From the longest time I can remember, I have been aware of my hairiness. I am of South Indian decent and Indian people tend to be a bit hairy. I don’t really know the why’s and how’s but that’s how it is.
I remember being in primary school and having really hairy legs and fantasising about the day when i could finally just remove it all.
I remember being in high school and my friends and I used to talk about our wax appointments and how we couldn’t wait to be old enough to go for laser hair removal because apparently the hair would grow back slower since our hair would already show signs of regrowth after just a few days after a wax appointment.
Now, after moving to Cape Town with its icy cold winters and having not shaved my legs for sometimes three or four months at a time while they were in hibernation during matric exams, and just in general being a bit more mature I understand that this is who I am.
Since I was born, I had really thick hair. My mom used to oil my hair before I went to school and it would take at least an hour to blow dry after washing. I used to look at other girls who had thinner hair and how much easier it was for them to manage and I envied it slightly. I reached a point where my hairiness started to make me resent my genes and why I had to look the way I did.
When I was in high school, the once extremely thick hair on my head started to fall, in clumps, every week and wouldn’t stop. My hair became so thin at one point that I got what I wanted for so long, thinner (seemingly more manageable) hair. That was my wake up call. All my life, while I hated how strenuous having thick hair was, people had praised me for it because they knew how lucky I was to have such luscious, healthy hair. Also, while I was losing hair on my head I wasn’t shedding hair on my arms and legs. My genetics weren’t changing, I would still stay hairy no matter what. Due to the poor maintenance of my hair, it just became damaged and destroyed. I slowly started realising that my hair was something that was part of what made me beautiful.
I’ll always have this large amount of hair waiting to sprout from below the topical layer of my skin and decorate my body. Bodily hair is actually quite fascinating how it’s there to protect us yet we treat it as if it’s a complete enemy.
Written by: Vidal Thaver
Photographed by: Jivan Thaver
Creative direction: Vidal Thaver