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How Hair Removal Improves Athletic Performance?

By Alex Bakhovsky
December 18, 2023
7 minutes
How Hair Removal Improves Athletic Performance

When athletes think of improving their performance, they tend to focus on the physical aspects. However, removing unwanted hair from their body can also play a critical role in optimizing an athlete’s skills and improving their overall performance. From shaving off seconds when running track to streamlining swimming techniques, having smooth skin has been proven to give athletes that little bit of extra edge which can make all the difference between winning and losing. 

Table of Contents:

The Role of Hair in Human Physiology

The Role of Hair in Human PhysiologyHair plays a significant role in the human body and its physiology. It acts as a protective barrier from UV radiation, external abrasions, as well as extreme temperatures. Moreover, it affects how heat moves across the body – for instance, when swimming, having less hair reduces the drag on the body – paving the way for faster swimming times.  Having thinner hair leads to improved aerodynamics. This advantage can be seen while running track or participating in cycling races. It has been reported that athletes with more facial hair are perceived as being more aggressive while playing sports- thus improving their overall performance. 

Historical Context of Hair Removal in Sports

Historical Context of Hair Removal in SportsHair removal for athletes has been practiced for centuries, dating back to ancient civilizations like the Greeks and Romans. Back then, it was believed that removing all body hair aided athletes in achieving faster running speeds from having less air resistance on their bodies during competitions. Over time, different cultures have adopted various methods and processes for hair removal such as waxing, threading, shaving, tweezing, and depilatory creams to prepare their competitors to dramatically increase their performance levels. 

Types of Hair Removal Techniques Used by Athletes

The type of hair removal technique used by athletes largely depends on the activity they are planning to participate in and the amount of body hair they have to remove. Below we will look at five popular methods of hair removal employed by competitive athletes today. 

  1. Shaving

ShavingOne of the most common forms of hair removal athletes use is shaving with a razor or electric shaver. This method offers great precision, convenience, and speed but can leave behind irritation and unsightly stubble when not done properly.  Professional swimmers tend to opt for this method due to their need for a smooth consistent skin surface while competing in pools with chlorinated water. It reduces friction significantly thus aiding in faster swimming times. 

  1. Waxing

Waxing has become an increasingly popular method amongst athletes for longer-lasting results. It’s also becoming increasingly viable due to the development of advanced cooling systems which reduce pain associated with waxing processes drastically. Alongside facial contouring waxing is commonly used on certain parts of runners’ bodies such as their legs and arms. This helps them achieve a more streamlined appearance while participating in events like marathons or triathlons where the slightest details can make all the difference between winning or losing.  

  1. Depilatories

DepilatoriesCreams-based depilation techniques offer excellent results albeit with potential side effects such as skin irritations particularly when used incorrectly or too often. They take effect almost immediately but unfortunately wear off rapidly as well leaving you to start from scratch pretty soon after your last application session was completed! 

  1. Threading

Threading is another form of professional hair removal option quite popular amongst high-profile female athletes engaged in various sports including figure skating, ballet dancing, and synchronized swimming at a competitive level for instance– its main advantages are accuracy, minimal discomfort, and the minor chance for skin damage inflicted post-procedure.   

  1. Laser Hair Removal

Ulike Sapphire Air3 IPL Hair Removal DeviceLast but not least, laser hair removal has been gaining increased acceptance within athletic circles thanks to its low maintenance & no pain features plus relatively long-term outcome periods associated (depending on the desired area treated). However, this treatment does require an initial time investment every 2-3 months during which sessions must be attended weekly for best results according to medical experts located around the world! 

We recommend trying Ulike Air 3 IPL Hair Removal Device in your hair removal journey.

Aerodynamic Benefits

Aerodynamic BenefitsRemoving body hair can improve an athlete’s performance in a variety of sports, from running to swimming. Shaving as little as 1 mm from the skin surface could reduce aerodynamic drag by up to 8%. This means that athletes who practice regular hair removal could potentially shave valuable seconds or even minutes off their race times!  

Less hair on the body translates into improved hydrodynamic performance when swimming, allowing swimmers to move through the water faster and with more precision thanks to less friction.  

Accurately calibrated wind tunnel tests carried out on runners who had just shaved their legs showed a 5% reduction in overall air resistance compared to those who did not shave at all. 

This was attributed to cleaner airflow around smoother shapes such as legs with lower amounts of hair clogging up streamlines and thus negatively impacting the total time taken for a run, especially during long-distance events where every second counts!  

Also, sprinting becomes more difficult after periods without any shaving due to increased levels of dragging your feet instead causing them to fatigue prematurely – forcing you to stop midway through the event if left untreated! 

Hygienic Advantages

Hygienic AdvantagesHair removal helps athletes with proper hygiene management both pre and post-events and activities as many of them use open or semi-open public facilities when engaging in sports-related endeavors– thus having less hair can potentially reduce chances for catching illnesses such as lice, ringworm, and staph infections just to name few.  

Dirt and sweat accumulation is also prevented by getting rid of excess unwanted hairs which if left untouched could end up leading to more serious health issues in the future if not dealt with properly now!   It should also be mentioned that irritation & itching sensations felt while exercising due to accumulated sweat seem drastically lowered by implementing hair removal processes beforehand – allowing athletes to perform better without any distractions whatsoever!  

Thermoregulatory Effects

Thermoregulatory EffectsThe process of hair removal has also been found to affect thermoregulation within the human body significantly due to its direct effect on heat transfer and dissipating mechanisms throughout our systems. When engaging in sports-related activities, having less hair allows for improved blood flow resulting in better oxygenation & nutrient transportation within various muscle groups – enabling athletes to achieve optimal levels of performance during aerobic exercises such as marathons, triathlons, etc!   

Furthermore, removing hair from the face can also potentially reduce overheating issues suffered during warmer climates which would explain why professional swimmers opt for this option while competing under those types of conditions internationally!  

Additional air pockets created as a result of smooth surfaces produced with clean-shaven bodies allow athletes to get needed cooling effects when temperatures reach high levels outdoors or inside sporting arenas – thus benefiting them greatly with regards to how their body reacts to the chemically and physically same environment routinely experienced by competitive sports enthusiasts around the world today!   

Psychological Factors

Psychological FactorsFinally, having a shaved body has been linked to improved psychological states and self-confidence that can positively affect an athlete’s performance. Having less hair on the body can make athletes feel lighter and more agile when participating in activities or events. It also allows them to move quicker due to less drag on their bodies – making it easier for them to perform at their peak levels without worry of feeling uncomfortable or awkward during competition.

Also, increased levels of self-confidence accompany the hair removal process over time. This has been linked as well with greater motivation & focus among many athletes which can help tremendously when aiming at achieving certain goals ranging from breaking personal records to competing internationally!  

Potential Risks 

Potential RisksAlthough hair removal has been found to have numerous benefits for athletes, there are still potential risks associated with removing body hair. Waxing, in particular, can lead to irritations or redness on the skin due to the ripping of hairs directly from their follicles. In some cases, this painful sensation can even leave scars if done improperly or without enough preparation beforehand. 

Laser hair removal is also known to cause pigmentation and other skin conditions if not applied correctly by a professional – thus proper procedures must always be followed when engaging in this type of treatment!

Moreover, allergies-related depilatory creams and lotions must also be taken into account as shocking sensations a few hours after application can surely disrupt any kind of already established routine athlete is engaged in to maximize their overall performance when needed so don’t forget those before heading out of competition either!


Hair removal can be a powerful tool for athletes to optimize their performance levels and reduce friction when engaging in various sports-related activities. Improved aerodynamics, hygienic advantages, thermoregulatory effects, and psychological factors associated with this process have been proven to give athletes an edge in the competitive arena. 

Several hair removal techniques can be used including shaving, waxing, depilatory creams, threading, and laser hair removal. However, potential risks still exist so individuals should educate themselves on the procedure first before going through any of these treatments. Good luck & happy training everybody!

Alex Bakhovsky
Greetings, I am Alex Bakhovsky, a fervent health and fitness enthusiast with a profound ardor for enhancing the overall well-being of both ordinary individuals and elite athletes. My ultimate goal is to disseminate this passion and knowledge to a wider audience, including yourself. With over five years of experience as a certified personal trainer and nutritionist, I have acquired a wealth of practical knowledge and skills that enable me to provide comprehensive guidance and support to my clients in achieving their fitness and wellness goals.
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