With the ever-growing popularity of K-Pop boy groups and male-centric makeover shows and movies, men’s grooming has taken the spotlight. These days, men investing more time in their appearances is totally acceptable and is no longer seen merely as vanity. With that, more options for body hair removal for men are becoming available.
Unwanted body hair or excessive hair growth is no longer something men just have to hide underneath their clothes. This blog focuses on safe body hair removal for men that include shaving, waxing, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), and Laser Hair Removal (LHR).
Shaving is a quick hair removal process—just grab a razor and start gliding it down your skin. However, it’s not an easy option if you need to shave hard-to-reach areas, such as your back. At the same time, shaving shouldn’t be done on hair strands that are long as they can get tangled up with the razor.
One of the reasons why shaving is a fast hair removal process is because it only cuts off the top hair, the one above the skin. It does not, however, remove the hair follicle. This is why hair grows back faster when you shave as opposed to other methods. It’s also why other people may experience ingrown as well as develop rashes or skin irritation when shaving.
Another body hair removal process readily available to men is waxing. Now, this might be one of the more painful methods as it basically removes the hair strands, including the root, all at once. It uses a sticky substance made of hot or warm wax that is spread all over the hair and skin. Wax paper will be placed on top of the wax and then pulled away from the body.
Unlike shaving, with waxing, it actually takes a bit of time for hair to grow back since the hair follicle is also removed. This hair removal process takes a bit of time as you need to prep items like melting the wax and also cooling it down before applying it to your skin. You need to be careful with this method as burns might occur.
For areas that you can’t see, like the back of your legs, DIY waxing is not an option. You won’t be able to pull your hair out properly, let alone spread the wax evenly on your body. It’s advisable to go to a professional waxing salon to avoid accidentally peeling off parts of your skin. Hair tends to grow back after a month after a waxing session.
Intense Pulsed Light is a body hair removal option that uses broad-spectrum light. This light has varying wavelengths that will then penetrate the skin. Once the pulses of light are emitted, this will be absorbed by the hair follicles found below the skin’s surface. It will then turn to heat and destroy follicles in the process.
IPL is a cosmetic treatment that is offered at spas and salons. There are even IPL units that you can buy to use at home. When done correctly, it’s possible to remove up to 70% of body hair on your targeted area. Depending on your skin type and pain tolerance, you will feel some discomfort during an IPL session. It can be anything from mild, warm tingling to a more bothersome hot, pinching.
One IPL session can take around 15 minutes and is typically done every other week. You will need around 9 to 12 sessions for it to become effective. The frequency of the IPL session will depend on the body part for which you require hair removal. Once all of the sessions are done, hair growth will slow down and it will take about a year before you see new hair growing again.
There is some confusion when it comes to IPL and laser hair therapy as both methods use light. One of the biggest differences between the two is that LHR is a medical procedure and should only be performed by licensed professionals or doctors.
Another difference is LHR uses only a single wavelength of light as opposed to a broad spectrum. The light focuses on the targeted hair shafts, which destroys the follicle but at the same time prevents any contact with the surrounding skin. This can help reduce any feeling of burning sensation on your skin during sessions. Pain is tolerable and is likened to a rubber band snapping on your skin.
An LHR session will take around 30 minutes to 1 and a half hours to complete. It will take about 6 to 10 sessions, spaced out every 4 to 6 weeks, for the treatment to become effective. Once LHR sessions are completed, it’s possible to remove up to 95% of unwanted hair on the targeted area. It’s possible for hair not to grow back at all, or only after 2 years.
How to Choose Body Hair Removal Option
All of the body hair removal options for men mentioned above are effective. It can be confusing to choose which option is right for you. To help you out, consider the following factors below:
Are you a busy man who is always on the go? Do you have the time to groom your body hair regularly? Consider your field of work and your social activities if it requires you to have a hairless chest or smooth legs.
Everyone has different levels of pain, it’s up to you on what your threshold can take. When you are considering your pain tolerance, do take note of how many times you will need to go through a hair removal session, too.
Treatments and procedures like IPL and LHR will definitely come out as more expensive as opposed to shaving and waxing. But do take into consideration the efficacy of each hair removal option. Getting a razor might be cheaper but it’s something that you will need to buy pretty much the rest of your life.
Where to Get LHR?
Out of all the hair removal options, LHR is able to offer longer-lasting results. If you are looking into LHR, visit The Aesthetics Centre in Singapore where you can get safe sessions as well as personalised treatment that is based on your hair and skin type.
At The Aesthetics Centre, they use the GentleMax Pro™ by Candela™, a medical-grade, FDA-approved laser. The clinic offers facial hair removal services but also targets areas such as the hands, arms, chest, back, thighs, legs, and feet.
For more information on LHR, check out Laser Hair Removal for Men: Your 12 Burning Questions, Answered!
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