Us men are hairy creatures, and while body hair is often deemed more acceptable for men than it is for women, there’s a fine line between what’s sexy and what’s not.
What’s the best hair removal method for men? You’ve got a few options to choose from. But unlike women, many of whom have primed for hair removal since high school, you might be new to removing hair from your increasingly hairy body. Not to worry. Let’s review some common ways to remove body hair, from which you can choose the best hair removal method for your needs.
Laser Hair Removal
What It Is: This procedure penetrates the hair shaft and kills the root with a laser, though notably it does not kill the follicle, which is where the hair starts. Men tend to get hairier with age, which can necessitate multiple treatments.
Good For: Chest, back, shoulders, and genital area. This is a good hair removal method for men looking to either thin body hair or remove it completely.
Cost: Between $400 and $500 per treatment.
How Long Does It Last?: Most men require five to eight treatments. Once completed, the results are usually permanent. Annual or bi-annual touch-ups are sometimes required.
Further Notes: Laser hair removal works best on light skin with dark hair, and does not work on blonde, white or grey hair, as they don’t have the pigmentation required for the procedure to work.
What It Is: You’re probably familiar with the old-school waxes that stuck to the user’s body hair for removal with an adhesive strip. Today’s waxes are often based on soy, which cling to hair, but not the skin, for removal with cloth strips.
Good For: Eyebrows, especially the ‘uni-brow’, neck, legs, arms and underarms.
Cost: Between $10 and $70, depending on what you need done.
How Long Does It Last?: Four to six weeks.
Further Notes: If you’ve never been waxed, it’s best to have this done in a salon for the first few treatments. Not all salons do a full-body wax. And remember that waxing can lead to skin infections, so follow the after-care instructions.
What It Is: A razor with inch-and-a-half thick wide blades, and hinged handles a foot-and-a-half wide, which allow you to grab the razor like a shower brush and literally shave your back and shoulders.
Good For: Back, shoulders and buttocks. You could shave your genital region, but it’s not recommended because…well you get the idea.
Cost: You can get a razor for under $40. Blades and shaving cream are sometimes included.
How Long Does It Last?: A few days at best.
Further Notes: While effective, this form of back shaving can cause ingrown hairs. Works best when the hair is wet, and it is even advisable to shave in the shower.
Depilatories/Cream Hair Removers
What It Is: A chemical compound in a cream or gel that attacks and dissolves the proteins in body hair, causing them to fall out.
Good For: Back, arms, shoulders and legs. Not recommended for the more sensitive skin of the genital area.
Cost: A home kit will run between $10 and $20. In a salon the treatment will cost at least $25 and can top $50.
How Long Does It Last?: At least a week, but usually less than a month.
Further Notes: The chemicals in cream hair removers can irritate sensitive skin. If a product triggers itching, burning or redness, wipe it off quickly and don’t use it again. But be aware that products are often formulated with different concentrations, so feel free to try different creams. Look around for a product you like, as a quality cream can be an effective and convenient hair removal method.