Fear of Razors

It can be a chore to take the time, and exercise the patience needed to shave either face or legs. Anyone who has ever shaved knows there will be moments of carelessness that can result in temporary wounds. While most live with this scenario there are those who live in fear of the razor. This phobic response is known as Xyrophobia.

Razors were designed to provide a close shave with minimal instances of injury, but for some people the risk seems too high.

What Causes Xyrophobia?

You’ve heard the old saying, “Fool me once – shame on you. Fool me twice – shame on me”. It’s a similar saying for some who shave; “Cut me once – shame on you. Cut me twice – shame on me.” Essentially this means that a phobic individual may be able to live with a cut while shaving on occasion early on. However, when it becomes apparent that there may be ongoing instances they can become very gun shy and resist or even refuse to shave due to the potential for personal harm. They may imagine the worse and believe that they may injure themselves so severely they may die from the wound or possible infection. This can be true of both men and women.

In many cases this fear is developed based on personal experience alone although it is possible the fear can be introduced.

Symptoms of Xyrophobia

One of the most ready signs of Xyrophobia is the the phobic personality will resist shaving and watching others shave. They may sport a full beard if they are male or unshaven legs if they are female (this is usually concealed by full length pants).

Other symptoms may also include….

  • Social anxiety
  • Air hunger
  • Trembling
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Avoidance
  • Panic attacks
  • Crying

Strangely some of the symptoms related to this fear are moments of embarrassment. The fear is debilitating enough, but the embarrassment adds a unique texture to the downward spiral that often includes self-loathing and personal frustration.

How to Overcome Xyrophobia

It can be difficult to process a potential solution to this fear when it seems that the very thing you fear can lead to death. Perhaps some believe it is better to grow a beard than to risk death.

It can help if the one with Xyrophobia can come to terms with the facts that indicate any wound with a razor is generally superficial in nature and most often results in complete healing. There may be a compromise in the potential use of things like an electric razor that cannot cut the skin, and for women hair removal foams that eliminate unwanted hair without the need to shave.

A qualified therapist can help get to the root of the originating fear because it is very likely that a fear of razors is the start of your fearful tendencies. The therapist can work to locate those issues that cause you anxiety and work with you to develop a better response.

The fear of razors is also referred to as:

  • Razor fear
  • Xyrophobia
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