Right now, my underarm hair is so long it's practically plaitable, my legs look like they belong to the Yeti, and my bikini line is truly Amazonian. And you know what? It's glorious. In fact, I am finding it so satisfying and cosy that I’m hailing it the new hygge (the Danish trend for being snug) – personal hygge or hairy hygge, if you will.
For years, I hacked at my legs and armpits with half-blunt razors in awkward positions in the shower, and paid angry women in salons extortionate amounts to rip hairs out with hot wax. But recently I decided enough was enough. It began with my bikini line - which I've been leaving au naturel ever since I decided that any man who was overly concerned with the size and shape of pubes wasn't worth my time. Then I started resenting having to shave my legs unless it was the height of summer. And finally, I ditched shaving my underarms too. Because really, it didn’t seem fair that they were being singled out for eradication.
Walking round with a raucous hair party taking place under your clothes feels strangely illicit. The best surprise has been my armpit hair, which has sprouted into elegant, baby-soft wisps that are endlessly strokeable.
And I'm not alone. Since I’ve regaled my friends with body-hair tales, they've sheepishly admitted to either growing theirs out or having the urge to do so. One of my friends explained that she uses her body hair as a form of chastity belt. ‘If I’m going on a date and don’t want to sleep with the guy yet, but aren’t sure I’ll trust myself after a couple of drinks, I just don’t wax my bikini line,’ she told me. ‘Then I know there’s no way I’ll let him see me naked.’
It’s not just my fellow single mates, either - a married friend told me that she’s trying to train her husband to appreciate a more natural set-up. ‘He really likes it when I’m hair-free,’ she confided. ‘But I sometimes find sex painful when I’m hairless, so I’ve started leaving it longer between waxes in the hope that eventually I can fade them out altogether.’
Unsurprisingly, leaving your body hair to grow as nature intended has health benefits too. Dr Clare Morrison at Pharmica told me, ‘Shaving can cause cuts, irritation, dermatitis and skin infections, particularly if you don’t change your razor blade often enough, use someone else’s razor, or have sensitive skin. And while waxing avoids the risk of cutting the skin, it causes more trauma to the hair follicles.’ Research published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections even found that people who got rid of their pubic hair were 80 percent more likely to contract an STI. Shudder.
So come on - ditch the razors, cancel your salon sessions and let your hair grow free.