It could be time to bin your razor as growing numbers of women leave their body hair au naturel.

They are tiring of the pressure to shave, pluck and groom so their underarms and legs stay perfectly smooth.

And the trend for celebrities to bare their own body hair appears to have had an emboldening effect, especially among younger women.

Eighty-three per cent of those aged 16 to 24 agree there is too much pressure on them to remove or groom their body hair, according to retail analysts Mintel.


It said sales of women's razors and hair removal products fell by over £30million in 2016.

Mintel said the popularity of removing underarm hair among young women is definitely waning. In 2014, 84 per cent removed it compared to 77 per cent in 2016.

The numbers getting rid of leg hair also fell from 91 per cent to 85 per cent. There was a similar pattern for those aged 24 to 44.

When Julia Roberts flashed her underarm hair on the red carpet at the premiere of the film Notting Hill in 1999 it was considered the ultimate fashion faux pas.

But today a refusal to shave is championed by ordinary women on social media as well as stars including Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Madonna and daughter Lourdes.

Lady Gaga and Miss Cyrus have gone as far as dyeing their underarm hair, drawing even more attention to the debate.

Roshida Khanom, associate director for beauty and personal care at Mintel, said: "There have been a number of campaigns encouraging people to embrace the au naturel look. In January 2016 it was reported that a number of women were taking to Instagram to celebrate their unshaven legs and armpits, including by dyeing their underarm hair."

Jack Duckett, of Mintel, said: "There has been an increasingly relaxed attitude towards hair removal in recent years, both in the women's and men's market.

"Much of this can be attributed to fashion trends, as men and women embrace a more natural look, while moving away from the need to look immaculately presented.

"Certainly, this has been reinforced by images of a number of celebrities who have appeared with body hair, which has been considered controversial in the past. The trend is observable for both genders but it has been perhaps more notable for women, as it largely contradicts the long-term fashion trend for women to be hair-free."

Mintel also looked at men's body hair - with worrying results for those sporting beards.

Some 48 per cent of women and 44 per cent of men said too many men have beards.

Half of the women polled did not believe that beards were sexy.