The Changing World of Hair Removal


Have you ever seen a hairy upper lip or happy trail and felt like you have to wax it? We’ve likely all been there. As estheticians who wax, it’s hard to leave hair behind. Anywhere there is hair, we wax on, wax off and viola, baby smooth skin. It is so satisfying.

Breaking Stereotypes

Society has framed the story in a way that reads, if a woman has hair anywhere other than on her head, it is deemed as unattractive or masculine. Traditionally, the gender stereotypes say it’s attractive for men to keep body hair, but it’s not for women. In the same way, if men choose to remove their body hair, it is looked at as non-traditional and against societal norms.

“Januhairy” is a body positive movement encouraging women to grow their body hair to fight these gender stereotypes. Women have embraced the movement in record numbers by growing in their facial and body hair. With the Januhairy movement, you will see thousands of heated comments on Instagram. People have strong feelings about whether women should grow in or remove their hair. Comments from “to each his own” to “gross, wax it” and even people critizing celebrity Halsey for not growing her hair long enough for the Januhairy movement. However, other celebrities are helping by supporting the movement and pushing back at societal norms. “Body hair, don’t care.”

This tells us professionals that times are shifting, and we need to take notice. Clients are embracing their body hair and are feeling body positive with grown-in hair that they are proud to flaunt. Even a popular razor brand has jumped on board, which may seem counterintuitive since they sell razors. By spreading the body positive rhetoric, female empowerment and inclusion, the campaign to give female-identifying people the choice to shave or not and has strengthened their relationship with their consumers.

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Cali VanAelst, L.E. has been a licensed and practicing cosmetologist and esthetician since graduating from Pivot Point in 1989. She is currently the training director for Cirépil by Perron Rigot. She was selected by New City as the “Best Waxer in Chicago” and has been featured in both Allure and Chicago magazines as one of Chicago’s best.

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