Leg hair sock life hack?
February 15, 2018 6:42 PM   Subscribe

Leg-hair-havers: I’ve recently stopped shaving my legs. It has been long enough that the blunt ended hairs that once were shaved are gone, so it’s not just long stubble, its unadulterated leg hair, if that makes sense. I do have relatively thick hair, both in diameter and amount. I absolutely cannot stand the feeling of my hair squished against the grain when I wear tall socks. Am I missing something? How do y’all with leg hair manage to wear anything but ankle socks? Or should I just give up and start shaving again?
posted by Grandysaur to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I haven't shaved consistently since I was in high school - I generally wear relatively cheap socks with forgiving elastic (think those packs of 6 pair black cotton socks at Target) and those don't trouble me. Hose, snug leggings, etc remain unbearable.
posted by restless_nomad at 6:48 PM on February 15, 2018

I have gorilla legs. I have found that the feeling is worse as the hair is growing in and after a while you get desensitized to it getting moved all around but it may take a while. Also some of the hair that gets really rubbed on (shins especially) can sometimes rub off over time?
posted by jessamyn at 6:53 PM on February 15, 2018 [8 favorites]

No direct help, but my leg hair hasn't been shaved in...years, I'm wearing well above the ankle socks at this exact moment (and really love wearing knee highs a lot of the time), and even sitting here and focussing attention on my legs, I literally cannot tell that there is anything between my socks and my skin. Another vote for "you may well just get used to it; maybe try another week or two?"
posted by annabear at 7:33 PM on February 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

I haven't shaved in maybe 2 years, and I honestly don't even feel it at all. No shave no shaaaame
posted by fairlynearlyready at 7:33 PM on February 15, 2018 [4 favorites]

Another vote for “you get used to it,” and also a question for you: why are you wearing tall socks? Is that something you could adjust—either with ankle socks, no socks, or full-on stockings?

As a femme leg-hair-haver, I find that the only time I wear tall socks is for warmth when I’m working at home or going to bed, and it is comfortable. But when it doesn’t feel right it’s usually because my skin is dry. Try moisturizing with a really thick lotion or balm, and see if that helps.
posted by witchen at 7:43 PM on February 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

How do y’all with leg hair manage to wear anything but ankle socks?

I have the opposite issue, when I try on ankle socks they feel totally wrong, tight around my feet and nothing above the ankle.

As someone who has never shaved their legs, I'd say I mostly don't notice the socks/leg hair interface. I think it is pretty much whatever you are used to -- I've always worn socks, so they don't bother me, but on the rare occasions that I wear long underwear, the feel of those over my leg hair is just awful. So I think your answer is to either keep at it until it feels normal, or go back to shaving; there's not likely to be a middle option.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:12 PM on February 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

I can't handle it at all, just thinking about it makes me hyperventilate. BUT, I also can't wear hats that crush my head hair against my head, and I have been like this since I was a furious baby who tore my tiny hats off my head while screaming and purple-faced, only calming once I threw them to the ground. If you don't have these kinds of hair-pressed-against-flesh aversions to the degree that it literally gives you hives, you will probably get used to it.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:27 PM on February 15, 2018 [4 favorites]

As a guy who has never shaved my legs, what jessamyn said about rubbing off over time. I no longer have much hair at all on my legs below mid calf. Admittedly, it did take about 3 decades to happen, but...

Also, it is like wearing long sleeves with hair on your arms. Eventually, you just get used to it. I say hang in there for a few more weeks at least.
posted by AugustWest at 8:54 PM on February 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Having usually worn calf socks for the first 20ish years of my life, no hair ever grew below the sock line. Eventually it will stop growing and the existing hairs will fall out and no more problems.

Thing is, you have to be a dedicated sock wearer for it to work that way. I've always hated being totally barefoot, so I tend to have a pair on 23.5 hours a day or thereabouts. I think the constant (hopefully very light) pressure has something to do with it.
posted by wierdo at 9:11 PM on February 15, 2018

I give up shaving for the whole winter almost every year and yeah, you have to wait and desensitise somewhat. But I've found using a beard oil or other moisturiser can help, as I feel like that mid point between "grown out but previously shaved hair" and "well seasoned long-term legfuzz" tends to mean dry skin and super blunt/course hairs. Massaging in some oil can really soften up the hair and make you shed some old hair, which can massively reduce itch. You've basically have to encourage your hair to molt. God, being a mammal is weird.
posted by InkDrinker at 10:55 PM on February 15, 2018 [11 favorites]

If the socks stay up well, you simply stretch them a little too far up the leg, then let them slide back to position. Voila, hair is now comfortably moved back down straight against the leg. At least that's what I've always done.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 1:54 AM on February 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

^ or stretch them a little too wide and kind of roll them up your leg.
posted by eviemath at 3:26 AM on February 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thirding moisturizing. Recommend this in combination with rubbing the hairs downward with the lotion then stretching the socks out wide as you pull them on to mostly preserve the hair lying flat in the direction it grows.
posted by Waiting for Pierce Inverarity at 3:49 AM on February 16, 2018

I am currently a year-round leg-shaver but I used to grow out my (lush and generous) leg hair in winter and wear tights. Yes, it feels weird at first.

In addition to moisturizing, I recommend exfoliating - shaving exfoliates really effectively and it’s one of the thing I notice/miss when I’m not shaving. The hairs feel more “free” to me when I’ve exfoliated.
posted by mskyle at 4:59 AM on February 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'm a guy in my late 30s, so I've been wearing socks over leg hair for about 25 years, and this still happens to me. Not often (especially now, because I pretty much exclusively wear ankle socks these days), but when it does, it makes it difficult to concentrate on anything else. (I will say, be thankful if you don't have a hairy instep; that's even worse.) Aside from the aforementioned ankle socks, the get-it-to-stop-growing crowd has a good point. I've spent a lot of time in hockey skates that rubbed off a lot of the hair on my lower legs. But aside from that, I don't know what to tell you. I suspect that this is one of the reasons that people who stop shaving eventually start again.
posted by kevinbelt at 5:35 AM on February 16, 2018

Not only moisturize them, but give them a good exfoliation before that.
posted by jgirl at 6:50 AM on February 16, 2018

Moisturizing is key, but you can run a beard trimmer down your lower legs every couplethree weeks to keep the hair short enough not to work its way through your socks. Much less hassle than shaving, avoids the ouchiness of having your hair caught between socks and boots, no waiting period required.
posted by asperity at 7:57 AM on February 16, 2018

Trans guy here so I went from always shaving to never shaving. Yeah, you get used to it, but in the transitional stage (heh) I would put lotion on my calves. You can also get silk sock liners if it's cold enough for that where you are. I'm guessing fleece or fleece lined leggings would feel nice too but I haven't tried them.
posted by AFABulous at 8:15 AM on February 16, 2018

I don't feel the need to shave, in general, but my lower legs stay shaved now because I had to switch to pressure socks. My hairs are painful if left intact and bent backwards. You are not alone.
posted by k8oglyph at 8:19 AM on February 16, 2018

It doesn't get better, at least in my case I can say that socks never become comfortable over leg hair. It's why I don't wear socks to bed, or if i can at all help it really. Clearly YMMV, some people seem to have less problems, but here's a data point that it hasn't ever been better for me.
posted by Carillon at 9:14 AM on February 16, 2018

The hair in my sock regions is pretty sparse, but I did just start buying plus-size crew socks (specifically Hanes for women's shoe size 8-12) and have a lot less sensory weirdness from them than regular size socks. I think the crew height means they're not messing with the really long, thick hair on my shins, but they're also not too squeezy on my lower legs.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:21 AM on February 16, 2018

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