the book that questions about female hair


“Let’s talk about hair! Is one of our favorite books for the summer of 2021. The two journalists behind the Instagram account of the same name, Juliette Lenrouilly and Léa Taieb, have concocted this little feminist manifesto, with all the tools to better understand and normalize the female hair. Their goal is that more and more women and gender minorities can make the choice, in an uninhibited way, to wax or not. They speak as much of a hair revolution as of complete laser hair removal.

The female hair, a subject at the heart of the debates

It is one of the first books on the subject. The authors of “Parlons poil!” »Are Juliette Lenrouilly and Léa Taieb, both journalists, behind the activist Instagram account of the same name. On this account, they deconstruct preconceived ideas about female hair, in the world of art, sociology, science, media and advertising. They share their research to a predominantly feminist community, through educational and funny content.

From this account resulted the creation of this work, in which they paint a complete portrait of a simple anatomical reality at the heart of current debates: the female hair. Since January 2019, the two activists have collected several thousand testimonies in this regard from women and men, anonymous, personalities, researchers, for question their relationship to female hair. With the results of their investigation and all their knowledge acquired during their work, they published this work, released on April 22 published by Massot.

Discover the book

Learn more about your body and your place in society

The authors denounce a real lack of knowledge about the usefulness of hair today. Finally, few people hear it that way, but the bristles are above all a protective barrier. In the book, we learn, for example, that armpit hair helps regulate our body temperature, we also discover the origins of male domestication of female hair, since antiquity. Historical anecdotes, anthropological research, sociological experiences … in short, we get to know our body better, its place in our society, and to come to terms with its hair.

“The purpose of our investigation, is not to encourage to wax or not to wax, but to encourage to make a choice”, they explain to HuffPost


80% of French women say they have unpilated armpits

On the one hand, the magazine covers and body positive advertising always advocates more body diversity. Activist and educational content on the benefits of hair has multiplied in recent years, especially on Instagram and TikTok. The free coat, assumed and enhanced is also a trend among stars. One thinks in particular of the singer Miley Cyrus, who had proudly posted armpits tinted pink on Instagram, and imitated by the singer of reggaeton Bad Bunny. Note that the latter received much less insults and many more messages of admiration for his act.

However, the question of female emancipation through hair removal is not unanimous. According to a Glossybox survey carried out in 2017, these are nearly 80% of French women who say they are against the return of unpilated armpits. In addition, the depilatory market is doing very well, and many people continue to associate female hair with something “manly” or “dirty”, “unhygienic”.

The injunction to hair removal always present

Published just before summer 2021, it is right to face the dictates of the Summer Body and in particular the injunction to a non-existent or infantile hairiness in women and adolescent girls. So of course in our time no one puts a knife to a woman’s throat if she dares to let the hairs grow. But all the same, we are going to decree that she is dirty, that she does not take care of her. In this sense, the two authors agree on the fact that female hair removal is a mental load for the woman, and a real injunction.

“Women are not free to do what they want with their hair and their body. If they decide to keep their hair, they are exposed to harassment, gender-based violence and humiliation on a daily basis. Even in the professional context, we can blackmail them in a way: if they do not shave, they damage the reputation of the company. Even the employer has a say in the woman’s body, ”Léa tells Konbini.

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