The days of men showing off their big hairy chests have come and gone. Many men have traded in their combs for clippers as chest hair removal has become a growing trend. Advertising and American culture makes it apparent that bare-chested men are sexier and more desirable. Though the main reasons for removing chest hair are merely superficial, there are a number of ways to remove it.
Shaving is perhaps the cheapest way to remove your chest hair. Apply shaving cream before shaving your chest to avoid cuts and pain. Shaving your chest without a cream will not only take longer, but will cause more irritation. Keep in mind that though shaving is fast and inexpensive, hair will grow back faster than other methods because shaving does not get hair follicles from the root. Don't worry about it growing back thicker and darker, however. That is an old wives' tale.
Perhaps the most time-consuming way to remove your chest hair is tweezing or plucking them out one by one. More realistically, however, is to pluck hair in smaller areas on the chest such as on or around the nipples, where it is most sensitive. To remove the hair follicle from its root, The Complete Hair Removal Guide recommends stretching the skin, pulling the hair close to the root gently and evenly, and in the direction of growth. Avoid yanking the hair with the tweezer because it may break off, causing ingrown hairs.
Steve Carrell's character in the 2005 movie "The 40 Year Old Virgin" showed how painful waxing your chest can be. But if you can handle the initial discomfort, waxing is an effective way to remove chest hair. According to AskMen.com, waxing involves spreading hot wax on the chest, applying a strip of cloth, then rubbing and ripping off the strip in one fast motion. The wax, hair and root are all now on the cloth. Though this method can be performed at home, it's best to leave this to salons and professionals. The degree of pain may be too much to handle if done by yourself.
While the hair grows back when using most of the other hair-removal procedures, electrolysis offers permanent results. Electrolysis involves a needle zapping electric currents into each hair follicle, killing the hair at its root. According to The Complete Hair Removal Guide, "an AC current passing through the needle causes vibration in the water molecules surrounding the hair follicle, which produces heat. The heat damages the hair follicle." Electrolysis offers permanent results, but may take up to a year of weekly appointments with an electrologist to fully remove all of your hair, making this method very costly.
Laser Hair Removal
One of the most effective and least painful ways of removing chest hair is through laser treatments. Though this method has a variety of factors that determine its effectiveness, including color of hair and skin pigmentation, laser hair removal kills hair follicles, permanently reducing the quantity of hair. Light from the laser passes through the skin to the hair follicle. Energy from the laser gives off heat, which in turn, kills the follicle. Unlike electrolysis, laser treatment can kill more than one hair follicle at a time, making laser treatment a faster though more expensive process.
Jonathan Quartuccio graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Pace University in 2007. He currently manages the sports and nightlife sections for Westchester Magazine as an assistant editor and also works part time for NBC Sports.