For many women, our first depilatory experience is with a surreptitiously borrowed razor from our mother, older sister, or perhaps even our father, skated over the first signs of adolescent fuzz. It’s usually messy, involving bloodshed, painful stinging and a haphazard result. And, for many women, the experience doesn’t improve much from there.
The global hair removal market is worth roughly £684 million, and as many as 1.2 million women in the U.K use hair removal products every day. And yet, the indignities are many, from the dreaded shaving rash to the bizarrely inflated price of women’s razors.
But a sea change is coming. The men’s shaving market has been undergoing a series of transformations, with disruptors such as Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club who offer shaving subscriptions being valued at roughly £1.1 billion and £778 million respectively. Now, it might finally be our turn – Friction Free Shaving offer a shaving plan with a new ergonomically-designed razor delivered to your door for as little as £9 a month (we’re all changing our razors every month, right?).
Cruelty-free and with diamond-coated steel blades and free engraving, they’re certainly a more luxurious option than many. Dollar Shave Club says its products are unisex, noting that the Executive Razor is especially popular with women. Another female-focused box from the US, Billie, made headlines in 2018 for actually daring to show women with hair shaving in their adverts, rather than just a razor gliding over an already-smooth leg.
Meanwhile, Shave Works offer hair removal products that feel more like skincare – the Pearl Polish and Pearl Souffle Shave Cream are distinctly feminine and designed to help depilate large, slightly more complex areas like legs and knees. Likewise, Malin + Goetz Ingrown Hair Cream – slightly direct name aside – is presented in its typical clinical apothecary-esque packaging for use on bumps and rashes anywhere.
Finally, it’s smooth sailing ahead. Hair removal is always a choice, but at least now, that choice isn’t between a rock and a hard place.