For most guys, personal grooming represents a tricky balancing act between looking like a newly unearthed troglodyte at the seaside and stepping out feeling like the fifth member of One Direction. With so many male celebrities now embracing the trend for smooth and silky skin, the range of hair removal creams, waxing kits, sugaring solutions, depilatory devices, and hair removal products for men has expanded rapidly over the last five years.
The only problem is that a lot of guys simply do not know where to start when it comes to finding the perfect de-fuzzing technique. There are just so many questions to ask. What products are great at removing thick hair but not so great at removing vulnerable skin along with it? Do all hair removal creams and waxing kits come with a hefty price tag? What about intimate areas; namely, should you ever trust a razor that close to your bits?
The bottom line is that mastering this kind of grooming can be difficult at first. Whilst women have been acquainted with the removal of body hair for centuries, men are only just starting to realise the benefits of a smooth torso, chest, back, and groin area. These body parts can be extremely sensitive, especially as they are often not used to being bare, so it is important to make sure that the right products and methods are employed.
This handy guide to the best body hair removal for men will help you learn how to make the best out of the tools and techniques available to you.
A Few Important Pointers
You are probably keen to get started, but before you do, there are a few pointers which it will be useful to keep in mind.
- Inform the Old Lady – Whilst the whole ‘do it for yourself’ motto should apply to guys just as much as it does to girls, if you are in a long-term relationship, it is a good idea to ask your girlfriend or wife what she thinks before you start making any dramatic changes. The last thing that you want is to go through the rigmarole of shaving your chest hair only to find out that your partner always found it wildly sexy.
- Take Your Time – If you are new to shaving anything but your beard, it is important to make sure that you leave enough time to get acquainted with whatever hair removal technique you choose to use. For instance, if you have never removed the hair on your chest before, even taking a razor to the area can be painful and messy if you do not take things slow.
- Do It Yourself VS Salon Removal – Essentially, anything that can be done at a salon can be replicated at home. In fact, even advanced IPL treatments can be carried out at home with smaller scale domestic devices these days. This means that the decision to visit a salon should be based not on the belief that they can give you something exclusive or special, but that you know they can do a great job.
Method One: Waxing
There is one huge advantage to waxing body hair and one rather large downside. Yes, waxing any part of the body involves pain, but it is usually nowhere near as bad as a guy is expecting, nor does it always continue to hurt as much as the first session.
The overarching reason why so many women (and now men) are choosing to wax their body hair is because the results last longer than any other method, not counting IPL and other permanent removal treatments. The hair is ripped from the root, so it takes a long time to grow back and when it does it is with fine ends, so you are much less likely to be left with an itchy back, chest, or crotch.
Whilst it is extremely difficult to create a salon grade wax at home, it is possible to significantly improve your technique with a little practice – of course, this does mean getting used to the pain first. The great thing about waxing is that it can be used to treat almost any part of the body, but it is particularly handy for hard to reach places like the groin, armpits, back, and butt crack.
Method Two: Shaving
This method should not require too much introduction or explanation because there is no huge difference between shaving your beard and shaving any other part of your body. The key to getting this right is time and patience, particularly if you are removing hair around an extremely sensitive region like the penis or testicles.
Whilst shaving is undoubtedly the easiest and cheapest way to remove hair, it also happens to produce the mot short lived results. In fact, it is surely only a question of economic convenience and efficiency that anybody bothers to shave anymore – the hair starts to grow back within days, feels itchy and uncomfortable, and tends to produce unsightly burns, rashes, and spots.
It can also be near impossible to treat hard to reach places like the back with just a razor to hand. However, there are now various tools and devices on the market which can make things easier. The innovative BakBlade BigMouth Do-It-Yourself Back Hair Shaver and the Mangroomer Ultimate Pro Back Shaver have been specially designed to help guys reach those awkward hairs on the top and bottom of the back.
Method Three: Epilators
The standard epilator works much like a supercharged pair of electronic tweezers. In other words, it plucks hairs from the root, but it does so at a much faster rate than you could ever manage with tweezers alone. This means that the results are usually very pleasing – as follicles are being pulled out in their entirety and not cut or trimmed, smooth skin will last as long as it would if it were waxed bare.
The downside to epilators is that, much like waxing, they come with a significant degree of pain and discomfort. Whilst you are likely to get used to the pain after a couple of sessions, the jury is still out on whether epilating actually causes more discomfort than waxing. Nevertheless, these devices are easy to use, simple to maintain and store, and good for removing hair on the back, arms, and legs.
The good news is that it is possible to pick up much gentler depilatory creams these days. There are plenty of different brands around (for example, Nair for Men Hair Removal Spray) and they do not involve any pain at all, so long as you follow the instructions carefully and do not exceed the recommended treatment time. If you want to treat genital areas, you may have to buy a special kind of depilatory cream.
Method Four: Sugaring
If you are not familiar with sugaring, you might be surprised to find that it is one of the oldest techniques in existence and that it offers some of the best body hair removal for men. According to anthropologists, human beings have been using this method of hair removal for around two thousand years. It works in the same way as waxing, but the substance used is a combination of lemon juice, sugar, and water.
The claim is that sugaring makes hair removal much faster, cleaner, and more precise than waxing, because the paste is easier to control and less likely to spill or drip. However, this method is not very popular with salons, so the only option will almost certainly be to do it yourself in the comfort of your own home. If you search online, you should find a whole range of high-quality sugar removal solutions.
Whilst sugaring might be a slightly less well-known form of hair removal, the rules are much the same. You need to follow the instructions on any kits or products that you buy very carefully, avoid using alcohol based antiperspirants on the treated area for at least 24 hours, and never exceed the recommend treatment time. To prevent ingrown hairs, use an exfoliating body scrub twice a week.
Method Five: Laser Treatment
The laser hair removal industry has gone from strength to strength over the last ten years, primarily due to scores of men and women deciding to make their hair removal efforts permanent. Whilst there is no practitioner who can give you a 100% guarantee of permanently bare skin, the results will last for around six months, or will turn out to be permanent, in some cases.
This method works by zapping the cells that create the hair, so it can be used to thin body hair as well as remove it completely. For guys who are looking to cultivate a lower maintenance look, but are not sure if they want to go entirely hairless. It works great on the back, shoulders, neck, butt crack, and chest area. However, it is one of the most costly forms of removal and must be done by a specialist.
There is a small amount of discomfort involved, but laser hair removal is nowhere near as painful as waxing or epilating, so it is popular with guys who can afford to go professional and have the time to attend numerous treatment appointments. For the laser treatment to work, it has to be performed during specific stages of the growth cycle of the hair, so the method can time consuming.
Choosing the Right Hair Removal Products
There are so many different brands and varieties of hair removal product out there on the market right now that it can be tricky to distinguish the good from the bad and identify the best hair removal for men. Plus, it is worth remembering that not all of them are designed to just completely remove hair – there are plenty of tools which can be used to cut, trim, and shape unruly follicles.
For instance, the Philips Norelco Bodygroomer is a shaver which has been designed to help guys reach awkward areas, particularly on the back. It comes with three different comb attachments so that you can choose what length you want to trim, cut, or remove the hair at. With self-sharpening blades and a rounded edge robust enough to remove even the coarsest hair, this shaver is a great choice.
If you are looking for something a little longer lasting, pick up a small pot of wax and experiment with a new technique. For those who are unfamiliar with methods like waxing, epilating, and sugaring, you are advised to spend only the minimum amount of cash on products (at least at first) so that you know whether they are going to work for you before you properly invest in them.
Dealing with the Pain of Hair Removal
The question that most guys ask when it comes to trying new hair removal techniques is ‘Will it hurt?’ or ‘How can I stop it from hurting?’ The answer depends on which method you are using, how sensitive you are to pain, and how much hair you are trying to tackle. It should obvious that guys with thicker and coarser hair will find things like waxing and sugaring a lot more painful.
Yet, they will also be left with bare skin for much longer, so techniques like waxing do have their advantages. The best way to deal with pain, particularly when it comes to waxing, depilating, and sugaring is to first make sure that you are removing hair in the right way (wax strips should always be removed in the opposite direction to hair, but sugaring tends to move in the same direction – check the instructions carefully).
If you need a quick fix for removing leftover wax as easily and comfortably as possible, pick up a regular old bottle of baby oil. This should ease surplus wax away from the skin without pulling or hurting, especially if you jump in a warm shower afterwards. For the best results, keep treated skin away from extreme temperatures, tight underwear, and alcohol-based beauty products for at least twenty-four hours. This last tip is very important, as any guy who has waxed or shaved and then spritzed his bits with deodorant will gladly tell you.