Men who are looking to remove body hair must ask themselves questions before proceeding. Why do they shave their body hair? Are there health benefits? How about physical attraction? To understand the pros and cons of body hair removal, you need to understand the different removal methods.
The simplest form of hair removal involves using a razor and shaving cream. The goal is to have the razor glide down your skin. The hairs are taken down closest to the root. Certain razors will have a different effect on your skin compared to others. For example, a cheap five-blade razor may perform worse than an expensive two-blade razor. If you are serious about shaving, look for a tool best suited for your skin.
After shaving, the hair will grow back. Of course, this depends on several factors. The main factors are genetics if you have previously lasered your hair or a prior injury. More often than not, genetics is the answer for determining the speed at which your hair grows back. Generally, body hair takes around six weeks to grow back from the time you shaved.
Understand that the moment you shave, your skin will either react well or poorly. For instance, men with sensitive skin can only do so much in regards to prepping their skin. Redness and irritation are fairly common among men with sensitive skin. Further, men with curly body hair will have a harder time shaving and take longer than men with straight hair.
Shaving can also result in painful problems, like ingrown hairs. An ingrown hair occurs when your hair is growing, but it curls back into your skin. They are extremely painful, and could sometimes be avoided by taking precautions before and after shaving. These are two simple steps you can take to reduce irritation and ingrown hair: applying pre-shave lotion and patting your skin with a cold washcloth immediately after shaving. This reduces inflamed skin much before an ingrown can form.
Specific creams were developed to aid in the removal of body hair. Applying depilatory cream is easier than shaving, but can be more time-consuming if you’re not used to the process. Depilatory cream works as soon as you apply it to your skin.
Once the cream is placed over your hair, it starts to bond. It creates a layer over your hair. A key ingredient in depilatory cream is the culprit. Thioglycolic acid spreads into the roots of each hair, latching on firmly. After a couple of minutes, your hairs are weak and come off easily with one pull.
Depilatory creams aren’t as harsh on your skin as shaving with a razor. However, pay attention to how long you have this substance on your body. Since there are strong acidic properties in depilatory products, they can cause burns. And if you’re not careful, you may need to consult a doctor or dermatologist.
Individuals who are looking to keep their bodies smooth longer should consider waxing. Body hair removal can be troublesome, as methods like creams and shaving require you to go slow. You need to prevent ingrown hairs, redness, and pulling hairs.
A far less annoying alternative is visiting a wax professional. They are trained in dealing with different skin and hair types. More so, wax professionals are taught how to position your skin effectively, causing the least amount of stress on your hair and skin.
However, waxing isn’t always a walk in the park. Waxing can leave you with burns, skin irritation, and inflamed follicles. Inflamed follicles can turn into cysts and become very painful if they aren’t dealt with. Furthermore, waxing differs from shaving and depilatory creams because it removes hair at the root. Hair removed at the root takes much longer to grow back. You are looking at a minimum of four to six weeks of growing time. Hair removed at the root has a higher chance of getting you an ingrown than other hair removal methods.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal involves using a laser to remove sections of hair from your body. It’s painless, and leaves your skin smoother than waxing, using depilatory cream, and shaving.
A laser hair removal procedure is completed in several sessions, to avoid general stress to the skin underneath your hair. In short, the process is very short or very long. It all depends on how much hair you are looking to remove.
Laser hair removal’s biggest plus is there are never any ingrown hairs and it leaves your hair short for the most extended amount of time. Hair grows in certain phases, and laser hair removal takes place during the hair’s growing phase. Therefore, there are no visible scars or side-affects to worry about. Also, after a couple of sessions, no hair will grow in your desired areas.
Before you go ahead with removing your hair by laser, consider the following disadvantages. First, laser hair removal is time-consuming. It isn’t the sessions that are long; it’s the fact that there are multiple sessions. Of course, if you only need some hair removed, this does not apply to you. If you are looking to remove most of your body hair, this isn’t a quick procedure. Lastly, laser hair removal is expensive, to say the least. You can expect to spend hundreds of dollars for one area of your body.
A step up from laser hair removal is the method known as electrolysis. Electrolysis is the method of removing hair with the help of a hair removal device. This device targets specific hairs and the follicles beneath. Next, the machine finds each hair and burns it out of your skin.
The Food and Drug Administration deemed electrolysis a safe method for removing body hair. This can’t be said for using depilatory creams, shaving, waxing, or laser hair removal. Additionally, you don’t need to worry about the effects of electrolysis on your skin type, since this procedure works on anyone. Also, because electrolysis uses chemicals to burn your hair, the chances of it growing back are very slim.
Electrolysis falls prey to the same issues as laser hair removal. Electrolysis is extensive, expensive, and can cause minor discomfort.
Should You Remove Body Hair?
Body hair removal is what you make of it. This means you need to choose between many factors to come to a decision. Do you wish to remain smooth for weeks, months, or years? Are you worried about the potential side effects of a removal method? What about your significant other?
Hair removal methods like shaving and waxing have similar benefits, like leaving your skin soft and not allowing for sweat to build. Still, they both have noticeable cons, such as ingrown hairs and skin irritation. Furthermore, both laser hair removal and electrolysis offer long-term or permanent solutions to your body’s hair problem. Even so, laser hair removal isn’t cost-effective and electrolysis treatments are a lengthy process.
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