Shaving: Hair(less) dilemmas for men and women

Body hair has long been a very controversial issue. Men and women are held to high standards, for totally opposite reasons. Women have always been under pressure to be hairless, while the expectations for men have flip-flopped around for years. 

The pressures on body hair aren’t only based on attractiveness from societal expectations too. The idea of a hairy woman or a hairless man isn’t just concerned with attracting a romantic partner but is often motivated by fitting in with society too.
For years now, body hair has been considered to be unhygienic, but not for men. Having lots of hair is sometimes desirable, but not for women. Frankly, the expectations of society can be hard to keep up with at times.
At Kairn, we’re delighted to see that these pressures are changing with our more conscious modern society.

Historical Pressures

The unnecessary pressures relating to body hair date as far back as the ancient civilizations, from the Romans to the Greeks, and to the Egyptians. They believed that being hairless showed cleanliness and therefore superiority.
As time progressed, this preference for hairlessness swapped to only include women. Scientists in the 19th century linked women’s body hair to disease, lunacy and even criminality. Even Charles Darwin wrote that body hair was a “return to a less developed form”. At least this outdated idea stands up to the similar theory that women prefer a “caveman” type suitor.
In 1915, the first advertisement for razors designed just for women was released and suggested that body hair for women was “objectionable”. Other brands followed suit the same year, describing female body hair as “an embarrassing personal problem”. As clothes began to shrink, the pressure on women to remove all of their body hair grew stronger and stronger.

Fortunately, we’re living in an ever more accepting and self-aware world. Women have started taking their bodies back in recent years, and we’re pleased to say, celebrating it, with brightly died colours and photoshoots that flaunt their naturally growing hair.

Male Pressures

Men face similarly intense pressures that are much less straightforward. Sometimes men seem to be expected to be hairless, sometimes to be hairy. Current day Hollywood is almost entirely made up of the best-looking men who flaunt hairless chests for a smooth appearance, while you only have to go as far back as the 90s to find a preference to thick chests of hair.

Modern men are finally being encouraged to do whatever they choose with their own body hair. Some prefer a thick full chest of hair, while others wish to be smooth. Many activities, such as cycling, swimming and running, often benefit from the athlete having less body hair for simple aerodynamics. Other outdoor pursuits, like hiking in cold mountains, might benefit from having thicker body hair.


At Kairn, we want each and every one of our customers to feel free to make their own choices. Men and women don’t need to be defined by their body hair, but rather how they choose to live their life. Your body hair needs only to reflect what you want for yourself.  

Kairn is proud to be part of an ever-growing collection of skincare brands that are pleased to embrace YOUR freedom to choose. We provide industry-leading, zero waste razors and a plastic-free shaving range that is suitable for any gender who wishes to use it. The world is beginning to value each individual’s right to choose, and we’re proud to be a part of the revolution.