Does leg hair make you hotter?
While we may have had this much hair in our earlier caveman days, modern humans sprout nowhere near this much body hair and, as such, it is not an effective tool for keeping us warm. Consequently, shaving it all off won't have a noticeable effect on our overall temperature.
“[Body hair] keeps mammals warm. It protects their skin from a lot of external influences, from abrasion, from water, from chemical attack, all sorts of things,” she says.
Nearly 30 percent of women like “a man who trims leg hair down,” and 22 percent “love a man with clean shaven legs.” That means more than half of the women responding like it when a guy does a little legscaping.
In short, the answer is that most men don't need to shave their legs. Instead, it's best to trim it. However, there are exceptions. Learn who should shave their legs, why most men should trim them, and how to do it.
Like most everyday health habits, there's really no set rule for how often you need to shave. First of all, it depends on whether you prefer to have completely bare, slightly stubbly, or all natural non-shaven legs. There's no right or wrong answer, and it's up to your preference.
In the '50s, bare legs become the norm
A leg hair removal ad from 1939. By the 1940s, leg hair removal had become standard.
Not shaving reduces skin-on-skin contact friction, which means when you do activities that involve arm movement, like running or walking, your skin is much less likely to get irritated by the friction. This might lead to fewer skin issues like rashes and ingrown hairs.
Hormones called androgens, which are present in both sexes, stimulate body hair (known as vellus hair) to darken and coarsen. Men have higher levels of androgens than women, so their body hair tends to be more prolific.
Like so many things, it comes down to a mixture of genetics and hormones. We know that at least some of the genes for hairiness are carried on the X chromosome – and the way these genes are expressed varies between different men and ethnic groups – but hairiness also correlates with high testosterone levels.
Conversely, just 5% say it's unattractive for a man to have hairy legs. A quarter (26%) find men's hairy legs attractive (21% of men and 30% of women said this). Among 16-24-year-old women, 57% – a rate significantly more than any other age/gender group – say hairy legs on women are neither attractive nor unattractive.
Do girls like hairy chest?
Overall, 40 percent of the women agree. However, 43 percent of the total women surveyed prefer men keep all their chest hair, considering it a sign of masculinity. And 17 percent want a smooth chest without a single hair. For the men, 83 percent said they have just let their chest hair grow.
Studies have shown that men prefer women with longer-than-average legs and a higher leg-length-to-body ratio. Men's interest in women's legs may explain the preference for tall fashion models. Admiring a woman's legs might have mostly to do with innate attraction to the sensual, rather than the more explicitly sexual.
A combination of polls shows that 80 to 90 percent of women prefer some amount of grooming for starters. Only 10 to 20 percent prefer guys with a completely unkempt bush; this means that going wild below the waist is not the default look. It may require less work, but you're not playing the odds.
Armpits. The armpits are one area where the benefits of shaving body hair are most evident. Shaving your armpits is an excellent way to reduce body odor.
Leg shaving has been a historically masculine ritual. Ancient Egyptian men often removed all body hair as a sign of class and nobility. While Ancient Greek women shaved their bodies as a form of femininity, this practice went dormant in most cultures for many years.
“Some girls start shaving their legs as early as age 10 or 11, some girls don't even think about shaving legs up to age 20 and others don't want to shave at all,” Dr. Kronborg added. “The same goes for boys. They may want to try and grow a full beard while others feel more comfortable shaving.”
In an age of wind tunnel testing, skinsuits and aerodynamic rims every little helps when it comes to dialling out air resistance. Studies have shown that slippery, freshly shaven legs are significantly faster than the natural hairy alternative.
In the 1920s, the new fashion for sleeveless tops and short dresses meant that the legs and armpits of American women were now visible in social situations, and advertisers seized the opportunity to encourage women to shave their legs and their armpits.
According to the book "The body project", women started shaving their legs in the 1920's when skirts became shorter.
According to the Roman historian Livy, the razor was introduced in Rome in the 6th century bce by Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, legendary king of Rome; but shaving did not become customary until the 5th century bce.
Why do feminists not shave?
Some feel as though it's a social construct that they wish to avoid, others simply feel more comfortable and authentic in their skin if they don't do it. But it's not a set formula--not everyone who doesn't shave is a feminist, and not everyone who is a feminist doesn't shave.
Sikhs. The Sikh religion forbids cutting or shaving any bodily hair. Orthodox Sikhs always carry a dagger with them, lest someone try to force them to do something against their religion.
Pubic hair serves a similar function to eyelashes or nose hair. That is, it traps dirt, debris, and potentially harmful microorganisms. In addition, hair follicles produce sebum, an oil which actually prevents bacteria from reproducing.
Men all have roughly the same amount of testosterone. Certain genes make your hair follicles more or less sensitive to the amount of testosterone in your body. Basically, an enzyme converts testosterone into a substance that shrinks hair follicles.
Since our estrogen levels drop as we reach middle to later age, body hair growth corresponds by becoming sparser and thinner, too. In fact, most people will see a significant slow down in the production of leg and arm hair.