For many women and men, hair removal is more than a process, more than a routine and much more than simply a chore—it is a full-on battle. The current styles and trends for both sexes call for a smooth, virtually hair-free physique. However, obtaining a bare bod is not always easy. Depending on the method of hair removal used, the process can be time-consuming, stubble can reappear quickly, and ingrown hairs can become a painful, unsightly problem. Americans spend $10 billion on various products and services to remove unwanted fuzz. From razors to lasers, people are searching for the best solutions and experimenting with different ways to keep body hair at bay.
The history of hair removal dates back to prehistoric times. Archaeologists have found evidence that cavemen used sharpened stones and shells to remove their facial hair. Hair removal was also customary among the ancient Egyptians, who regarded hairlessness as a status symbol. Men routinely used razors made from bronze to shave their heads, while women used more extreme measures of depilation, including blending mixtures made from arsenic, starch and quicklime. They also used beeswax to pull hair from their legs.
During approximately 1500 B.C., recipes for hair removal included combining a tortoise shell with hippopotamus fat or mixing various animal bloods together to create a hair removal concoction. Feline waste was also considered a viable method.