Shave Report

I decided to shave most of the hair on my body (aside from my head) the other day to assess whether it would help me move forward. Here's what I've learned.

Shaving is initially difficult

Trimming almost 23 years of hair from my body was much more difficult than clearing my face. Often, large tufts of hair would peel off easily, but considerable stubble would be left afterwards; i'd then have to take a second pass with much more pressure and focus with the Phillips OneBlade shaver I used.

It's possible that a different or disposable razor would have been more effective than a vibrating one. I'm opposed to the waste that disposable razors require, but I'll consider using my more substantial razor in the future. Something that doesn't require electricity might be beneficial; slightly wet skin seems to be easier to shave than dry skin, potentially because friction against the skin is reduced without preventing the hair from being cut.

Visibility

Flaws in my skin are far more plain. More than one friend of mine noticed the large scar on my left leg after shaving. Though the scar was easily visible otherwise, it may have been obscured by the texture and color of the brown hair on my leg. Now that this is no longer the case, the large seam and considerable discoloration on my leg around the scar seem to stand out much more.

To this end, it's far easier to monitor freckles, sun damage, and other potential flaws on my skin without hair in the way. I look forward to continuing to leverage this visibility in the coming months to improve my skincare routine to remove small blemishes and acne as well as even my skin tone. How I will approach this is to be determined, but I will certainly be vetting some skincare papers and updating these notes with my findings.

Sensitivity

Overall my skin is far more sensitive. I think that I notice fluctuations in temperature more precisely than I did before, and the textures that my skin makes contact with are far more obvious. I'm glad I didn't opt for the cheap bedsheets this year - I don't know if I'd have enjoyed them with bare skin. Of vague concern is losing some sensitivity to touch overall because I'm more exposed in general - but I'm not certain that my body will accomodate in this way, as it hasn't so far.

I wouldn't say that the environment is necessarily more stimulating, though - previously, the friction of the hair itself was supplying some stimulation to my skin, but all of the stimulation now comes from whatever my skin is in contact with. This implicitly increases *awareness* of sensitivity but not sensitivity itself, I believe, as there is no more noise filter masking my skin from having some experiences.

Friction

I experience friction against my skin in a slightly different way. Prior to shaving, brushing my skin against itself was a bit of a coarse experience - my body hair would feel a bit 'rough' against itself - but I didn't feel any real friction.

Without this hair, bodily movement - particularly around the armpit area - feels much smoother most of the time, but there are particular movements involving lots of skin-to-skin contact that seem to cause my skin to stick to itself a bit - creating friction from skin to skin without the padding of hair to help reduce this.

Fortunately, shaven skin makes other processes far easier. Soap and sunscreen can be applied seamlessly - I no longer have to scrub them in and mitigate clumps of sunscreen in my hair, as there is nothing for the sunscreen to clump around. This significantly accelerates the process of showering, applying sunscreen and otherwise cleaning myself. Despite the time investment necessary to maintain a clean-shaven body, given how much more seamless other processes involving my skin have become, I believe that I'm actually saving time.

Closing

Shaving was an overall good decision. It's made me aware of minor flaws in my skin that I can now work to help rectify, and experiencing additional sensitivity gives me more information about my world, which is generally good! Maybe I'll be able to estimate temperature more accurately. Visually, it also reduces the noise that my skin has, which leaves room for more tattoos or outfits with far more detail. I'm looking forward to investigating.

2022-10-17 6435ed5