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Being hairy can either be a good thing or a bad thing. It can be a good thing if you're talking about the hair on the top of your head, and not so much of a good thing when "hairy" refers to other body parts that you think might benefit from a little clean-up. Whether one is too hairy or not hairy enough is really a matter of personal taste, albeit one that has been influenced by society. Our outlook is affected by the media when it promotes images of beautiful people with smooth, hairless bodies or products and services that remove hair from different parts of the body.

It is also a matter of sex. Most women don't want to be hairy on any place but their head. For men, the issue is more complicated. For some, being hairy is a positive sign of masculinity. Others prefer to have less hair. Definition also varies. Hairy could mean having a lot of facial hair, or hairy could mean having an abundance of hair on the arms, legs, chest and other areas.

Cultural significance of being hairy

There is also a racial and cultural component to how hairy a person is, and whether he or she accepts that hairiness or not. The amount of hairiness that people find acceptable in specific areas of the body - head, face (eyebrows, nose hair, upper lip, chin, ears), shoulders, back, torso, arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, pubic area and buttocks - varies with each culture, social group, and individual.

The quality of being hairy has also given rise to many industries that cater to the need for either more hair or less. There are products available out there both for people who think they're too hairy and for people who think they're not hairy enough. For those who want to be more hairy, there are medications and tonics available that reverse hair loss and promote hair growth on the head.

Hair removal products

For those who want to be less hairy, there are depilatories such as creams and waxes. They can also resort to several methods of removing unwanted hair from their bodies, such as shaving, waxing, and tweezing. They can also undergo epilation procedures (which remove the entire hair, even the part of the hair below the surface of the skin, and so last longer than depilation) such as electrolysis and laser treatments.

But whether you are too hairy or not hairy enough, at least you can now do something about it. For those who want to lessen their being hairy, there are hair removal ointments and other products available in beauty stores. These products can also be purchased online.

Hairy Articles

Hairy-nosed Wombats Or Hard-nosed Pollies, Ken?

KEN Henry must wish he was still far from Canberra caring for a colony of hairy-nosed wombats - which, as it happens, is precisely how he spent his five-week holiday during the winter.

Feminism Depends On Hairy Choices

Feminists should fight the hairy-legged lesbian stereotype because it alienates the young ones, says Monica Dux, the co-author of The Great Feminist Denial. I say the problem with Australian feminism is not hairy lesbians, but the movement's penchant for replacing them with suburban mums.

A New Ford, A New Star

Here comes Hairy Tongue, writes Alyssa Braithwaite.

Critic's View - Wednesday, August 1

The Hairy Bikers Ride Again

Humans, Lice Go Way Back

WHEN your children scratch their heads, blame the Neanderthals: research suggests that modern head lice are descended from nits carried by these hairy, extinct humans.