Hairiness is something to be proud of – hairy men are more intelligent. Hairy chests and backs are more likely to be found among the highly educated than in the general population. (However, there are also very intelligent men with little or no body hair. Einstein had hardly any body hair!)
But if you want to get rid of the hair on your back or shoulders, you could consider waxing or laser treatment. Electrolysis is also a possibility.
Depilatories (hair-removing creams) are probably the cheapest option. They do not leave stubble, but the hair will grow again. The main problem is that the cream is awkward to apply to the back, and you might end up with a patchy result. Test beforehand by applying a small amount to the inside of your wrist. If there is no reaction the next day, it is probably safe to use the cream. Depilatory creams can irritate the skin if left on too long, so check the instructions and use a timer. Wash the cream off in the shower.
In 2000 Tesco, the UK supermarket chain, reported that sales of home-waxing kits rose by 41%. Their research showed that men were using them (but were asking women to buy the kits for them). Back waxing for men in beauty salons is also increasing. For best results, the hairs should be at least 0.5 cm long. In a salon, the process takes about 30 minutes. Waxing is not a permanent solution. It works by pulling out the hairs, but a new hair will then start to grow in the hair follicle. Regrowth will start to become obvious in 1–2 months.
Laser hair removal
For general information about laser hair removal, look at hairiness in women
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. To deal with your entire back you will need three or four treatments at 6–8 week intervals. Your back will be shaved first, and the treatment will then take about 30 minutes. Laser treatment does not get rid of hair permanently – after a few months, it will start to regrow slowly. However, the hair that regrows is likely to be less dense.
Electrolysis removes hair permanently. Each hair is treated individually, so if you are very hairy over a large area, it might not be practical. Telephone the beauty salon first to check that they are willing to treat men.
Written by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Edited by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Tuesday, August 2nd 2011
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