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With the changes in fashion trend, hair seems to have fallen out of favor with many men. More and more, they are trying to get rid of their hair, whether it is visible (face) or discreet (body). Male hair removal is no longer a taboo: between shaving men’s legs and shaving the pubic area, everyone does what they want!
I offer you an overview of the different methods on the market, with an analysis of each one to determine its strengths and weaknesses.
This complete guide to male hair removal will enable you to choose the best method according to the result you’re aiming for and the amount of effort you’re willing to invest to achieve it.
The good old shave
Of course, this is the least definitive of the methods, but I suggest we look into it a bit to establish a basis for comparison. For some people, hair grows slowly and is rather thin and lightly pigmented, which allows them to keep a beardless appearance for a few days after a simple shave.
The main problem with shaving is hair regrowth. Contrary to popular belief, hair does not grow back stronger. This is just an illusion: an uncut hair has a thin tip, while a cut hair has a thick tip.
So, when it grows back, the hair looks thicker… but that’s how it looks anyway. Also, you may have to deal with ingrown hairs on a regular basis if shaving your body is a frequent ritual. Male hair removal has its constraints too!
Since the main flaw of shaving is the fact that it cuts the hair, we need to look at methods that attack the problem at the root, so to speak. Indeed, the goal of any so-called permanent hair removal method is to remove the hair in its entirety, i.e. with its bulb.
Correctly handled, tweezers are an indispensable tool in every bathroom (men and women alike!). They grasp the hair as close as possible to its base, squeeze it and remove it with its bulb. However, it is important to know how to use it properly.
First of all, the main pliers used are the flat-tip pliers and the bevel-tip pliers. Other types of pliers are not really recommended. Secondly, you should always pay attention to hygiene and disinfect the tweezers and the treated area before and after the hair removal. Don’t forget that hair removal leaves holes in your skin (the ones that used to contain the bulb) and that malicious microbes could take advantage of the opportunity to colonize it.
Next, you should pull gently, in the direction of the hair, and prefer to remove hair by hair rather than trying to save time by removing several hairs at the same time.
This method is very effective, but – as you can see – will only be suitable for very limited areas. Unless you devote your whole day to it, it will be difficult to remove hair from your legs in this way… and certainly not to remove hair from your back! It is therefore reserved for certain areas of the face, in particular the eyebrows and the area around the lips, or to target a few isolated hairs that might have the idea of growing in the middle of a cheek.
This is the best-known but least used method of general hair removal for men. It involves coating the area to be treated with hot wax, which is easy to obtain on the market. There are all kinds, including roll-on applicators.
Hot wax is rather liquid, then it hardens as it cools and traps the hairs. The important thing here is timing: the heat of the wax dilates the pores of the skin, which makes hair removal much easier (read, less painful). The wax must therefore be removed quickly and precisely while it is still hot.
The result is interesting, because it allows you to keep the waxed look for three to four weeks. The method is mainly used on large and not very sensitive areas such as arms, legs or bikini line, but the more daring can also use it on the face or underarms.
My advice for the effectiveness of the treatment: unless you use a high quality wax capable of taking hairs of 2 millimeters, it is better to let the hairs grow back far enough than to catch them all. And last but not least, remember to treat your post-wax skin to soften and rehydrate it, for example with Argan oil.
Permanent hair removal with laser
This is a painless method that uses a laser beam to attack the hair follicle and destroy it. I know this sounds barbaric, but the laser is known for its extreme precision: it works its way along the hair, following its melanin pigmentation, to reach the bulb and the follicle. Thus, it spares all the tissues around the follicle, which guarantees healthy skin.
Thanks to the destruction of the follicle, the hair can theoretically no longer grow back. In practice, it will grow back, but with each treatment there will be less and less of it and it will be thinner and thinner.
On the other hand, unless you use recent specialized techniques, the laser does not work very well on very light hair, and can leave traces on darker skin.
I suggest you to be well informed and to follow the instructions before your laser hair removal session. Indeed, you will have to shave the area to be treated two days before the session, so that the laser energy can concentrate on the base of the hair.
The pulsed light technique
Sometimes confused with the laser, it is a technique similar to the laser. The heat of the concentrated light destroys the hair, but here the device has a larger treatment surface. Since the technique is less precise, it can even be used at home with a commercial device.
The main disadvantage compared to the laser technique is that pulsed light requires a greater number of sessions. It will take about 5 months with a good 10 sessions to remove the majority of the hair. If you are tempted to do it at home, the time saving will not be guaranteed, because the devices on the market are smaller and are used to treat restricted areas (underarms, bikini line).
Electrolysis for a permanent result
This last technique consists in using a needle to inject an electric current into the skin and destroy the hair and its roots. In practice, it is the most permanent of all techniques… but it has two major constraints.
First of all, if you find an electrolysis hair remover on the market, run away! These devices are less and less commercialized. I can only advise you to go to a reputable professional to perform this treatment, as it requires great precision and concentration.
Secondly, electrolysis targets each hair one after the other… it is in fact an electric epilator. Therefore, it can only be used on restricted areas, especially on the face. Even so, a session can last two hours.
The goal of permanent hair removal is, of course, to obtain a result that lasts as long as possible. That being said, no technique is completely permanent, so you will inevitably have to repeat the treatment at regular intervals. The question is, how many treatments are you willing to undergo over a period of time (a year, for example) to keep your hair removed for as long as possible?
Final tips on hair removal for men
I strongly advise you to always go through professionals. Not only will the procedure be more precise, but they will also give you important instructions for caring for your skin. In general, after permanent hair removal by laser or electrolysis, it is better to avoid exposing your skin to the sun. You must therefore choose your season carefully!