Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Men's Health

Font Size

Hair Removal: For Men Only

Is your body hair growing out of control? Hair removal experts discuss the best solutions for men.
By
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Norman Levine, MD

It used to be that hair removal was strictly a female thing. Unless you were a bodybuilder, cyclist, swimmer, or male exotic dancer, chances are your body hair remained untouched.

Not so anymore. Experts report that more and more men are opting for the same grooming rights as women - including smooth body skin.

Recommended Related to Men

Going Long: Secrets of Male Longevity

Give it up, Ponce de León — there are no magical fountains of youth out there, no miraculous ways to achieve a longer life. But while medical experts caution against hormone supplements, vitamin overdoses, anti-aging pills, extreme diets, and other dubious life extension tricks, there are some sound ways for men to increase their chances for a long and healthy life. Much of the advice is obvious: Don’t smoke, eat wisely, drink moderately, exercise regularly, and get annual medical check-ups...

Read the Going Long: Secrets of Male Longevity article > >

"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 men.

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 Medical Center.

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 hair.

For those men, here's the lowdown on the most common hair removal options available today.

Hair Removal Option No. 1: Laser Hair Removal Treatments

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.

Today on WebMD

Life Cycle of a Penis
Slideshow
Preacher Curl
Slideshow
 
testosterone molecule
Article
Xray of foot highlighting gout
Slideshow
 
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Slideshow
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Quiz
 
Man taking blood pressure
Slideshow
doctor holding syringe
Slideshow
 
Condom Quiz
Quiz
thumbnail_angry_couple_in_bed
Slideshow
 
man running
Quiz
older couple in bed
Video