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“I felt weird that my legs were so hairy, so one day I just decided to try shaving without telling my mom. I didn’t tell her before I did it because I didn’t want her to talk me out of it. Shaving is a pain in the ass. I don’t enjoy the act of doing it because it’s difficult, time consuming, and feels like a chore. However, I enjoy the feeling of freshly shaved legs. I feel prettier and more put together when I shave. So I guess I do it for myself, but a large reason is because I have been socialized to associate shaved legs with being beautiful and more feminine.”
How Often Do Women Shave Their Legs?
According to a 2009 study released by American Laser Centers, the average woman shaves 12 times per month and spends about $15.95 on the process. According to their research, the majority of women shave 1-2 times each week, but 11 percent of women shave every day.
The study also included more interesting stats, such as that, over the course of their lifetime, a woman will shave 7,718.4 times and spend $10,00 dollars on related products. They also claim that the average time it takes a woman to shave is 10.9 minutes.
“The first time I shaved was pure terror. Never again. I became lightheaded in the shower and was like, ‘This not for me.'”
Why Did Women Start Shaving?
During World War I in 1915, the Gillette Safety Razor Company introduced the first safety razor for women: the Milady Decolletée. But the product didn’t really catch on, as shaving was still firmly associated with masculinity. Women didn’t want to risk being seen purchasing a razor.
At the same time, shaving was a relatively cheap and painless alternative compared to other depilation methods, such as abrasive or even lethal industrial depilatory creams or x-ray hair removal. After the war, many women would surreptitiously use their husbands’ safety razors.
The transition from depilatory creams to razors was complete when, during World War II, the need for women to remove hair from their legs emerged. Before that, women would conceal their hairy legs with thick stockings. But during the war, stockings were in short supply as nylon and silk were repurposed for military use. For a while, women resorted to liquid stockings, which were simply cosmetics that emulated the real thing. These only worked on hairless legs, though, and when the supply of liquid stockings began to dwindle, women were finally content with simply shaving their legs and leaving it at that.
According to surveys, by 1964, 98% of all American women aged 15-44 shaved their legs regularly.
When to Shave for the First Time
You’ll know when you’re ready for your first shave. The first facial hair that you grow will probably be more like fluff than thick beard hair, and lots of guys like to shave this off. However, you might want to see how much of a beard you can grow, and wait to shave until your facial hair is a little thicker.
When you first try to shave, we recommend our Gillette SkinGuard Sensitive Razor for younger, more sensitive skin, as it’s specially designed to protect your skin from the blades, for a more comfortable shaving experience.
If you’re wondering whether to wait for your first shave because of problem skin, our SkinGuard Sensitive Razor has been certified by the British Skin Foundation as suitable for sensitive skin, so you won’t need to worry. Here’s some more detailed advice on shaving with acne.
A Final Word
Shaving has been a part of human culture since prehistoric times, and has served many purposes, from maintaining good health, denoting different class status and differentiating between the genders to embodying ideals of beauty or expressing masculinity, the choice of whether to shave or not has been debated and considered by billions of humans throughout history. In the future, it’s hard to say what new trends or meanings will be linked to these perennial, insistent little fibers all over our body, but it should be interesting to watch!