Today my post is all about Body Hair and how we as crossdressers engage with it. There are some social norms I talk about and then I go into some methods of dealing with body hair. Hope you all enjoy.
I see some people writing how natural they find it to shave their legs as if they are women, shaving is not a natural instinct or drive it is a learned behaviour. This learned behaviour is a gendered norm for women to be hairless hairless and smooth, some argue it is make them more akin to children then to adults and is a form of subjection though I think that is a stretch a good portion of the time and it is by extension arguing that all men are pedophiles. We as men are also expected to be attracted to this silky smoothness of a hairless women’s body. So by removing your body hair you are adhering to gendered cultural norms of North American culture, for instance in many parts of the world women do not shave their legs. That said men typically have darker, coarser and denser body hair than women and most notably in spots that women don’t so in order to emulate even those women who don’t remove hair we need to do some removal to complete the illusion. Much more recently however within our culture it has become much more accepted for men to have shaved body hair and is labeled under manscaping, so use this to your advantage if you wish though this also typically requires a fairly masculine physique to justify showing off the hairlessness.
My issue comes about in that even though I will indulge in a shaved body and have kept my armpits shaved for years in part so that deodorant can be more easily applied but also for the feminine aspect. I also like my facial hair and had a goatee for a decade and recently needed to shave it for a month and aside from my skin being sensitive as hell I actually hated it. My girlfriend who is fully engaged in my dressing also banned me from ever shaving it off again. So sometimes I sit with a beard on my face and that is where the body hair ends. Quite the conundrum though over the years I have experimented with different aspects of dealing with body hair and will impart some of my knowledge here.
You have four options dealing with body hair:
First option is to leave it and try to cover the hair up with clothes and by effectively choosing a wardrobe you can attain a feminine image and only need to shave your face as your normally would. Though this limits you away from showing off some cleavage or leg which takes away some of the fun.
Second you take it off by various means most notably by shaving. This is the most effective way of achieving the female norm of no chest hair for instance and also adhering to social gender norms of the silky smooth body of a woman, assuming you moisturize also. Though this runs risks as mentioned above because a silky smooth man is not the social norm and for instance shaved legs may attract some attention you didn’t care for.
Third is in the middle of the first two that is trimming. Trimming your body hair to a reasonable length if noticed will typically just make you appear to be a man who takes care of himself. The reduced density of the hair will also lessen its appearance under clothing light clothing. Though I suggest to get a more natural look you trim a few days prior to exposure as hair grows at different rates and the hair after a few days will look less manicured as some of it will stay short and some will grow out.
A fourth option is one I have never tried and that is bleaching of the hair. You can get bleaching creams from drug stores and if combined with trimming may reduce the noticeability of hair, particularly under pantyhose but will be ineffective if you want to show some cleavage. I never thought of it until I was writing this post so perhaps I will experiment and get back to you.
A few notes on the acceptability and noticeability of body hair removal.
Legs: This is noticeable and is not typically acceptable for men to do. Ironically women tend to lay off the shaving in the winter as their legs aren’t shown which is when we engage most fully because people are unlikely to see it. Though it is possible to wear dark multilayered pantyhose to hide leg hair this may not be the most comfortable and if it is dense enough perhaps a severe trimming is in need.
Groin: I will leave this up to you, though if you are applying tape to keep a tuck in place shaving required for adherence and ease of removal. Just on a basic level you should keep this area tidy as if your sexual partner takes your underwear down and then has Axel Rose’s scream from “Welcome to the Jungle” going through their head it may kill the mood. The groin is an area where shaving of the hair my result in great discomfort until your body is used to that treatment, ie ingrown hairs. When I shave this area or the bikini line where skin rubs more than you think I use Bikini Zone and seems to be reasonably effective.
Chest and Stomach: I know some people, drag queens for instance, will only shave the upper part of their chest for performances and leave the rest if it isn’t showing. While this logical I want you to picture a man with no hair from the nipples up, not exactly sexy so if you are going to shave the chest take the stomach out also so you don’t look quite as ridiculous. The shaving of the chest is essential if you are looking to create an authentic cleavage look. If you are applying tape to do this then you will need to shave so that the tape can stick to skin and not hair and as such apply more comfortably and hold better and this also makes removal of the tape easier. Though as with the groin the area where the bra rubs may become irritated and you may end up with ingrown hairs on your chest. This lessens as your body gets used to shaving those areas however I do not suggest shaving against the grain where your bras may be rubbing.
Back: Totally acceptable just do it well nothing is worse then patches
Arm Pits: Shaving of arm pits is reasonably acceptable assuming the rest of your body isn’t sasquatchesque and there is little contrast and as I said above it is way easier to get deodorant in there if there is no hair to fight through which may be a plausible explanation.
Arms: It is ok for men with well-defined fore arms to shave their arms, though it is not strange for women to have arm hair either assuming it is reasonably light and closer to hair than fur. If it is too dark then perhaps shave but I simply trim it down to a shorter length making it much less noticeable and perhaps this is a good place to bleach.
Face: No issues with shaving your face, essential if you are going for the ultimate femme look. Though I really do love my beard so I am stuck between the masculine and the feminine, sigh.
Eyebrows: Take care of them but don’t get to feminine with it or people will notice. Remember not all women have pencil eyebrows. If you thin them out slowly over time people are unlikely to notice where as a sudden manicuring of your eyebrows may garner attention.
Tools of the trade
First and foremost this is your skin and you should be careful so always read instructions on hair removal products carefully and don’t buy cheap razors, no point in using cheap blades to rub against your skin as it is BLADES AGAINST YOUR SKIN in potentially sensitive areas. Spend some decent money on this part as clothes can be replaced but skin can’t.
Razors: Use a good quality razor, and by this I mean a men’s razor. Men’s razors are far superior as they are sharper, clog less often, and last longer because men’s beards are much coarser and harder to cut then women’s leg hair. If you are a closeted crossdresser and don’t want anyone to know then don’t store pink razors in your bathroom is another reason but mainly women’s razors just aren’t as good. If you want that feminine feeling then do it with the shaving cream not the pretty pink razor. If you don’t believe me trade your good quality razor, I like the Gillette Fusion, for your female significant others Venus for two weeks and see if she is willing to switch back, she is unlikely to switch back to the Venus so you had better enjoy rubbing that monstrosity against your face. I use a Gillette Fusion which is a pretty epic piece of equipment though the Mach 3 is also effective and cheaper and is good for body work where the hair isn’t as coarse or sense.
Electric Razor: I hate using electric razors on my face as they are noisy, hard to use, take longer, and simply don’t cut as close. So for applying makeup and eliminating that beard show through an electric razor in my opinion is useless. As for the rest of your body where the hair is typically not as dense or coarse feel free to go electric. You can even use a women’s electric razor but I suggest the Philips Body Groom 7000 series as not only does it have the ability to shave very effectively the trimmer head is also very useful when keeping hair to a proper length. Trimming is also essential if you are like me and only shave body hair for special occasions as your razor will clog less when you are doing a clean sweep. Trim it down then close shave it all away making it much simpler and faster. This handy piece of equipment is waterproof for in shower use and again it is a men’s razor so it is less likely to draw attention then say a hot pink women’s razor on the counter charging. The body groom also keeps beard to a good length and in theory you could easily do your own buzz cut if that is your style.
Shaving Cream: The big differences between men’s and women’s shaving cream is the colour of the bottle, the scent, and the colour of the cream itself. If you are looking for a feminine feeling then by all means please use women’s shaving cream with your men’s razor. Though spend the extra dollar and get the good cream it is typically worth it.
Lotion: Good high quality lotion after body shaving is also essential as your skin will dry out and good cream will help to reduce discomfort. I always go unscented personally though if you want super woman scent then feel free to indulge. My personal favourite cream is the Vaseline Intensive Care Problem Skin Therapy. It is unscented and is a mix of lotion and petroleum jelly so it has serious holding properties and really moisturizes. Apply that once a day to your legs and within a week your skin will be so soft you will think your hormone balance is off and you will be checking for your breasts to start growing until you realise that the main reason men’s skin is so rough is normally due to them not taking care it not an inherent trait. I get eczema sometimes on my arms and after a couple days of applying this it is gone. I typically avoid pump bottles as they tend to clog and can be messy but it is all personal preference.
Wax Strips: These are effective though I suggest getting someone else to use them on you as there is a trick or two. They do allow the body to remain hair free for longer though which is a plus side though there is some essential discomfort when you are ripping hair out by its roots. Over time your body gets used to it and since the hair isn’t being cut it gets softer and easier to pull and you have to have it done less often. I suggest starting with the back as there are not as many nerve endings there and not with the arm pits or groin area but if your into pain then go for it.
Hair Removal Creams: I have never found these to be as effective as advertised and the smell is terrible. I’d rather shave or wax. Though if you have dense hair that hasn’t been dealt with in awhile then they are not a bad option but they smell and that smell tends to linger in the bathroom after. Your skin will be sensitive and you will need to lotion the hell out of your skin as it will get dried. Luckily they do make Nair for Men so it may not be noticeable as the typical Nair bottle or smell but still not my weapon of choice.
Tweezers: These are mostly for the eyebrow area and pull out the hair one by one so these are not suggested for removing chest hair unless you have time and are OCD. The plus side is as with waxing over time the hair may grow back thinner and slower due to root damage.
Epilator: These scary devices are like a dozen mechanical tweezers going at great speed. They pull the hair out fast with reasonable to unreasonable discomfort depending on where you apply them. Shins are typically ok, thighs much less comfortable, and the bikini line is only suitable if you are tied to a bed and someone is intent on causing pain while forcibly feminizing you (in my opinion but I could be wrong). I suggest starting after you shower and on the lower part of your legs. Use this enough over time and your hair will grow back lighter and much slower. I have been thinking of getting a waterproof one for use in the bathtub but the investment is not cheap and my experience with these devices do not make me want to put that sort of money in. Also they are loud as hell so not the most soothing experience, unless your into that sort of thing.
Electrolysis: Not something you do at home as the hair follicle is damaged using electricity and eventually causes permanent hair removal afters years of treatment. You have to be really motivated to go this route as not only will it be permanent but it is time consuming and expensive. Wikipedia article here
Laser: Again should only be done by a professional (though not sure where you would find a laser hair removal machine just laying around) and is quite expensive as it takes several treatments but it is permanent so no need to shave again. This is an option if you are really dedicated to crossdressing or justifiably hate back hair. More info here
There you go my thoughts on body hair and how to deal with it while crossdressing. Though there is always the possibility that you like seeing your hairy chest encased in that silky bra and you will never desire to get rid of that hair. We all just need to remember that women choose and are pressured by social norms (they may actually be mores) to be silky smooth and we by engaging in that gendered behaviour are reinforcing those norms and there is nothing natural about the desire to have no body hair whatsoever. Though I find we all try it at least once in our lives and I hope I have given you some guidance as to how to do it safely and effectively and to have a fun experience pursuing those gendered norms. As always I enjoy comments and have added a couple polls for this post which is below and you can do the other polls at Jess’s Polling Station