Hair removal in different social and cultural contexts

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There are many reasons why hair removal is mandated. For some people, it is a religious tradition that must be observed. Monks of some religions have rituals wherein they completely shave their heads. In sports, some athletes like swimmers and cyclists, remove the hair on their legs. Removing hair is said to contribute to their hydrodynamics and aerodynamics.

In the military, close-cropped hair and shaven faces are usually required. Hair removal is said to have been done even in Ancient Egypt; the priests were said to have shaved their entire bodies in order to be "pure" when they faced the images of the gods. For medical purposes, hair may be shaved or removed before the commencement of surgeries. Most people also remove their hair to prevent lice infestation.

In a cultural and social point of view, hair removal is done as a sort of fashion statement. Nowadays, both men and women shave their heads to look unique. It is also done to look smooth, clean and flawless, like the removal of leg hair for women and shaving of mustaches and beards for men. Usually, it is the female demographic that religiously follow social and cultural norms regarding hair removal.

Being practically hairless is what most women try to achieve; even transgender men want it to appear more like women. A standard exists that women should be generally hairless. If body hair is present in a woman in areas like the underarms, it is considered embarrassing; the issue may escalate if the woman in question is wearing an underarm-exposing garment in the first place. To conform to social norms, many women avail of painless waxing services to remove unwanted hair.

When people want to remove some of their body hair, they can do it by shaving, by using creams that chemically dissolve the hair, or by waxing, threading or tweezing. For most people, waxing is the most effective temporary hair removal method, since it can remove a lot of hair in a short period of time. Because of the pain felt during the procedure, body wax numbing cream can be used to numb the skin and make it insensitive to the pain.

With painless waxing services already available, people can easily have their body hair removed, without having to worry about experiencing intense discomfort. The accessibility of painless waxing may open new doors to the age-old concept of hair removal.

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