Goodbye Gorilla Suit: The Ultimate Guide to Permanent Hair Removal for Men
Male Body Hair Problems
It’s not always easy being a man, especially as you get older. It’s no secret that the pressure to look your best can be tough on men these days. From maintaining a chiseled physique to keeping your skin looking youthful, it’s no wonder that more and more guys are turning to grooming treatments that were once considered exclusively for women. One such treatment is electrolysis hair removal. If you’re tired of constantly shaving or waxing unwanted hair, electrolysis might just be the solution you’ve been looking for. And don’t worry, fellas – getting rid of unwanted hair doesn’t have to be a painful or embarrassing experience. With electrolysis, you can say goodbye to unwanted hair and hello to a smoother, more confident you at any age.
Embarrassing Male Body Hair Problems
Bad breath, passing gas in uncomfortable amounts, jock itch, unmanageable amounts of hair: men experience body issues just like women do. Body hair is one of the most prominent ones, as it’s something that can be seen every day, depending on a man’s schedule: at the gym, at the beach or pool, when with a partner. The list of men’s body parts that commonly grow hair includes:
- Face (including beard and mustache)
- Feet and toes
But why do we grow hair? Human bodies of all kinds are covered in hair. Humans have body hair for a variety of reasons, including keeping us warm and protected from the sun. It’s also been suggested that it may have played a role in attracting mates in our evolutionary past.
Male Hair Facts
There are three main types of body hair: terminal, vellus, and lanugo hair.
- Terminal hair is characterized by being longer, thicker, darker, and coarser than other types of hair.
- Vellus hair is short, soft, and usually lighter than terminal hair. You might know it as “peach fuzz.”
- Lanugo hair is only grown by babies, and is meant to protect the skin from amniotic fluid during pregnancy. It falls out soon after birth.
Terminal hair sometimes develops from hair follicles that previously produced vellus hair as a result of hormonal changes such as puberty. The male hormones cause growth of terminal hair.
On average, adult males have around 5 million hairs on their body. Male body hair tends to be thicker and darker than female body hair due to higher levels of androgen hormones. Without androgen signaling, genetic males appear female. During puberty, increasing androgens harness the hair follicle’s unique regenerative ability to replace many tiny vellus hairs with larger, darker terminal hairs (e.g., beard).
According to a survey by Men’s Health magazine, 65% of men remove body hair at least occasionally, with chest hair being the most commonly removed area. Research reveals that young men aged 16-24 are removing body hair almost as much as young women of the same age, with similar proportions of both (29% of men versus 34% of women) removing hair more frequently.
While older men have traditionally been less concerned with hair removal (just 12% of men aged over 65 removed hair from their nose in 2016), modern times have seen a shift. In 2018, 31% of men aged over 65 removed hair from their nose, with 32% removing hair from their eyebrows and 34% removing hair from their ears.
Hair male removal trends come and go, but one thing remains constant: the desire to feel confident and comfortable in one’s own skin. While some may opt for a smooth, hair-free look, others may prefer a more natural, hairy appearance. Whatever you may prefer, it’s important to feel empowered to make your own choices when it comes to body hair. Ultimately, the most important thing is to embrace your unique self and feel confident in your own skin, whether that means embracing body hair or opting for permanent hair removal.
Hairy Back Causes
Got a hairy back? You are not alone. Some people are just genetically predisposed towards growing more body hair. This is the most common cause of unwanted body hair. Having hair on your back may increase body heat and be uncomfortable during hot weather. But it doesn’t pose any other challenges or health risks. If you have a hairy back, there’s no medical need to remove it. However, it’s your choice to do so for comfort or aesthetic reasons.
However, problems such as hormonal imbalances, certain medications, and other health issues can also cause sudden body hair growth. There are many ways that people use to try and manage hair on their backs, shoulders, eyebrows, chests, and other body parts.
Permanent Hair Removal Methods For Men
Different areas of the body pose different challenges for hair removal. Areas such as the armpit and legs have a large area, requiring more and longer sessions, and can include regions of high sensitivity. Other areas, such as the chin and upper lip, are smaller but in plain sight. Any side effects that may occur will be highly visible. Nobody wants to have red marks on their face for their rehearsal dinner. Let’s review the methods of hair removal available today:
- Shaving is a straightforward way of removing body hair, though depending on your hair growth and its location it can be difficult to shave correctly. Improper shaving can lead to razor burn, nicks, and ingrown hairs.
- Waxing is another common method of hair removal. It lasts longer than shaving, as it removes the hair entirely out of the follicle (or attempts to), which means it takes longer to regrow. However, it is a painful process. What’s more, often hair is snapped under the skin rather than cleanly removed. This is a leading cause of painful ingrown hairs. The hot wax can also burn your skin if you’re not careful. Waxing can cause inflamed hair follicles, pain, redness, ingrown hairs and skin irritation.
- Depilatory creams are used by some to weaken hair to the point it can be swept off the skin. This is popular for body hair, although the ingredients used are dangerous for sensitive skin, and should not be used on the face. Depilatory creams use chemicals to melt the hair. This means there’s a possibility of you getting a chemical burn. According to WebMD, first-, second-, or third-degree burns can happen when hair removal cream is left on for an extended period of time. It’s most likely to happen in the groin area because the skin there is sensitive.
- Laser hair removal is a popular choice for people looking for a long-term solution. Unfortunately, repeated use of laser hair removal can actually make things worse. Often, the terminal hair-producing follicles affected by the laser are merely damaged, not disabled, and recover after time. The scattershot approach of laser therapy can also inadvertently hit vellus hair follicles. The trauma of laser therapy can turn these vellus hair follicles into terminal hair-producing follicles. This is especially common when used on the back, shoulders, and upper arms. Laser therapy cannot be used on the eyebrows or face, as they are too sensitive. Most importantly, laser hair removal is not actually permanent!
- Electrolysis is the only hair removal method recognized as permanent by the FDA and American Medical Association. It is similar to laser therapy except that it only targets one follicle at a time, instead of a wide area. This precision means that there are no other follicles activated. Follicles are disabled by a short, sharp blast of heat or electricity. Unlike laser therapy however, electrolysis is suitable for use on the face. It was actually first used to remove ingrowing eyelashes in 1875. Electrolysis can be the perfect solution for removing stubborn body hair. Regardless of the cause of your unwanted hair growth – heredity, metabolic, or hormonal conditions – electrolysis will permanently remove unwanted hair to reveal a glowing, confident you. A professional electrologist inserts a very fine needle (usually thinner than the hair being treated) into the natural opening of the hair follicle alongside the hair shaft. A tiny amount of electrical current is then applied to destroy the hair growth cells. There are three different methods, or modalities, of electrolysis, which vary in their specifics. Medical electrolysis devices can destroy the hair growth cells with chemical energy, heat energy, or both. The method chosen by your electrologist is the modality.
Men’s Electrolysis FAQs
The Vertical Wellness Spa, home of Electrolysis by Alison is a very accommodating service that treats men all the time. We are comfortable treating shoulders, back, chest, ears, face, and eyebrows, as well as many other areas— ask to see if we can accommodate you!
Electrolysis offers the only FDA- and AMA-approved form of permanent hair removal. It gets rid of unwanted hair by the use of a very slender probe that is inserted in the hair follicles. Either a brief electrical pulse or a similarly brief pulse of intense heat is shot through the probe, with the result of disabling the follicle’s ability to grow new hair. Unlike with laser hair removal, this process is very unlikely to traumatize other adjacent follicles into sprouting unsightly terminal hairs. That said, due to the cycle of activity and inactivity that follicles on your face and body go through (different to the cycle that scalp hair goes through) it is important to go through several rounds of electrolysis on the same area, to ensure that all terminal hair growth is arrested.
It’s understandable that you’d have questions about the procedure. Here are a few we are frequently asked.
- Does electrolysis hurt?
The electrolysis process involves a very slender probe being inserted into your follicles and discharging a short, sharp pulse of either heat or electricity. At The Vertical Wellness Spa, home of Electrolysis by Alison, we use heat. The process can be uncomfortable depending on an individual’s tolerance, but this can be managed with use of numbing cream and measures taken in the hours and days before the procedure, such as ibuprofen and avoiding direct sunlight and coffee.
- Does electrolysis have side effects?
Professional electrolysis has some minor side effects. You are likely to experience redness around the treated area for several hours. This is easily managed, however. Use of aloe cream can manage the symptoms, as can application of ice packs. It is important to ensure you receive treatment from a credentialed electrologist and not an amateur.
- How many electrolysis treatments will I need?
Treatment is usually administered in 15 minute increments, up to a maximum of 1 hour. Obviously, smaller areas like ears or eyebrows require less time than areas such as the back or legs. That said, all areas will require multiple sessions. The cycle of body and facial hair growth means it is impossible to treat all follicles in a single session. However, with every session you will notice a decrease in the density of the hair until it is entirely removed.
- How does it stop hair growing?
Every time a hair grows from a follicle, it is doing so because the blood vessels feeding its root provide it with the things it requires to produce new hair. Electrolysis disables the hair growth cells in the follicle, meaning that there will be nothing to take up these nutrients and create new hair growth. Any hair growing from the follicle at the time of treatment will die and fall out of its own accord over the next few days.
At The Vertical Wellness Spa, home of Electrolysis by Alison, we use thermolysis electrolysis. With over 20 years of experience in permanent hair removal for men and women, Alison has helped thousands of clients from all over Los Angeles to achieve permanent results with the thermolysis modality of electrolysis. Thermolysis is effective and safe for all skin tones and hair types. When used by a professional electrologist, thermolysis will ensure permanent hair removal for your chin, upper lip, sideburns, neck, chest, back, thighs, legs, fingers, toes, and any other body part where you may have unwanted hair. We invite you to read our client testimonials and success stories, or schedule a consultation to discuss electrolysis and get all your questions answered by our experienced electrologist.
Request an electrolysis consultation with Alison today so you can begin your journey to better self image through electrolysis.