Body Hair Removal for Men
Tired of back hair? More men than ever are choosing to take it off, and they have several options in their quest. Whether it is hair on your back, chest, arms, or genital area, there are options men have for hair removal.
Laser TreatmentLaser hair removal may be one reason more men are talking to their doctors about hair removal. With laser treatment, heat from lasers are used to kill hair follicles. However, laser treatments aren't for everyone. Laser treatments work best on light-skinned, dark-haired people. Make sure you're a good candidate for this procedure before you commit to it.Laser hair removal facilities can be found almost anywhere. When you are shopping around, keep in mind that the American Academy of Dermatology advises choosing an experienced healthcare provider. Laser treatment should be done with or under the direct supervision of a dermatologist , or a doctor with proper training and experience.Side effects of this treatment include:
- Skin discoloration
ElectrolysisFor those with light hair or dark skin, electrolysis may work. Electrolysis involves inserting a needle into one hair follicle at a time, destroying each with an electrical current. Before you decide on electrolysis, you may want to consider the good and the bad.The good:
- If done correctly, hair removal is permanent.
- Unlike other methods, electrolysis works on all types of hair.
- It works well for small areas that need detail work, such as eyebrows or underarm hair.
- Despite the sanitized needle, there is a risk of infection.
- It takes time. As mentioned, electrolysis is done on one hair follicle at a time. Depending on the area you want work done on, time can add up quickly.
- Because of time, electrolysis is not a good option on large areas of the body.
- It may be uncomfortable. The sensation is much like a rubber band snapping your skin
WaxingFor the man whose threshold for pain is higher than his bank balance, waxing is always an option. Waxing is relatively inexpensive and can be done in a salon or at home. However, even men who rip off bandages with gusto may think twice before waxing. Hot wax is applied to the skin and allowed to cool. Once hardened, the wax is ripped off taking the hair along with it.Waxing is good for both small and large areas of the body. It can tweak a unibrow, and remove back and facial hair. The effects are smooth and clean, and the results can last up to six weeks.If you choose to wax at home, be careful not to wax over moles or warts, and do not put the wax on so hot that you burn your skin.
DepilatoriesIf none of these procedures appeal, a man can always purchase a depilatory (like Nair or Neet), which dissolves hair.Depilatories can be used on chests and backs, but they do not compare to a good shave for facial hair. Several days may pass before you need to reapply a depilatory.To prevent an allergic reaction, apply some to the underside of your wrist, before applying it to your body. Also, follow the instructions on the bottle closely if you leave a depilatory on too long it may leave your skin with a chemical burn.Depilatories may leave your skin feeling itchy and tingly, and may also require more than one application, but re-applying may lead to chemical burn.
The American Academy of Dermatology
Hair Removal Journal
Canadian Dermatology Association
Canadian Organization of Professional Electrologists
Back waxing for men. Hair Removal HQ for men website. Available at: http://hairremovalformenhq.com/content/back-waxing-men . Accessed July 17, 2013.
Electrolysis hair removal. Hair Removal HQ for Men website. Available at: http://hairremovalformenhq.com/content/electrolysis-hair-removal . Accessed July 17, 2013.
Getting rid of hair. Nemours Teen Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/teen/your%5Fbody/skin%5Fstuff/hair%5Fremoval.html . Updated October 2011. Accessed July 17, 2013.
Laser hair removal. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/cosmetic-treatments/laser-hair-removal . Accessed July 17, 2013.
Treating excess body hair could remedy a hairy situation. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.aad.org/stories-and-news/news-releases/treating-excess-body-hair-could-remedy-a-hairy-situation . Published March 16, 2013. Accessed July 17, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 07/2013
- Update Date: 07/17/2013