You walk into Home Depot or Lowe's to pick up a lightbulb. Instead, you
leave with some new flooring, a circular saw, a framing square, and big ideas
about re-tiling your kitchen.
The problem? You've never done anything more than change a lightbulb by
Growing numbers of Americans are tackling do-it-yourself home improvement
projects that once might have been left to professionals. One reason for the
shift: Stores like Home Depot, along with TV shows on networks like HGTV or the
"Most men don't necessarily want it all removed, but increasingly they
do want it thinned out, on their back and chest, for example," says
dermatologist David Goldberg, MD, who regularly performs laser hair removal on
Hair waxing specialist Michelle Serniuk says men seeking hair removal now
make up a good portion of her clientele.
"We get a lot of men who want waxing on their eyebrows - they want to
take away that unibrow look and they want a shaping -- plus they want the area
around their ears or the back of the neck cleaned up as well," says
Serniuk, a waxing specialist at Beyond Day Spa at the Hackensack University
At the same time, various media reports suggest that many men are now opting
for that longtime staple of female grooming - the bikini wax.
"We have definitely had men requesting this," says Serniuk.
But unlike women, for whom hair removal is second nature by junior high
school, men often find themselves at a loss for how to deal with excess body
For those men, here's the lowdown on the most common hair removal options
What It Does: Using laser light energy to penetrate the
hair shaft, it actually kills the hair root. This doesn't kill the
follicle (the place where hair growth starts). So technically, another hair can
grow in its place, but it's difficult. That means results of laser hair removal
last a fairly long time.
How Long It Takes: Roughly 30 minutes per treatment, up
to eight treatments needed.
Best For: Removing or reducing hair on back, chest, stomach,
shoulders, and genital area. Works best on light skin with dark hair; not
suitable for blond or white hair. Black skin responds well to only one
type of laser, the Nd: YAG.
Cost: $400-500 per treatment.
Lasting Result: After all laser hair removal treatments
are completed, results could be almost permanent, with touch-up treatments
annually or biannually to maintain results.
Expert Comments: "Most men utilize laser hair
removal for the back, upper arms, and chest and most want it thinned out, not
removed -- something which lasers can easily accomplish," says Goldberg. In
fact, other than electrolysis, laser hair removal is the only hair removal
treatment that allows for thinning, rather than complete removal. While the
average man needs five to seven sessions, as men age, more hair grows,
especially on their backs, says Goldberg. As such, touch-up laser hair removal
treatments are usually needed on average once a year.