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Hair Removal

Arabs and Hair Removal: A Closer Look

Human hair growth is complex and regulated by a number of genes and hormones. According to popular belief, we developed to have less hair than monkeys because our ancestors evolved sweating as a way to stay cool in the jungles, and too much hair would interfere with sweating. However, the evolutionary reasons for ethnic differences in hairiness are unknown. Caucasians, for example, have more hair than Japanese people.

Hair and its removal from specific parts of the body have been symbolic throughout the ages and in various parts of the world, as well as identification. In Ancient Egypt, for example, both men and women shaved all of their hair, including the hair on their heads, as a sign of beauty and to appear civilized. Alexander the Great required his soldiers to shave before battle, claiming that a soldier’s beard could be grabbed and used to pull him from his horse. Other motives were staying cool in the sun and getting rid of lice. Body hair removal grew more popular among women in ancient Greece and Rome because it was perceived as more feminine.

Hairy body parts and facial hair on women are often frowned upon and seen as unattractive in the Arab culture, giving the image of poor hygiene and self-neglect to many. If a woman chose not to shave, she tried her hardest to conceal it with layers of clothing in order to avoid being judged. The opposite is true for Arab males, who consider their body and facial hair to be an essential aspect of their identity. When there is a shortage of it, there is often a sense of humiliation and, in certain cases, the need for medical intervention. Hair on men’s legs, chests, or arms isn’t usually connected with a lack of hygiene.

However, In the Arab culture, in addition to obviously sanitary reasons, hair removal also has a religious significance as well, as both men and women are required to remove or trim certain parts of their bodies to maintain cleanness.

What to do with the hair on various body parts, and more specifically, how to deal with it in the most “Islamic” way possible, are problems that have engaged Muslims in the Arab world and abroad for many years. If that wasn’t time-consuming enough, multiple fatwas based on various hadiths examine the practice of shaving with a razor, with the goal of educating the people on which actions are regarded religiously lawful (halal) and which are forbidden (haram). Al-Bukhaari and Muslim narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “The fitrah is five things – or five things are part of the fitrah – circumcision, shaving the pubes, cutting the nails, plucking the armpit hairs, and trimming the mustache.”

Read More: Hair Removal Throughout History: A Look at Unwanted Hair

Now let’s move on to the top 5 most popular hair removal methods Arabs use.

Waxing

Waxing is the technique of removing hair from the root by applying a covering of a sticky substance, such as wax, to body hair, then removing the covering and pulling the hair out of the follicle. Warming the wax allows it to be dispersed evenly across the skin and in the direction of hair growth. When the wax cools and hardens, it traps the hair. The wax is then immediately removed in order to extract the hair from the follicle.

This method is usually used for facial hair, and it lasts for about 5-6 weeks. Anyhow, you must take caution when handling hot wax to avoid burning your skin and ingrown hairs. However, exfoliating your skin prior to waxing can help prevent ingrown hairs because it removes the dead skin that traps your hair.

Plucking

Plucking or tweezing is the process of mechanically removing human hair from one’s body with tweezers. Once the hair is long enough to be removed, take your tweezers and pluck out undesirable hair with a steady hand.

Plucking is perfect for shaping brows and eliminating tiny, difficult-to-reach hair. Tweezers are relatively inexpensive and can last for a long period. You can pluck undesired hair in front of a mirror at home, no need for a professional to get it done. On the downside, if not done carefully, tweezing can cause skin cuts and nicks, as well as ingrown hairs—not to mention that over-plucking, can distort the shape of your brows.

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that removes unwanted hair by using a concentrated beam of light (laser). This procedure permanently removes undesired hair. It uses laser technology to permanently eliminate hair from any part of the body, reducing the need for daily tweezing, threading, and waxing.

Though the results can be permanent if you follow through with the required number of sessions, getting laser hair removal will have you = experience a stinging sensation each time a follicle is zapped. Some describe it as an elastic band being snapped on the skin repeatedly. People with darker skin are more likely to get burnt or experience discoloration.

Read More: Laser hair removal

Threading

Threading is the process of doubling and twisting a thin cotton or polyester thread. It is then rolled over undesired hair patches, plucking the hair at the follicle level.  It is one of the most sanitary hair removal methods Since only a thread touching your face. Unlike tweezing, which removes single hairs one at a time, threading can remove short rows of hair.

Threading targets eyebrows, between the eyebrows, around the hairline, and other parts of the face. The process is a relatively painless method though you may experience mild discomfort when the hair is pulled out.

Depilatory Creams

Hair removal creams are simple to apply and do not require the need for a specialist. Apply the lotion to the desired areas and leave for three to fifteen minutes. The chemical dissolves the undesirable hair during this period, and the substance can then be rinsed or wiped away. There should be no pain, only a tingling sensation. If the feeling becomes intolerable, it indicates that your skin is overly sensitive or that you have left the cream on for too long.

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