The “wow – how smooth!” effect

(c) Manfred Baumann
We want wavy manes, but no stubble on the skin. Because nothing feels better than a smooth body. It has always been a symbol for youth and eroticism and simply feels better.

Ancient Arabic features no less than 33 metaphors to describe hair on the head – from “darkness” and “net” to “night,” and right up to “raven.” A groomed, full head of hair has always been seen as both aesthetic and erotic in men and women. The remaining body hair, on the other hand, has always been seen as an annoying nuisance, to be dealt with by whatever means and techniques necessary. A hairless body signalled diligent care, while those who let hair grow on their body were viewed as sloppy and soiled. Even works as early as the “Ars amatoria,” written by the Roman poet Ovid, supplied instructions on how to correctly care for the female body – shaving was a “must.”

Over the course of time, women have especially refined their rituals on how to remove unwanted body hair – on the legs, in the armpits, but also in the pubic area. In the hammams, for example, an abundance of hair removal creams and salves were used, including “Halawa” – a mixture of lemon juice, water and sugar, which similar to removing hair by means of waxing, was ripped off the skin and removed the hair with its root. This method, which was known as “sugaring” and was handed down over centuries, still causes tears to spring in the eyes of men and women today. Just imagine people wincing in the ancient bath houses from the same pain as today in modern hair removal studios. And this act of torture always had the same goal: to be beautiful and desirable. But such endeavors are not for every type of skin.

Soft and smooth

Wet shaving is still the most skin-friendly method for hair removal. It does entail having to make use of the razor more often in order to obtain that silky skin feeling, but on the other hand, correct handling with a “solid tool” and high-quality shaving care products allows you to deal with far less redness, inflammation and ingrown hair than alternative methods such as waxing or plucking.

However, there are a few things that need to be kept in mind to achieve optimal results: Hair should not be longer than about a third of an inch as it will not stand up otherwise and will be difficult to shave off. Especially sensitive areas such as the armpits or the pubic area require taught skin in order to be shaved completely and safely. Furthermore, the blade should only be guided against the growth direction of hair in areas where the skin is not sensitive. The regular final touch should be achieved by means of peeling. It removes shed flakes of skin and avoids ingrown hairs.

If you follow these hints and tips, you will be astounded at how soon the skin returns to youthful suppleness. At this point, it is best to let someone else stroke it and one thing is bound to happen: the “wow – how smooth!“ effect, and maybe even a little bit more…