The Weirdest Places We've Removed Hair From (NSFW)

Hair covers almost all of the human body, except for palms of hands, soles of feet, lips, backs of ears, that sort of thing. In that sense, none of these ‘weird’ places we’ve removed hair from is weird at all. We are hairy beings, it’s a fact of life, and hair has served both sexes well in evolutionary terms – until recently, where women are expected to be hairless save for their eyebrows, eyelashes and head hair, and men are free to roam around with theirs, accepting compliments on density and observing random sprouts with total nonchalance. The worst thing about this sadistic gender disparity is that most women are complicit, spending thousands of pounds and hundreds of hours painfully removing hair from all over their bodies.

That said, I quite like the act of removing hair. I have a very nice relationship with my bikini waxer who also does my threading, I like shaving my underarms and watching the hair disappear, shaving my legs is a small yet satisfying task akin to doing a little doodle, and plucking my bikini line between waxes gives me ASMR. It's the rest of it that bothers me – the hair that appears in places not listed on the beautician's treatment list, the off-piste, special-request stuff that requires whole new levels of time, commitment and expertise. Ahead, seven women share their tales of hair removal in uncharted territory. If you find any of it shocking, you need to diversify your group of friends.

Photographed by Ana Cuba.
Amy, arms

I have hairy arms. My mum is Mauritian but she has less hair there than me. My dad used to tug at clumps of it when I was little as a joke. My auntie used to say it was a sign of sweetness, but I think she has that confused with freckles. Various boyfriends have commented that my arms are hairier than theirs over the years; in fact, I think I’ve been all-over hairier than every boy I’ve ever dated. So I wax my arms about every six weeks. I resent doing it, it always hurts, but I love my smooth arms afterwards, I feel like a goddess. My boyfriend thinks I’m mad for waxing my arms, and always comments that the hairless arms feel even weirder than the hairy ones but I prefer it.
Photographed by Ana Cuba.
Dipa, neck

I’m Indian and have long, dark, thick hair which I love (it’s the envy of all my friends) but with that blessing comes a little curse: my hairline. I used to have lots of wispy hairs on the back of my neck, which continued almost a third of the way down my back. I was never that bothered about it growing up as I usually wore my hair down anyway, but when I started wearing my hair up more, in hot countries on holiday and particularly with friends or with my (white) boyfriend, I felt embarrassed about the hairs on my neck. I decided to laser the area earlier this year – I did it with one of those at-home laser machines. Well, actually, I asked my mum to do my neck as I couldn’t reach, and I trusted her to make the hairline look natural. That meant shaving my neck before each lasering session (because you have to shave the area for the laser to work), which made me feel weird. But I was really pleased with the result, and feel confident having my hair up now. It’s changed the way I dress on holiday too.
Photographed by Ana Cuba.
Joy, face

I get the hair on the side of my face and the top of my cheeks threaded. I have quite thick hair there, and I’ve been threading it since I was about 20. I used to get it waxed but it gave me spots every time. I have it done by an Indian lady above a shop on Bethnal Green Road about every month. I actually tried to get it lasered, I went in for a consultation but the woman said that since I’m black, the laser can’t differentiate the hair from the skin so it wouldn’t work. Hopefully the laser technology will improve and I’ll be able to get it done.
Photographed by Ana Cuba.
Lily, inner thighs

I’m naturally quite pale-skinned and have very dark hair. This would be a nice combo, if it weren't for the fact that my hair grows at the speed of light, everywhere and in multiple directions. Once a month I dip myself in wax from belly button to toenail, but this really isn’t enough. I have a grace period of about five days post-wax where I feel free to wear skirts with no tights or go on a short holiday, but after that the regrowth starts, as do the ingrown hairs. These ingrown hairs speckle my inner thighs, where my hair is as dark as my head hair. I feel really gross and hate the sight of them and always end up conducting home surgery, which inevitably makes them worse. I know my colouring makes me a good candidate for laser but it’s expensive and I’m lazy and also, is it weird to ask for bikini and inner thighs??
Photographed by Ana Cuba.
Emily, face

A coarse white hair grows out of the same follicle just below my nose and to the side, too high up for the threader to get it when she does my upper lip. There’s no mole there or anything – I have no idea what it thinks its purpose is. I notice it about every three months or so in the bathroom mirror and I’m horrified when I spot it because it’s usually long by that point. That said, I have a sort of affection for this hair, it’s just a harmless little hair, saying hiya. As soon as I see it, I put my finger over where the hair is to mark the spot until I find my tweezers (always, always lost), as otherwise I might not be able to find it again (this has happened many times). So I run around my bedroom with my finger on my face looking for my tweezers, feeling like a bat.
Photographed by Ana Cuba.
Katie, bum... cheeks

I've been getting a bikini wax (Brazilian, I'm a traditionalist) every four weeks like clockwork for the last few years and it's been more or less the same every time. Until last time. About two-thirds of the way through my appointment, I'm spreadeagled on the table when I hear everyone's favourite words: "Ok so now if you could turn on your front and hold your cheeks apart." Which I do, obligingly. And as I lie there with my face in the pillow, utterly undignified but kind of enjoying the warmth of the wax in my crack, something happens. The warmth spreads. It seeps across my bum cheeks. The beautician's being a bit sloppy with the wax, I think. But then I realise: the seepage is no accident. There's deliberate spreading going on back there. She's waxing my bum cheeks. Oh my god she's waxing my bum cheeks. Why is she waxing my bum cheeks? Have I got a hairy bum? FUCK I'VE GOT A HAIRY BUM. How did I not know this? Why did no one tell me? Exactly how bad is it??? The questions keep coming, along with the rising panic and the realisation that this is probably the end of sex as I know it... Of course I don't say any of this to the beautician. When she's finished, I get up, put my clothes on, and leave. Back at home, I try to inspect my bum in the mirror but it's basically impossible and I can't really see anything. Now it's nearly time for my next appointment. For the first time since the first time, I'm dreading it.
Photographed by Ana Cuba.
Sarah, under boob

I’m not talking about the standard nipple hairs that lots and lots of women get. I used to get them too, at school, when my breasts were developing, but then in a Benjamin Button twist of fate, they stopped. Now I just get one long joke hair that comes out of the bottom of my boob. A lone ranger.