excess body hair, self-image and dating

Since I’m a guy, I’m directing this to other guys on the forums, but the ladies are welcome to post too.

I’m a very hairy guy. My upper body is covered in hair, really. Back, shoulders, abdomen and chest. I started developing back and chest hair during my teenage years, and the hair had spread to the shoulders by the time I was 20.

I’m also an amateur rugby player. I used to work out a lot, religiously. However, as my hair problems took its toll on my confidence and self-esteem, I began skipping sessions at the gym. I didn’t see a point in improving my body when I took my shirt off, looked myself in the mirror and saw myself as nothing short of hideous.

This also affected my ability to date girls. I’m a moderately good looking guy and I have lots of friends. However, I simply stopped dating girls in my early 20’s, because I simply couldn’t get over the fact I was excessively hairy. I felt (and still feel, to be quite honest) ugly, inferior and unattractive. I know there are non-shallow people out there, but being constantly bombarded by media stereotypes and jokes made an already too shy for his own sake guy too self-conscious to try and meet those non-shallow girls who wouldn’t care about excessive body hair, scars, excessive acne, excessive number of noses or whatever.

So, this has been me for the past four years. It has affected my life as a sportsman, as a person and as a man. I tried therapy, I tried forgetting about it, but it’s been no use. I measure myself against my friends and I can’t find a reason why any woman would pick me over them. They’re fit, like me. They’re nice people, like me. They’re smart and fun, too. But they’re not covered in black hair.

Does anybody else feel like this? How did you guys manage to get over your own insecurities about your (supposed) unattractiveness and find girlfriends and wives? Ladies, feel free to post your opinions, too. Getting to please you girls is kinda the point, anyway!

Sorry if this long-winded rant sounded whiny, I needed to vent. I have nobody to talk to about it and I’ve felt like this for so long I can’t remember how it feels to be comfortable with my own body.

Post Deleted by Poster

As you probably saw on this portion of the forum, there are tons of posts just like yours. Everyone usually feels like they’re alone in this, but in fact many men out there feel the same way and are hiding it just like you are.

As a girl, I can tell you that once a girl is interested in you, all those things don’t matter so much. I don’t know of anyone breaking up with someone over hair. When you like someone, you tend to dismiss a lot of things, not just the hair. You fall in love with the person.

If I were you, I would manage the hair with temporary methods like waxing (good waxing can be done without side effects you’ve experienced) until you’ve saved up enough money to do laser and/or electrolysis.

Just keep in mind that this is something that many people out there deal with, including men and women. Everyone feels like they’re alone in it because everyone hides it from others.

My husband is hairy like you & it’s never put me off him, I’ve always found him very attractive. Don’t underestimate the attractiveness of hairy chests - Sean Connery wore a chest wig to play James Bond.

If it bothers you, you could have the areas you really don’t like waxed off & then see how you feel about permanent hair removal.

I’ve never personally known a girl who minded a moderately hairy guy (and I live in the superficial OC, California!)

And I personally adore a furry guy. It’s manly and cute at the same time (like a bear or a puppy)! I suppose I’m a bad person to ask though because I’m completely non-superficial regarding hair, acne scars, extra noses or whatever else you mentioned. We’re all going to be ugly as sin in about 40 years anyway, so deciding who to spend your life with based entirely on how they look right now at this single moment in time is very short sighted.

You’re lucky you’re a guy. Society is much more cruel to females with this problem than males. I’ve known some pretty hairy women who had to shave and wax and bleach every inch of themselves daily just to get the confidence to go to school each day or wear shorts at PE time. I didn’t have it that easy either since I have super white skin and black hair.

Isn’t it weird that something so little (and evolutionarily useful) can f*ck up a person’s life so intensely? :stuck_out_tongue:

PRC86, I know how you feel. I felt the same way for many years. I’ve had many relationship issues because of excessive hair. Trust me I know it’s hard to find someone my age (I’m 21) that isn’t bothered by it, But once you do find the right person, at least you know that they love you for who you are. I hope this helps! :slight_smile:

I’m actually really good financially right now. The trouble is mostly finding a good clinic. I waxed my back once, but I didn’t have the guts to wax my whole torso. I happen to be a rugby player who’s also a chicken when it comes to pain, go figure. I’m willing to bear the pain if the results are permanent though.

I have no problem with my hairy chest, I think it even looks good! The major problem is my back, my shoulders (which are a bit more sparse) and my abdomen. I have that Steve Carell look going on. The hair never thins out or get any less dense in the abdomen, it looks like a solid piece from my navel all the way to my collar bone.

Well, I’m glad there are women like you around!

You’re not a bad person to ask, you just seem to be a very small minority from where I stand. I never met a girl who thought a furry guy was cute. ‘Gross’ was the most used term, I believe!

And yes, I agree, society is a lot more cruel to hairy females than to hairy males. I can’t fathom how devastating can excessive hair be to girls. I’m more troubled than most hairy guys I know by it, but I manage to fake it and joke about it. Women have no such option.

Yeah, it helps in that selfish “wee, I’m not the only one afflicted by this darn hair!” way. Not the best of feelings though. I think I’d feel better if we shared other problems, like, I don’t know, “wee, I’m not the only one who hasn’t won the lottery!”. That ‘finding the right person’ part is hard as heck though.

Thanks for the support, everyone! It really means a lot!


Actually I know some women that find a hairy guy to be a real turn on.

As to the women who don’t, why even care about what they think.

Just be yourself, truly be yourself and see what comes of it when you aren’t so self deprecating regarding your self image based solely on what you see as excess body hair.

You don’t need all women to like you, just the right one and that right one will be the one that loves you for whats outside as well as whats inside.

What a lot of women find attractive is self confidence.
Be proud of who you are, hair and all.


As much as I love reading Alicia’s statement “As to the women who don’t, why even care about what they think”, the problem is that the woman that you fall in love with might be one of the many who don’t like the hair. And that sense of shrinking possibilities is really the root of the esteem problem.

I am just saying, the truth – that some women don’t mind body hair – is sometimes of no comfort when one is dealing with theoretical possibilities.

Save up and start the treatments.

One should never spend time worrying about “maybe’s”. One can only deal in what is.

Although I don’t consider myself to be outrageously gorgeous, I have none the less worked as a model, actor, and dated what I consider a bevy of beauties. (jokingly known as “The League Of Ex-Girlfriends”, because I remained friends with most of them, and they are always popping up to do me favors, or I am doing favors for them.)

I am two or three inches shy of 6 feet tall, and yet, I have dated a woman who was 6’2", long after my days of a fit and trim 7% body fat and luscious flowing hair, I dated a print & runway model. One of my ex’s is even a princess of a small country. My point here is there are lots of reasons why I could have been telling myself that I don’t rate high enough to ask any of these ladies out on a date, or I could just get to know them and let things progress as they did.

I think you will find that if you get past the superficial, you can find others who can do the same. Did my 6’2" amazon dream of dating a 6’9" athlete? You bet she did! However, during the time we were together, I was the guy she knew, who she was most interested in, who was most interested in her. (even if I had to wait for her to bend down and kiss me)

I think you will find that if you come to some peace with yourself and move forward, you will find people who don’t let this hair come between them and a great relationship. Besides, women find confidence to be very sexy. (The tall girl loved that I was confident enough to tell her to go on and wear high heels, as her height did not bother me to begin with, no use wearing flats to save on a few more inches)

I know plenty of women who find a (moderately) hairy guy to be a real turn on. Problem is, I’m way past moderately hairy. Also: they are in their mid-to-early 30’s and 40’s. I’m just now reaching my mid-20’s. Hey, maybe I should give it another 10 years!

About wanting to be attractive, I guess it’s human nature. We want to look good, at least the majority of us do, I think. I can’t talk for everyone, but I certainly do.

I was self-confident once. Didn’t work out that well. Honest. I’m still self-confident in other areas, but my body image is a train wreck.

Pretty much this. I’ve been into girls who didn’t mind the hair, but they certainly didn’t like it. Other women of interest were downright disgusted by it.

I live in sunny Brazil and I haven’t gone to the beach in years because of my hair. I just don’t like being the odd one out. Most of my friends have some amount of body hair, like some hair on the chest and belly, but I have a single rectangle of hair that goes from my collar bone all the way down to my waist. And it connects to the hair on my shoulders. It’s quite frankly horrible to look at. If I’m this hairy right now, I wonder what is reserved to me as I get older. Maybe I should invest some of my money in a lawnmower.

You don’t consider yourself outrageously gorgeous, but worked as an actor, model and dated beauties? You come across as too humble, honestly.

I’m not tall, either. My height, though, has never been a problem to me. I’m comfortable with it. I’m not even average-sized, either. I’m on the tall side of short. Girls never seemed to care about a guy’s height. Sure, they liked taller men better, but a good looking short guy still attracted women where I live. The hair, on the other side, is a turn off to most women I know. Most of my female friends don’t even know I’m that hairy. They know I’m hairy because of my arms and legs, sure, but I look perfectly normal until I take my shirt off. You should see the looks on their faces.

Believe me, I tried to ignore the hair, but it attracted too many comments and snide remarks. I’m sure there are guys out there who don’t mind looking like a italian porn actor straight out of the 70’s, but I’m not one of them. It’s been getting progressively hard to deal with it, to the point it began affecting other areas of my life which once were fine. I spent my teens getting hairier and hairier and feeling weird, I don’t think I can spend what’s left of my youth looking like an unkempt middle-aged man.

Sorry if this got too long-winded. I sometimes exceed myself.

I think what James meant is that you have options for removing the hair to make it look whatever you think is acceptable in society (with laser and electrolysis). So you can start making plans for how to make it happen instead of focusing on being unhappy.

Personally and as a woman, I think chest and stomach hair is not only acceptable, but expected. And most women I know like it. Concentrate on removing the hair that’s considered uncommon first and it’ll already give you a lot of confidence back.

Also, don’t forget that many women are dealing with much worse. They have almost as much hair as you, but are expected to be hairless. When you find a woman attractive and/or interesting and like her, do you think right away about whether she has excess hair and about whether it will make or break your initial interest?

When people find love, hair rarely plays into it. By the time you fall in love with someone, they probably know lots of other things about you that may not be pleasant and they either love it or don’t mind it. That’s the definition of that “state”. If they care about the hair, they probably don’t actually love you for you. If all those people with beer bellies, bald or balding, downright obese, etc find people to be in relationships with, there is more to it than the imperfections. And lots of relationships involve just one person with “visible” flaws. Everyone has them. Some hide theirs better than others. It’s in our nature to think that you must have it the worst.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this, since I’m somewhat living on accumulated wealth for now (meaning I’m jobless).

I know hair shouldn’t come into play, and I’m probably dating the wrong women, but I can’t help the feeling that there’s something wrong with me, not them. I’ve been told, more than once, that I am physically disgusting. And yes, mostly it was related to hair.

I guess I used to misguide women about my physical appearance…well, shirtless and/or clotheless. I’ve been told I have a somewhat handsome face. I also happen to have dark blondish/light brown hair on my head, and I used to be very fit. You know, six pack, bulging muscles and the like. I can’t help to imagine it was a shock for most girls I’ve been with to see the blondish guy take of his shirt and be covered in very dark hair.

I dismissed the first girl’s comments as merely being said out of spite, 'cause we were breaking up. But I’ve been made fun of in a very non-friendly way more than once. And it certainly took its toll on my confidence. The worst part is, I have very hairy genetics (I mean, I’m half-jewish-portuguese, half-italian. Could I be any hairier?), so I doubt laser hair removal will be the end of it. I will most likely grow lots of hair for the rest of my life. And, if it did not trouble me that much before, my obsession over hair is certainly reaching it’s peak. I haven’t dated any women in a couple of years. People must be starting to wonder whether I’m gay.

Sorry if I repeat myself too much. I just can’t help it. I feel drat ugly all the time, I’m not happy with myself, even if I used to excell in other areas of my life (I had a very promising career which now seems to be going downhill, can’t tell if it’s somewhat related to my insecurities towards my own body or not). I know I’m far from the worst, and I’ve seen hairy guys with attractive, smart and funny women, but I just can’t see it happening to me. I enter this vicious cycle everytime I start thinking about it. The worst part is, I can’t open myself to my therapist about it, I’m much too ashamed, I try to, but words often don’t come out and I usually change the subject to something else that’s been bothering me.

Crap, being overly hairy sucks.

As MagicalPrincessKitty very well said: “Society is much more cruel to females with this problem than males”.
You live in Brazil so you know how much pressure brazilian girls are under to look flawless in a tiny bikini.

You’re going to tell me that’s not exactly helping you directly and you’ll be right but it does put things in perspective.

Plus, from what I read from your post, you are a red-blooded italian amateur rugby player who lives in Brazil… I know most of the women I know are already in love with you without even needing to seeing you :wink:

PRC86: You just need to move. :stuck_out_tongue: Come to America and I can find you about 2 dozen gorgeous girls who would be drooling over you in my hometown alone.

But don’t feel bad about being insecure. I think it’s unreasonable to expect people to be the pinnacle of confidence all the time. You’re allowed to have insecurities as long as you don’t use them for an excuse to stop living your life. Talk to your therapist about it. Just do it. You’re paying him to listen to your humiliating stories, so you should try and get your money’s worth.

It is logical to complain and curse genetic inheritance you have left your ancestors. But that will not make you feel better.
Your problem has a solution and this solution not going to find in a therapist’s couch. Your greatest virtue is your age. How much you got in this world? 24 years? At 26 you can have your problem solved. Replace your therapist for one hour a week with a fast and efficient electrologist. And in nine months you will have your back smooth and clean like a baby. One hour per year for hairs that are stimulated in the future and be less hairy boy who was walking on the beach.

My male clients spend several hours a week at a gym, with the aim of developing their muscles. Why not use one of those hours to remove the hairs that bother you so much?

depilacionelectr, I respectfully disagree. Although I agree he should get his hair removed, I don’t think his therapist is a waste of time.

His insecurities are not caused by excessive hair, darling. They are caused by the way people TREAT HIM based on his excessive hair. Removing the hair doesn’t make the rest of the world less shallow, and it doesn’t make it easier to trust people. Once it’s all gone, he will have to deal with the knowledge that his future girlfriend might not have agreed to date him if he was still hairy. He will never know if he is loved for who he really is, or for the “good looking” guy he paid a crap-load of money to become. This same issue can happen for people who lose weight and expect to have more confidence, but actually feel more insecure because people who didn’t like them before suddenly love them. It is startling and traumatic to find out that your value to people is directly proportional to your good looks.

A good therapist will give you a neutral sounding board for these problems and help to prevent you from associating your self-worth with other peoples’ opinions. If his therapist genuinely makes him feel better, he should keep going (for as long as it helps). He shouldn’t have to stop unless he feels he isn’t getting anything out of it anymore, which is the ultimate goal of therapy anyway.

So in summation: Therapy is not a waste of time if the client gets something out of it. For some people they need both. It’s a personal choice and you shouldn’t challenge him on something so personal.

I totally know how you feel. It feels like you are trapped. I highly recommend staarting work ASAP to remove the hair but most of all work at conquering your self-sabotaging attitude towards yourself.

I lost most of my 20s in that despair of “Waaahhh… I’m doomed!.. Roaccutane has brought on premature baldness and my body hair is increasing rapidly” … and with that miserable mindest, one is not attractive. It’s a vicious cycle.

In the mid 30s I really started to live because I realised “Yikes! I’ve been acting old and over the hill for the past 10 years but soon I will be middle aged! I want to LIVE!”

And so I developed self-confidence … which attracted people to me - and moreso I became more self-confident when I started to shave off hair in between getting work one; laser and electrolysis.

Sure, there may be a lot of seemingly shallow people, especially younger people, they are conditioned by the mass media and peers but fundamentally people are attracted to people who feel good about themselves. Because people who feel that way are fun to be around.

Would you prefer to be around a super model who is miserable and obsessing over her imperfections, stiff and rigid (repressed) in her body, or around a “plain jane” who is care free, spontaneous and lots of fun to be around?

In my 20s, my body hair or baldness didn’t scare people off. It was my reserved or even downright negative and unfun attitude that scared people away.

That’s how it is.

A humble, positive, fun and sincerely charismatic self-attitude is THE most attractive thing.

Believe me, once you have that, life is vastly different. It’s like you become magnetic and people want to be around you, want a part of what you’ve got.

And you’re still very young … you have lots of time and tons of life to live!

Yes, MPK, I understand your perspective. But I refuse to believe that a healthy and intelligent man, in need of a psychoanalyst. PRC’s ideas are well organized in his head. He knows that the problem lies in the image that others expect of him.
I believe that those who need a therapist, are the others. In fact, the PRC friends they need is … mature and use his sense of humor about things deeper. Meanwhile, he can do a lot for your self by facing with a solution.
Do not do any favors by saying that the package is not the most important. Not in this world where to get a job, it requires a photograph on the resume. Where elections are won by hiring a good image consultant. Where the ideal female model is a skeleton with skin. This world is full of hypocrisy. A physically disabled, not have it so easy to be economically independent. But an obese, simply changing your diet and do some exercise.
I’ve heard that too often grandmothers. Why do not I met you at age 20?
So I will not help a person resigned to spend his life regretting not to have fought.


Well Josefa, it is obvious that he should remove the hair if it’s bothering him. We all agree with that (or we wouldn’t be on this forum). But if he feels he wants therapy, which he does since he’s ALREADY GOING, then you can’t tell him he’s wrong. For all you know, he has other issues that he doesn’t want to share with us.

So let’s just leave the judgments and psychology advice to the professionals and stick to hair advice and emotional support. :slight_smile: