their upper classes to be hair-free, with higher classes using razors, tweezers, stones and creams to get rid of hair. All the statues and paintings created during this era are hair-free.

In Persia thousands of years ago, eyebrow threading was developed as an eyebrow shaping and hair removal technique, which soon spread to India, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, China, and the US, but it is now available just about everywhere, including Australia. Threading involves a thread intertwined through the fingers, then a quick rubbing motion pulls out unwanted hair. It can be easier to tolerate than waxing, and be done on the cheap at home – with the skills.

The first Queen Elizabeth of England used to completely remove her eyebrows, but no hair from the body. Having a big, broad, bald forehead was the fashion, so mothers would rub walnut oil, ammonia or vinegar into their children’s foreheads to retard eyebrow hair growth as much as possible.

European women – including descendants of Europeans who now live in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States – only started removing hair from their bodies a few hundred years ago, with electrolysis was one of the first technological devices to be invented over 100 years ago, though it wasn’t very safe.

Nylon shortages during the war meant women had to rely more on razors and tweezers, with wax strips and laser hair removal both entering the market in the 1960s. When bikinis became popular in the 70s, bikini hair removal became popular, with longer-lasting hair removal techniques expensive and painful, like laser hair removal and electrolysis.

Waxing remains the same as ever (but with improvements in ingredients and tools), while laser hair removal has improved out of sight, with pain-free treatments and greater effectiveness of treatments than ever with modern lasers.

Laser hair removal is now broadly available, especially in Melbourne, reasonably inexpensively, offeringlong-lasting hair removal.

We are laser hair removal experts.
Contact our Melbourne clinic

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