Hair Removal Options for Men
Whether you are tussling with a few strays or are swamped by a nest of chest hair, you might want to look at an alternative hair removal treatment besides just shaving.
Everyday we meet men who are looking for efficient (and painless) ways to remove unwanted hair, and with a range of methods on the market it can be easy to become baffled by science or overwhelmed by a sales person.
First off ian important message we tell all of our clients is, if you are happy with you but you are undergoing a treatment for someone else think long and hard whether you should proceed, We firmly believe you should only ever get a treatment or procedure if you want to. This is particularly important with laser hair removal as it does permanently reduce hair growth - so when it's gone it's gone.
Next, it's important to know that there isn't one size fits all approach to hair removal. Some men may prefer the impermanence of shaving, others waxing and for some those looking for minimal pain with long-term results lasers might be the way forward. You have to choose the treatment most appropriate to you, and this is our guide to help you do just that.
Laser Hair Removal
Although it may sound scary, laser hair removal is actually one of the gentlest ways to remove unwanted hair. A wavelength of light hits the hair follicle which then inhibits the hair’s ability to grow, while the skin's surface may get warm during the treatment it remains unmarked and undamaged.
The treatment can be used anywhere on the body, but it is most commonly used on large areas such as the chest, stomach, back and shoulders. Laser hair treatments to the underarms and legs are also growing in popularity - particularly with sportsmen. As laser hair removal stops ingrown hairs, many men are also choosing to laser their necks.
However, not all hair colours are equal. Blonde, grey, light red or white hair cannot be as easily treated as they do not produce enough pigment for the laser to identify; the laser essentially cannot see light hair shades. Darker hair colours, on the other hand, get fantastic results.
Electrolysis destroys the growth centre of the hair follicle with chemical or heat energy from a laser. A very fine probe is inserted, and the hair is removed with tweezers. It is effective on most areas of the body and works especially well on small areas such as the ears, eyebrows and feet.
One of the benefits of choosing electrolysis over laser hair removal is that it suits all hair and skin types. This is because it targets the hair follicle, rather than hair pigment. However, at least ten treatments are needed for best results and skin can become discoloured if not treated by a top professional.
Waxing might cause a yelp or two, but it's a common way for men to start their hair removal journey before undergoing more permanent treatments, such as laser hair removal or electrolysis. Waxing is popular thanks to being relatively cheap and its ease; it is effective on all hair types and colours, and the treatment itself is very straightforward.
After the hair has grown (waxing cannot be performed on short hair) hot wax, with a sticky honey-like look and consistency, is placed on the areas to be treated. A piece of linen is firmly placed over the wax and then pulled off in a fast motion; the procedure is repeated until the area is smooth.
Waxing works best on small areas of the body, such as eyebrows, ears, neck, legs, underarms and arms. However, try to avoid waxing sensitive areas such as the groin, and places where thick or coarse hair grows, as this can make the treatment more painful.
After the treatment the skin tends to be sensitive and a little red, with little red spots where the waxing has occurred. In between treatments it’s important to use an exfoliant and loofah mitt to prevent ingrown hairs between waxes.
Hair removal creams are a pain-free way to remove body hair. Small areas of the body such as armpits, hands, feet and the lower stomach and easily accessible areas, such as legs, are best for hair removal creams. We would not advise using hair removal cream around the groin or on the back (without assistance).
Hair removal creams dissolve the hair just below the surface of the skin, unlike shaving which slices through the hair just above the level of the skin. This means that you can remain stubble free for up to four days. Most hair removal creams are found on the high street, so you don’t need to make an appointment to get rid of unwanted body hair.
If you choose to use a cream be sure to check for scars, moles, broken and sunburnt skin before applying hair removal cream and try to avoid these areas. As the treatment is chemically based we recommend a test patch before usage to check it doesn't irritate the skin, and do not keep the product on longer than advised!
Realistically this isn't a new notion for you, so a little maths instead... a reasonable disposable razors costs on average £1 and a razor lasts for approximately three chest hair shaves. Additionally it takes about 5 minutes a day, if you're avoiding undesirable stubble. So, two razors and 35 minutes a week for 25 years would cost £2600 and takes over 750 hours. Laser hair removal for 8 treatments to the chest costs £760 and will take less than six hours. As for back shaving... if you figure out a way to do that without a little help please tell us how! We'll leave it there.
Looking for your practitioner.
The most important thing when looking for your hair removal practitioner is that you feel comfortable to ask questions both before and after your treatment, and that you're happy and confident with the person performing your treatments.
We also think it's important to be transparent with pricing. We believe in gender equality which is why we don't have 'male' and 'female' pricing. Yes our pricing tool asks you to select your sex, but it purely for illustrative purposes - if you don't believe us feel free to get a quote for the opposite sex. Check that your chosen provider can say the same.
Still not convinced by laser hair removal?
Many of our Laser Hair Removal patients are male, including Olympic athletes Pete Waterfield (diver) and Louis Smith (gymnast). We were lucky enough to do a Q&A session with Louis to find out what he thought about the treatment.
He said: “I’ve never been a fan of chest hair. […] I didn’t want to shave my chest as I know it just grows back thicker and hairier, which would be worse in the long run. So, I decided to do some research into Laser Hair Removal and it seemed to be a fairly pain-free option for permanent hair reduction, so I thought, why not give it a go?
“When looking for reputable places to go for it, The Harley Medical Group came highly recommended.
“The nurse was very professional and put me at ease from the moment I walked in, so I knew I was in good hands. I expected the treatment to be a little bit painful to be honest but although it was a little tingly, I didn’t have anything to worry about – it was fine!
“I was really impressed with the results even after one session and saw a noticeable reduction in hair and my chest and stomach was so much smoother already, so I knew this was going to work for me. […] I am looking forward to seeing my bare chest in the coming months.”
Don't take Louis's word for it though? If you have any laser hair removal questions come and meet a member of the team for a free, no obligation, consultation.