Is there some other way for body hair??

Before I even start I want to say thank you very much to Andrea for starting this forum (and also!) Finding reliable hair removal information on the internet is a nightmare. I dare you to go to and type in “Hair removal”. All you get are a bazillion sites selling you lies.

This is my dilemma. I’m a 23 year old guy and I’ve got a pretty hefty amount of chest hair. I’m EXTREMELY self conscious about this and I rarely take my shirt off (even though I work out regularly and am proud of my body otherwise).

I trim the hair down with a beard trimmer to about 1/3-1/2 an inch and also shave with a Mach 3 razor around my collar bones and my stomach area. The problem with this, of course, is the trimmed hairs are very prickly and the shaved areas, while looking good for ONE whole day, get some mean lookin razor bumps. In addition it is VERY hard to shave around the collar bones/upper chest because of the angles and it never gets close enough to look very good.

I have somewhat looked into Lasers and everything but it looks very expensive as well as its not guaranteed. I honestly do not feel like being ripped off again.

About a year ago I ordered the “painless” Nad’s. Yah, painless my a$$. I can deal with pain pretty good, but I only got ONE rrrrrip into it and was damn near on the ground. Boxed it up and was done.

Next came UHA. Well, we all know about them. Thats all I need to say about that.

So in desperation I went for the depilatories (Nair). I learned VERY quickly you do not go 1 second over the recommended amount of time to leave it on. Also it did a worse job then shaving and smelled terrible.

So hear I am. Shaving still and my girlfriend hates it because it tears up her face if I have my shirt off. But I’m tired of being so self conscious about it. Is there anything else I can do? Haven’t tried to bleach and I know that the hairs would still be prickly but would it at least look better?

If I have to continue shaving, what is the best way to avoid irritation? Regular shave gel does not cut it! (pun!) I can only shave about once a week otherwise I feel like my chest is on fire, but in that week it grows back with a vengeance. I would love to find a way to shave every day or everyother day without killing myself.

OK, I wrote a book… but its just all the pent up frustration coming out of being a male and not finding ANY reliable information for body hair removal! :smile:

So once again thank you very much, Andrea, and keep up the great work!!


Hey Adam–

Thanks for the kind words! Together, we’re all gonna take the internet back from the hair removal quacks, promise!

I’ve given up on Yahoo-- they’ve completely sold out, thus making their search engine almost worthless. Google is the way to go; even AOL is switching to it!

Your letter is like many I’ve gotten over the last few years from guys who are frustrated with their hair removal options. As you mention, shaving is good for such a short time. And if your hair is even a little curly, watch out-- ingrown city unless you take a lot of steps to avoid them.

My recommendation is an experiment. Time to move from depilation (above the surface) to epilation (taking out the whole hair). Many find this much more preferable than shaving.

Here’s what I’d recommend for a first time epilation: get a pro to wax your chest and stomach. I’m sure there are a couple of good day spas or salons that do this. A really good waxer can make it much less comfortable than you can do on your own. That Nad’s crap has put a lot of people off waxing and sugaring, but it can be a good option if done right with a good product (i.e., NOT Nad’s).

California has really good regulations about waxing, so most places are pretty safe bets as long as the waxer is licensed. Maybe your girlfriend goes somewhere she can recommend. Lots of guys do it these days.

I just put some tips up in the waxing section, so check it out and see if it sounds right for you!

[ May 06, 2002, 10:26 PM: Message edited by: Andrea ]

Haha I love how straight forward you are… Its nice to see.

I can’t believe its legal to say the things they do on most of those sites, commercials, etc. But oh well… such is life.

Thanks though, I’ll check out those tips on waxing :smile:

Trust me, laser is THE way to go for chest hair. When I first started I had so much chest hair that if I let it grow wild I could not see my skin! Needless to say, very hot and uncomfortable in the summer. I am a bodybuilder too (not a professional) and got tired of having to shave my chest every day. I used a trimmer for awhile but then switched to an electric shaver with much better results. If I was going out in the boat I would sometimes blade shave with a Mach3.

I finally decided to try laser. I wish I had all the info available on hairfacts it would have been easier. I was going to go with the Soft Light laser but the technician quit the week before my appointment. As Andrea told me that was a stroke of luck as the Soft Light is not very effective.

I saw an ad for laser hair removal in the local paper and called them. I had a free consultation got a quote and decided to go with Shideler Dermatology Group as the laser technician was extremely knowledgeable and there was no high pressure sales pitch. I wound up with an excellent practitioner that I still use to this day. I am so happy with the treatments I am considering having my legs done too.

For $1400 I got my chest, stomach and back done. A follow up treatment for each area was included in the price. The chest alone would have been $700. Any treatments after that if desired would cost considerably less. My last laser session for my chest (1 hour long) cost about $100.

About 80-90% of my chest and back hair is gone. I tend to notice the little bit I have left and I want to ultimately be totally hair free so that’s why I am going to have a few more treatments. Now I can shave my whole chest and stomach in 5-10 minutes with an electric and I am totally smooth. I can skip several days if I want to as the remaining hair is finer and grows much slower.

You will notice a dramatic improvement after just one or two treatments. Yes, some hair will grow back but often it will be finer so stubble won’t be as much of a problem. And enventually the hairs that grow back can be zapped at a later date. If you are a sun worshipper like me you can take the summer off from laser treatments and resume next winter.

Shop around as prices can vary a lot. One other place I checked wanted twice as much as my current practitioner.

I’ve never been waxed but it sounds like a good alternative. I read in a magazine about something called liquid electrolysis. It’s where you get waxed then they treat the area with sdium hydroxide. After 6 treatments a month apart the hair is supposed to be gone. Haven’t heard much about it recently. Maybe Andrea knows more about it.

Good luck with whatever you decide. In the mean time try the new Mach3 Turbo. It does shave closer than the Mach 3 which I didn’t think was possible.

Hope this helps.


Thanks for posting your experiences, RJC-- what were the dates of your laser treatments?

Also, you mention Liquid Electrolysis. This is a topical preparation sold heavily to bodybuilders by a VERY disreputable company currently operating under the name Global Electrolysis Supply.

For details, please see:

Hairfacts: Liquid Electrolysis

Hairfacts: Global Electrolysis Supply (WARNING!)

[ May 07, 2002, 09:53 PM: Message edited by: Andrea ]

This year, I have had laser treatments about monthly starting in January. One time I’ll have my chest and stomach done, then the next month, I’ll have my back and arms done.

I have two follow up treatments, one tomorrow Thurs and one Saturday and that may be it for the summer. If I have any time left after the touch ups I may have my beard done. It is extremely thick and if I could get rid of even half the hair on my face and neck I would be happy. It takes me less time to shave my legs than it does my beard.


Be sure your practitioner has plenty of experience with male facial hair. It’s a very diffucult task, and overtreatment can cause problems.

Male facial hair is much more difficult to deal with than body hair, so make sure you have realistic expectations. Reduction of facial hair can be possible, but complete removal is a formidable task.

Good advice Andrea. My practitioner said the same thing. A lower fluence level is used to reduce the chances of swelling. She has had a lot of experience doing beards.


Wow, RJC, thanks a lot for the info! I really appreciate it.

Whats the pain factor like for laser?

On a scale of 1-10… 10 being almost unable to continue?

Once again, thanks!


Sorry to take so long to respond. The pain varies a lot, from 3 to 7.
It depends on the fluence setting and how good the laser’s cooling system is. The Lightsheer has contact cooling which is very effective if the practitioner usescompression. I feel very little pain unless the fluence is turned up to 45 Joules. The most painful area is around the neckline where the most coarse hairs are. Having the chest done doesn’t hurt that much. The back hurts a little bit more but not that much. I would not bother with an anesthetic, that sounds like too much hassle. I’m not about to wrap my chest and arms in saran wrap. I would rather feel the pain.

In all honesty, you need to feel at least a little pain. Sufficient energy has to reach the base of the follicle in order to destroy the ability to grow hair.

The first treatment is the most painful. Hair that does grow back is usually finer and it wont hurt as much when it is blasted a second time with the laser.

To summarize, the pain is not that bad and it is very brief. IMHO no anesthetic is needed. If you are worried about pain take an Advil ahead of time.

Hope this helps.