For men, body hair was once a flagrant banner of one’s masculinity. Young boys often dream of growing beards and chest hair, as it was a ‘manly’ thing. On the flip side of the coin, women were obsessed with shaving and waxing all over the body – legs, arms, armpits, and bikini area.
But now, more and more men are shifting to the hair removal scene, with 50% of Brits saying that there is more pressure for men to remove or groom body hair. And no, it’s not just for the gay community. Straight guys are also diving into this habit.
Burning with questions? Read on to find out the deets on laser hair removal, and why it’s becoming mainstream for men.
What is laser hair removal? Does it hurt?
Removing hair through laser is done by beaming highly concentrated light into hair follicles. The laser is attracted to the color in the hair, so the greater the contrast between your skin and hair color, the better. The follicles absorb the light, destroying the hair. A few sessions are needed to achieve permanent hair reduction.
Hair can be removed just about anywhere, including the back, chest, armpits, stomach, legs, head, and even the genital area. Today, laser hair removal is one of the most popular treatments worldwide.
As for the pain involved in the procedure, it depends on your pain threshold and the kind of laser used. Most patients say that the pain is tolerable, and clinics can use a numbing cream if the patient desires. We can compare the sensation to a rubber band lightly snapping against the skin.
Why should I get laser hair removal?
Shaving and trimming is a common practice among men, but some opt for a permanent fix through laser treatment. Men have cited a few reasons for getting rid of unwanted body hair.
Excessive hair in the chest and back can be uncomfortable for some men. All that bushiness sometimes causes itch and irritation, especially during the summer. Shaving can be a chore for large areas like these, so laser hair removal is definitely a great option. Plus, since laser hair removal stops the hair from growing back, you don’t have to worry about those pesky ingrown hairs and potential nicks that you get from shaving.
Looking good is certainly one of the biggest reasons men want to remove hair. For the body-conscious, showing off that baby-smooth skin boosts self-confidence. Say, you’re a model or a fitness instructor. Those abs and muscles will look way better without the fuzz. But it doesn’t really matter if you flaunt your body a lot. Overall, getting rid of the fluff can help you feel more confident in your skin.
- Less groom time for athletes
Laser hair removal is an awesome treatment for athletes who want to reduce their groom time in their respective sports. Bodybuilders are common patients in clinics because less hair means more visually defined muscles. Cyclists experience sweat and irritation in their lower bodies because of tight cycling kits, with leg hairs making it worse. Swimmers also opt for hair removal, with the view that less hair saves a few seconds in the pool.
Generally, whatever sports you’re playing, getting hair removed lowers your risk of cuts, prevents unnecessary infection, and increases your body confidence.
- Facial grooming
If you get ingrown hairs or you just can’t stand shaving, laser treatment might be your new best friend. Experts also say that laser is the only way to effectively treat PFD (pseudofolliculitis barbae Opens a New Window. ), which are red, inflamed bumps that are caused by shaving. These bumps are essentially ingrown hairs that grows in different directions and may leave scars.
In addition, laser hair removal also helps to shape your beard. This means lesser grooming time, and you don’t have to shave constantly.
Which body parts can I get hair removed?
Statistics say that more and more men are getting the courage to go hair-free. While you can remove hair from practically anywhere, here are the top five body parts where men get hair removed, according to the 2014 survey conducted in the UK.
- Head – 55% of men reported that they have removed hair from their head
- Pubic area – 29% of men go bare down there, mainly because of sexual confidence and hygiene
- Eyebrows – 25% of men remove hair from the brows; shaping and getting rid of the unibrow look
- Chest – 13% of men remove hair from the chest
- Underarms – 12% of men get rid of their armpit hair, mainly for hygiene and aesthetic purposes
What should I do before a laser hair removal appointment?
A laser hair removal session is fairly quick, lasting about 15-30 minutes. Here are a few quick reminders before you head out to a cosmetic clinic:
- Stay out of the sun
Remember that laser works best if there’s a high contrast between your skin and hair color. Tanning the skin (including self-tanners) may make your treatments less effective. Besides, you don’t want to be risking skin damage from the sun’s harmful rays.
- Don’t wax or pluck the hair. Shave instead.
Laser is attracted to the hair pigment, meaning the roots must be intact for the laser to detect it. Waxing and plucking are no-no’s before and after a treatment. On the other hand, you should shave before your session. Other than keeping the roots unharmed, shaving is done so the hair on the surface won’t be singed during treatment.
- Skip the gym after treatment.
Avoid any hot activities 24 hours before a session, and 48 hours after. This includes workouts, saunas, sports, and hot showers. Sweat and bacteria can irritate your skin, and you obviously don’t want infections. Skipping the sweaty stuff also allows your skin some healing time.