It seems the trend of showing off a hairy chest has well and truly died, and in its place comes a new wave of men losing it for smooth skin.
The truth of the matter is:
Professional salons all over the world are reporting significant spikes in the number of men coming to have their chest hair removed, and while it used to be something limited mainly to swimmers and metrosexuals, many surmise the recent increase can be attributed to partners asking their man to “clean up”.
Whatever your motivations are, below are the dos and don’ts of at-home chest hair removal for men:
How to get rid of chest hair: The Do's
1. Chest wax
Waxing has got to be one of the most effective ways to totally remove chest hair, and thanks to the (relatively) smooth regrowth, it’s a much better choice than shaving.
The chest area is a large one, but with waxing- you can remove the hairs in bulk with a pull of a single wax strip.
As I mentioned earlier, I find hot wax way more effective than the pre prepared strips (although it’s also a lot messier. If you want to keep it simple for the first try I recommend these wax strips from Nad’s), they just seem to have a better grip on the hairs.
Here’s the crux of it:
The hot wax kit (such as this all inclusive set from Genround, the best choice for the pro waxing man IMO) will come with instructions which you should follow closely, but in general the process will be to:
- heat up the wax in the microwave (or in the electric wax heater that you can purchase as part of the kit) until it’s runny and glue-like
- stir it with a small wooden spatula (not plastic- it’ll melt), and apply it directly to your skin.
- Then, gently press a strip of muslin cloth or suitable paper on top of the wax while it’s still runny and hot
- pat it gently, wait several seconds, and rip it off in the direction opposite your hair growth. And repeat.
Start small! No need to go coating your entire chest all at once. Also, start at a point you think is least sensitive; it can be hard to motivate yourself to go on if you begin with the most sensitive areas.
You can always take an over the counter pain killer half an hour before you start to mitigate some of the discomfort, and a cooling aloe vera gel (or any other kind of soothing lotion) afterwards will take away the after-sting.
Self-waxing can be tricky for first timers:
It’s a good idea to watch some videos first so you can see the correct angle to pull the strips off from. Once you get the technique down though, it’s plain sailing- and results will last a good few weeks.
Bonus points for this one:
Regrowth tends to be far less stubbly than shaving, which makes your chest much more pleasant to the touch when the hairs do start to grow back.
2. Hair removal cream
Depilatory creams are a great way to tackle chest fur, and offer a pain-free alternative to waxing.
It’s a super simple process:
Simply apply the cream all over the hairy area, and wait no more than the recommended amount of minutes before hopping in the shower and wiping it off.
Cream, hair, the whole shebang.
But you might still be wondering:
How does the regrowth compare with shaving?
Generally, results will last anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks depending on your hair growth, and the texture of the regrowth will be somewhat softer than shaving. My favorite products are the range of Nair Men Hair Removal Creams because they come in a big bottle with a pump head, meaning not only is it cleaner and more convenient to use, but the bigger bottle size also lasts a decent amount of time, even when using it on large areas like the chest.
But be warned:
Hair removal cream is messy business, and usually smells like someone is dissolving a body in a tub of acid.
No, really. This is because the chemicals themselves smell bad to begin with, but when applied to the hairs, it begins a chemical reaction which makes the smell even stronger.
3. Electric trimmer
Trimmers are a brilliant way to keep chest hair in check, but they don’t offer full-on removal.
If you’re going for the more natural look, trimmers are the way to go. Each device will have different settings so you can tailor how long/short a cut you want.
I’m a Braun man myself; the Braun 3010 model is my favorite as it can be used in the shower and it recharges insanely fast.
4. Laser hair removal
Although it can be costly to purchase an at-home laser hair removal machine in the short run (Remington have a great entry level budget-friendly model), it does offer a long term solution to your chest hair woes.
Treatments can be tailored for total hair removal, or just hair thinning depending on what look you’re going for. It’s usually a low-pain or no-pain process too.
But it’s really important to note:
Your suitability for laser hair removal will depend on your skin pigment and hair color, so it’s important to read up on this before you buy the machine yourself.
Epilators are a good choice for chest hair removal because they will clear away hair from a large area in a relatively short time frame.
It’s going to sting a bit on the chest, but there are plenty of ways to reduce the pain from epilation if it’s bothering you.
Check out this one from Emjoi, specifically designed for male epilation. Another use for this epilator? For mens pubic hair! (Not gonna lie, though... It hurts!)
When it comes to chest hair, shaving is definitely not ideal.
Here’s the truth of the matter:
Results will last a very short period of time, a couple of days at best, and regrowth will be stubbly and sharp to the touch. Shaving also carries increased risk of ingrown hairs, and since chest hairs are usually curly anyway, that risk doubles.
With the chest being such a large area, tweezing would be far too time consuming to be an effective method of hair removal.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there’s really no “best” overall chest hair removing method; but based on this article, you should be able to find the right solution for your own individual needs.
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Got a question? An intimate issue? An epic chest waxing story? I want them all - let me know in the comments below!