Hair removal for men is a booming business – back, chest, shoulders, even feet (Frodo-alert), all the while fighting to keep as much hair as we can up top.
And, cause not every system of hair removal for men is the ‘one’, making sense of the hairiness can be too much for some. From permanent to temporary, expensive to pretty cheap, here’s how to navigate the scary world of hair removal for men, leaving you with smooth, baby-ed skin that you’ll be a little happy camper in.
LASER HAIR REMOVAL
Despite the Star Wars name, laser is a fast and gentle way to remove unwanted hair with relatively permanent results. The laser uses a specific wavelength of light to target hair melanin, which is the compound that causes hair colour. “It works when a concentrated light hits the hair follicle,” adds Grammer. “This inhibits the hair’s ability to grow without disrupting or damaging the skin’s surface.”
A form of laser, electrolysis destroys the growth centre of the hair with chemical or heat energy. After a very fine probe is inserted into the hair follicle, the hair is then removed with tweezers.
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Best for: large areas as well as smaller, problem areas from men like ears, eyebrows and feet.
Pros: it suits all hair and skin types because it doesn’t target hair pigment (like laser treatment), but the follicle itself. It’s the most effective as a permanent hair removal solution for men.
Cons: multiple treatments are needed, making it extremely time consuming and expensive. Skin is known to get discoloured if not done to a high standard, so shop around before picking a therapist.
Ouch! Yes, the sticky, messy flesh-ripper has made many a man cry. While it still hurts, today’s waxing methods are far more upmarket and civilised, especially when you seek professional help.
Best for: small areas on the body and face such as eyebrows (both monobrows and shaping), hair on ears and neck, legs, underarms, and arms.
Pros: it suits all hair types and colours, and is a good precursor for men considering permanent hair removal via laser or electrolysis. Wax your hair off first to see if you like the look, before you hit laser.
Cons: The pain, oh, the pain. Especially for sensitive areas like the groin. The thicker or coarser the hair the more painful, and some men are prone to redness or bleeding.
Bit of a skirt when it comes to pain? Hair removal creams are a wax-free way to remove hair from the body.
Best for: small areas such as the armpits, hands or feet and lower stomach, where waxing hurts. Also, good for hard to reach areas such as the tops of the shoulders and
Pros: it’s relatively inexpensive and most creams can be bought from your local chemist or supermarket. And it’s quick and very DIY for a home-job. Plus, cream hair removal products do not affect hair thickness at all, meaning hair stays the same density. And, according to Veet, hair removal creams acts closer to the root, “with results that last up to twice as long as shaving.”
Cons: apply the cream, carefully! Once it’s on any area with hair, that hair is coming off, even if you try washing or wiping it away. It’s a cream with chemicals in it too, so do a skin sensitivity test before applying to a large part of your body. Finally, don’t apply over scars, moles, broken and sunburnt skin to avoid irritation.
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The oldest trick it the book, shaving is man’s best friend when it comes to grooming and is a proven and trusted hair remover for men.
Best for: easy to reach places where the hand can stay steady (shaving nicks aren’t nice, especially down ‘there’).
Pros: it’s one of the easiest ways to get rid of unwanted. And it’s cheap. Do it in the shower, which softens the skin and you’re also getting a clean.
Cons: shaving cuts hair off at the skin, not the root. Impatience will only lead to bloodshed, so shave slowly, especially over larger areas like the legs and shins.