Men's Leg and Body Hair Removal

Hi All

Having followed this forum for several years now as well as many public polls, and being an active participant in hair removal as a male, I think it can be confidently said that male hair removal is exponentially on the increase. I personally believe that male hair removal will equal that of female hair removal soon.

I have said before that I believe there is a huge industry in male hair removal in the near future and I am interested to see who would agree with that. The depth of detail supplied by all the regular members of this forum indicates the clear interest in hair removal for men.

There is much less emphasis on men who shave being gay today as I see it, and rather it seems that shaving gels (pardon the pun) nicely with modern patterns of fitness and youth. I would be interested and appreciate the input from the forum now as to the question of whether shaving legs, body etc. for men is regarded as mostly normal in modern society in the various areas of the world.

My personal opinion is a big yes, and I do so with total confidence. While hair removal on legs is very common in SA where I live, not very many clinics and therapists advertise for men yet, so shaving dominates. The US by contrast do advertise towards men in this regard, but from what I note fewer men in their 30’s ever consider this in the US. The youth on the other hand, just like here, seem to accept this as normal.

This is an interesting shift in modern thinking and I think would make for a good topic of discussion.

Regards
Stuart

When I first waxed my underarms I was hesitant in letting other men see the result. Afer awhile I began letting people see the hairless pits and got favorable comments.This led me to having the hair removed permanently by electrolysis. I now go out of my way to display my smooth underarms;and while some men and women don’t say anything,most think they look wonderful and about 30% want to know where they can go to get it done. What is holding most men back is that women are not pushing enough to make men do what men expect them to do…have smooth bodies.Girls it is up to you to set the stage

Stuart:
Its funny you made that post today. I am a research psychologist by training, though not by practice, and I have become totally fascinated by this, and related trends in men’s grooming and sex role stereotyping as it appears to have changed in the past 20 or so years. There was an article today in the Wall Street Journal, of all places, on the image of men in Chinese advertising, and using men who are extremely “androgenous” in cosmetic advertising. There also are substantial amounts of face cleansers, and other skin care products now aaimed at men, where 10 years ago only Clinique made products for men.

Now, about shaving. The big question to me is, no disrespect, on this board there are about 5 of us talking to one another, which does not a trend make. I do agree that many more men shave their legs, pits, abs, etc than used to , and I’m not disputing a clear shift in men’s grooming and hair removal, but I would really like to know how large a shift it is, and also how women, in a systematic way, feel about it. Clearly such detailed research would be expensive, but pershaps there are some creative ways to obtain a bigger pool of data than we have here. I believe, deep down, there has been a shift among younger men and women that do not like body hair on men, at least not too much of it, and probably other grooming for men as well. There are even some hints that men use make up, though I’ve never seen it personally. In truth, it does not make sense that women do all the grooming, and men do none, but I think historically it has been an economic and power issue. If men make the money, and women look good, you have a kind of balance. Now, women make almost as much as men, and still look good, whereas in America, there exists this “:ideal male” who is a total pig. Granted, I believe this is changeing, but how do you explain using this total male pig in so much advertising that men are meant to relate to? Are women shifting and men not? There are tons of interesting questions here, and I’m open to everyone’s thoughts.

Meantime, I know I personally am not a bit self conscioius about shaved legs now, whereas 10 years ago, I was very self conscious. I would say I’m still sensitive about the shaved pits, and outside of a gym, would probably not really show them. However, it is self fulfilling–pershaps I’d leg loads of positive feedback if I let others see them.

Veinlover,you are probably correct that this is the wrong place to get the average mens reaction to removal of body hair;however the women who frequent this web have husbands or boyfriends that they can discuss the subject with. Their feedback would provide a more accurate assessment of trends in males toward shaving various area of the body and if they dont presently shave those areas would they like to if they were not fearful of public reaction the smooth pits,legs,etc. Its difficult for men to talk to other men about the subject.

Hi Veinlover

Yes good points all around in your post. There are a limited mumber and small pool discussing this openly on this board. However looking at the amounts of views in the short time since I posted this comment, I think there is a tremendous amount of interest amoung men and women (and younger people) about the whole subject.

It would be difficult to establish a scientifically valid theasus in a consumer forum despite the accuracy of any posts. I think Barrester also has a good point in that women need to speak up today. I know that from my personal experiance most women I interact with do like my appearance and don’t feel it is wrong or “gay” at all. They like it and they also like men who stand up and embrace a change.

The “hairy belly beer drinking pig” is definatly out of fashion if I can put it that way. This of course does not mean I don’t drink beer and have a hairy belly (the hairy belly I am trying to change).

Apart from replys on the forum and views of posts by non-members, I base a lot of what I say on what I see in reality. Most male younger people up to say 30 are shaving their legs and maybe other parts of their bodies here in SA. This seems aimed at both sport and what I think is a fashionable look now.

I saw some well built guys recently in Florida doing the same, but far less “average” people adopting the trend in that State. I belive men will shave their legs and bodies much more and quite rapidly in the near future (at least in western cultures). What motivates this is what interests me. I have posted my reasons extensivly on this board and am interested to know if this is the true of other men of any age.

Regards
Stuart

I think this is an excellent thread. And yes, indeed, it seems much more prevalent to see guys today looking for the bare look. I don’t know if the advertising industry has started it, or if the advertising industry is merely reflecting a societal trend.

But I see many more guys these days that shave their arms, legs, etc. as where in the past it has mainly been swimmers or bikers. Non athletes are doing it now for the sheer look. I find shaving to be very therapeutic and also because I absolutely detest hair that isn’t on my head, beard, or eyebrows. I shave my chest stomach and upper arms and don’t know why I didn’t do it earlier. I’m currently saving up so I can have it all permanently removed with electrolysis and not have to worry about it ever again.

I have several friends who shave and, while you can tell who shaves what (for the most part), its something we rarely talk about. But I don’t think guys actually talk about these kind of things, we just acknowledge that it IS something we do. However, the fact that we aren’t talking about it could be a sign that it is becoming a more common and natural thing for guys to do…

There will always be guys who won’t shave, or guys that don’t have to shave (bastards), but it is certainly becoming more socially acceptable. Free socities tend to secularize and liberalize - not in a political sense, but social - on their own over time and I think what we are sensing now taking root is probably just a makeover (no pun intended) of an increasing trend for males.

Well, if you need more input, I’ll chime in here (first post). I think men do less grooming, simply because its a time-consuming pain to do so. If I can get away with less personal expense/time/pain in my grooming, then (guess what?), I will. Just like the typical couple who reduce their levels of self-grooming after marriage. Women have been conditioned since birth to meet certain minimum limits and to ignore this within most societies, is to buck a very significant pressure. Male slobs are not really chastised much, ya know.

I do not like to shave and had a beard for years because of this. However, after my wife and I “discovered” the thrills of being smooth, I now shave regularly (face and elsewhere). I am not really a metrosexual, but I have kept some minimum standard of neat personal appearance. I have always trimmed underarm, back, pubic hair. Now, at 40+ (an old man for you guys!), I am ready to have permanent removal; its now affordable for me and I want the convenience (I have just started LHR). Also, it can now be obtained easily – in Dallas, there are many salons that cater to male hair removal (all over, too!).

I limit my hair removal to face, neck, shoulders, back, full groin, and buttocks (to me, this is the annoying hair and parts I like smooth). I will leave my chest, gut, arms, and legs as is (medium hairy) because my wife likes it that way (and so do I).

At the health club, I do NOT see any shaved males (below the neck) in suburban North Texas. Although, I do not “hide” my pits or back, I do not show my pubic or buttock region. I am somewhat shy with hair, but I do not want extra attention from the lockerroom guys due to my hairless groin.

It’s a great trend since I like the support (such as this forum). But, I do hate “wasting” the time and energy…

Tex, I agree that most men will be disinclined to spend much time shaving their bodies unless somehow forced. Ways to force would include women, and the media. Face it, the media got women shaving their pits and legs, it can get men to shave too. And, if not, it will get their women to make them do it. Until then, I think most men will leave well enough alone. Unless, like those of us on the board, they personally don’t like hair.

I do not usually look on shaving my body as a chore. It is kind of relaxing, and in its own way sensual, and mostly, unless I’m in a big hurry, I enjoy it. Plus, there is the usual male reward at the end, satisfaction at a job well done. I find it rather a nice challenge to see how good a job I can do, how fast, but not to stress out about it. I enjoy showers anyhow, and this gives me something to do while I’m standing there. I am generally mystified at how women can find shaving their (mostly lower) legs, and pits such a pain, when in reality that can be done in a very few minutes. Plus, since their hair is usually finer, it is easier to shave. My legs are always at least as smooth as my wifes, usually smoother, as I do it every day, and she does not. Plus, she is one of those women who doesn’t feel the need to shave her upper legs, though there is fine, blonde hair there. Of course if a woman shaves down below, that takes some care, naturally, but so many women have that waxed.

It definitely is not super common for USA men to shave their body hair, but much more so than 10 years ago. I see many men with shaved legs in the Chicago area, not really a hot climate. Pubes I have no idea, and men don’t tend to show their pits, either, which is fortunate, because I think hairy pits are totally disgusting. When I go to the gym, no one says anything about the pits or the legs. What really IS common for men to shave is their chest, and if you have back hair, I think it is getting to be very common to remove it, as women seem to universally dislike back hair, even if their like hair elsewhere. Figure that one out. Lots of salons will wax men’s backs for them. In movies, TV, magazines, men who obviously are hairy, judging by their thick beard and pit hair, have no chest hair at all. That is not natural, so it must be shaved. I admit it looks nice, especially if the guy is in shape, and I think many women, especially younger ones, like it shaved. The era of guys with hair poking out of the top of their shirt ( and sometimes through the fabric) is ending I believe.). My 20 year old daughter, for example, thinks that looks “gross”.

More men are working out, at least younger ones, and trying to diet better, so the emphasis on grooming may catch on more. Guys who lift weights tend to shave their body, as it shows their muscle and vascularity. Cyclists shave their legs, as do runners, principally, I think, because the cyclists do.

One thing for sure: If you shave a body part, you will probably not go back to natural. That has been my experience, and I’ve read it here on the board. I think once men shave, they will realize how nice it looks and feels, and will stay with it. However, judging by how men shave their faces, you will see a lot of body stubble along the way, unless they get it zapped off. If the cost of laser comes down a lot, I’ll bet many more men will do it. I know I will, though I think I would actually miss shaving, but the results will be better. The other thing, I think if you begin with guys “trimming” their hair, which is less “threatening”, they will move on to shaving it altogeether. Women might want to be patient with their men, and let them get there gradually, as there still is huge bias in the US that shaving is somehow “gay”. In other countries, people are not nearly as homophobic, so this may not be an issue.

It may not be a chore sometimes, but it does take time to shave face, neck, and groin (carefully). And also at the salon for back and more. I must shave daily to stay smooth, but often its less often and I must time my shaving/depilation for date nights as well.

I have a teen girl, so I get to see the Abercrombie catalog via the UPS. The male models have no hair except under their arms! I agree that this is not attractive (but it must sell clothing to teens!). In real life, though, you will get stubble allright as male hair grows significantly every day!

North Texas may not be the same as the coasts (duh!) – I do not meet any guys at my LHR salon. Only women work there as well! They say they have male clients, however, and are beginning to target us in their advertising (e.g. articles, up front quotes, pictures).

Hi md1239

Thanks for your response. We both seem to have a common adversion to non facial hair. As tex & veinlover have discussed the time and effort of removal for men seems to be as big a deterent as the so called “gay” perception. After years of leg shaving I now acknowlegde that I actually do it more for the look and feel than for the sport that started it.

Lots of other guys here are moving in the same direction. It is incredibly comfortable not to have hairy legs and this makes it worth the time for me. I have had one laser session on my knees and this was a bit uncomfortable in the sense that I was the first male client that salon had for leg hair removal. I was OK actually (at 35 I’m a bit behind tex in age, but too old to be very self consious), it was the women who seemed not to know how to react.

After we got down to it however I was the center of attention and they all agreed smooth legs looked better on guys. I think men need to look above the trees today and realise that smooth skin is much more attractive to women and much more comfortable than general hairiness. There will always be a section of society that will disagree, but one can’t care about that above what you feel to be better.

Luckily in South Africa having shaved legs is not looked at as gay except by a very small group, who would be ill advised to say that in public here. Gay people here are openly so, and for the most part nobody really cares as they are entitled to that lifestyle and don’t bother anyone else.

A lot of guys that I know admire the sleek look of shaved legs, but are a bit to lazy to shave every day as you need to do too keep the look. As I mentioned before advertising here is behind in targeting men for laser & electrolosis. This will change soon, I am sure, because of the huge potential market.

Some of my older friends have teen boys who shave their legs as normal practice and a lot of male kids here do it (apparently it’s “not cool” to have hairy shins when skateboarding or if wearing longish boardshorts).

A smooth skinned look adds a sense of youthfullness and energy. I lot of people I meet for the first time casually, think I am still in my twenties. That may be because of my blonde hair (which does not show the grey) and smooth legs I look a bit “boyish”, but it is quite complimentary.

Anyway there is still a lot to be discussed about this subject, but these are my points so far.

Regards
Stuart

Braun 7526 vs. Norelco Cool Shave 7755X

I am relatively new to the shaving regime however, in the past few months have been doing it regularly and love it. I am trying to figure out the best way to acheive a painless, clean smooth shave. I use th Norelco Cool Shave 7755X for my face and love it. I tried it on my legs and chest, and didn’t notice much of difference. I didn’t dare use it on my butt. Regular razors give me red bumps there - no matter what I use afterwards or how long I wait between shaves.

I just bought the Braun 7526 after reading the posts on here on a trial basis. This thing is quite loud! Is this safe to use on chest/legs/arms/butt? It is a dry razor - should you put anything on your skin before shaving? The razor itself seems like a nice one.

What’s the verdict on what to use after a shave? Gold Bond Powder, Udder Creme, body oil? I’ve tried each, and all seem to be fine.

Let me know soon, those of you who’ve tried or use the Braun 7526 because I need to take it back ASAP if it’s not worth keeping!

Johnathon: Try waxing your underarms and genital area once; and compare the differance in the feeling from shaving. Both ways are better than having the hair; but the feel after waxing makes the feel from shaving passe.

Johnathon: Try waxing your underarms and genital area once; and compare the differance in the feeling from shaving. Both ways are better than having the hair; but the feel after waxing makes the feel from shaving passe.

Would epilating do as well as waxing?

Hi Jonathon

First of all did you use the Coolskin dry or with the moisturizing dispenser? Dry use will lead to razor bumps and redness until your skin is very well adapted and that may take many weeks. The moisturising pump provided with the Coolskin allows a smoother more soothing shave, particularly on inner upper legs and possibly the butt areas.

Of all the electrics I find the Coolskin waterproof to be the best for leg shaving. You can use it anywhere (Shower, underwater in the bath, dry or with moisturing dispensation).

If you need to use something to lubricate, the manufacturers branded lubricants are the best, but a good hypoallergenic soap applied to the skin before will work very well. If you live in a hot dry climate application of a hypoallergenic cream to leg / butt areas will also help, but try not to use this if you need to wear long trousers for the first few days - it will be uncomfortable.

Most importantly, even if you must return your razor for now is to give your skin time to adapt to electric shaving. It takes awile because hair folical do grow cyclicly and irritation and bumps will be there at first. Once your skin is normally used to the action of shaving you will not have any trouble with itching or redness, you only need to persist.

I hope this helps.

Regards
Stuart

Hi Stuart,
I took the Braun 7526 back today in favor of keeping the Cook Skin 7755X. I can use that one in the shower and it feels great on my face. I think I might trty that again to shave my body. I had been using a razor, and still do, but that one area (butt meets upper leg) gets the red bumps that drive me crazy. Everything else seems to be just fine. I am not sure if using the Cool Skin electric will help to remedy this problem in the future as I had been using a blade prior to that. I shave while in the shower, so scrubbing beforehand is something I do, but after getting out I’ve tried Gold Bond powders, sometimes I will use massage oil or just body lotion (udder cream).

This is a great thread. I do think hair removal in men is becoming more common and more accepted. It is quite common for guys from college age up to maybe their 30s and 40s to shave their chests and backs. Shaved legs are not so common, but is more common than in the past. Having a lot of chest and back hair is very uncomfortable, especially in the summer. I think this one reason shaving those areas is more common. Leg hair, unless you have a lot of it, is not as bad. In the summer, most men are wearing shorts most of the time when outdoors in the hot weather, so that makes it more tolerable. After all, you can wear shorts just about anywhere other than work. We can’t go shirtless everywhere so that makes a heavy coat of chest hair more of a problem in the heat.

I had only a moderate amount of hair on my legs, and I am fortunate enough that I even get to wear shorts at work. So comfort was not a big problem for me. I decided to shave my legs because I looked and felt so much better after I shaved my chest and back. So I thought I might as well try doing my legs too. A buddy and co-worker of mine was a competetive bodybuilder, and had been shaving his legs and told me to try it and that I would like it. And he was right! I’ve never gone back. If I would have had to wear long pants to work, comfort would have been an issue for me and I would have started shaving my legs immediately when I started working full time. I don’t know how anyone can stand all that body hair if they have to wear long pants, and especially if they have to wear a suit and tie. Even though my legs were not extremely hairy, wearing long pants is way more comfortable if one’s legs are shaved.

And I agree that a lot of men view shaving as a pain, especially if they have thick beards. And they don’t want to add that hassle for other body parts. This may be more of a factor than the perceived “gay factor.” So I think this would be one factor that body shaving is not even more common than it is. The introduction of effective long-term hair removal methods, especially laser, is changing that, as it makes shaving less necessary and less of a pain. So I think body hair removal will become more common. Legs will probably be the last area that men shave on a regular basis, but it’s coming. Changes in grooming trends don’t always happen overnight. But Michael Jordan made head shaving popular over a few years’ time, so you never know how long it will take for a trend to start. Head shaving is not extremely common for men as a whole but it is more common than it used to be, and for those men who have male pattern baldness, head shaving is very common.

Half of my practitioner’s customers/patients are men. She does both electrolysis and laser, and men are having both done. Legs aren’t real common yet, but more men are asking for that too. Having the armpits cleared is very common among men, along with chests and backs. Now that the hot weather is here, I am really feeling the benefits of electrolysis on the armpits! What a difference! The armpits must have a lot to do with temperature regulation, I feel so much cooler than I expected. I hate being hot and this has helped so much I never would have believed it.

I will reply to Jonathan’s question about electrics in a separate reply, this reply is getting way too long!

RJC2001

Braun 7526 vs. Norelco Cool Shave 7755X

I am relatively new to the shaving regime however, in the past few months have been doing it regularly and love it. I am trying to figure out the best way to acheive a painless, clean smooth shave. I use th Norelco Cool Shave 7755X for my face and love it. I tried it on my legs and chest, and didn’t notice much of difference. I didn’t dare use it on my butt. Regular razors give me red bumps there - no matter what I use afterwards or how long I wait between shaves.

I just bought the Braun 7526 after reading the posts on here on a trial basis. This thing is quite loud! Is this safe to use on chest/legs/arms/butt? It is a dry razor - should you put anything on your skin before shaving? The razor itself seems like a nice one.

What’s the verdict on what to use after a shave? Gold Bond Powder, Udder Creme, body oil? I’ve tried each, and all seem to be fine.

Let me know soon, those of you who’ve tried or use the Braun 7526 because I need to take it back ASAP if it’s not worth keeping!

Hi Jonathan. Sorry I didn’t reply to your post earlier. I have a 7526 in my hair removal arsenal. It has proven to be very good for body hair removal, especially if you skip a day or two. The long hair trimmer works very well. Did you try the 7526 on your legs before you took it back? If you did, how did it compare in closeness to the Coolskin?

If you are used to the Coolskin, the Braun, especially the Synchro, is going to seem very noisy! And one problem with the Synchro is the frame that supports the drive unit can fail, then it gets really noisy! But that is replaced under warranty in the first two years of ownership.
The Syncros are very good at not causing irritation. Nothing is as quiet as a Norelco. It makes all other shavers seem noisy. I would guess that the Braun would cause less irritation though.

My electric of choice is now the Braun Activator. It has a different foil design, it runs at a higher speed, and shaves a little bit closer than the Syncro. It is also quieter than the Syncro. I think they fixed the problem with the drive unit frame support breaking as I have not had this problem with the Activator. The only downside to the Activator is the price, at $159 it is more expensive than the Syncro. But IMHO it is worth the extra money.

You will find that some prefer a foil, and others prefer the rotary. Norelco is the only rotary worth considering. I tried a Remington rotary on my beard and it tore the hell out of my skin and it was very noisy. Stuart speaks highly of the Coolskin, so much so that I am considering buying one to try out. I have had 2 laser treatments on my entire legs and I would estimate that about 50% of the hair is gone, and what is left is much finer. When I use the Activator it now feels like I used a blade. When I use a blade, it feels like I never had hair on my legs period.

The upper thighs (hamstrings) are prone to razor bumps and ingrowns. My practitioner confirmed this. I trim the hair on my upper thighs and butt close, but don’t normally shave it clean. I will shave it clean (with a blade) the night before a laser treatment though. I just looked at the back of my upper hamstrings and there is hardly any hair there at all!!! Props to the Lyra-i laser! I have to say that my last laser treatment there hurt like hell! It was well worth it though. In spite of the pain, there was no post treatment redness or blistering!

I am interested in your answer to Stuart’s question about the Coolskin. Did you try it dry and wet? What was the difference? I am thinking about the Coolskin, it has a lot of good reviews. But yet I am happy with the Activator. Decisions, decisions!

BTW, if you use a blade, the only way to go IMHO, is the Venus Vibrance or the M3 Power, both from Gillette. This will give you the absolutely closest shave possible with the least amount of irritation. Some find the handle on the Venus easier to grip in the shower and the rounded edges of the cartridge make it easier to shave behind the knees and in the armpits.

BTW, the Braun electrics have a 30 day money-back guarantee, and the Norelcos have 60 days. The only way to know for sure which is best for you is to try them and give your skin time to adjust.

I see you are from Duluth MN. It’s a great vacation area in the summer! All of my relatives, except my sister, are from Hibbing, 75 miles to the north. Is body shaving very common for men in Duluth? My guess would be no but I could be wrong.

Hope this helps. Welcome to Hairtell!

RJC2001

Yup, my tech says that men are getting underarms done frequently (I wish I had numbers or percentages). It certainly is not unusual in North Texas. Also, the client ages vary greatly including middle-agers like me! For me, its not temperature, but hygiene – I’ve trimmed my pits for 20+ yrs to cut down on sweat and odor. Just makes me feel cleaner…

Yeah, I started trimming, then shaving my armpits because of the perspiration stains on my shirts. No problem once I got rid of the hair.

RJC2001

I am so surprised that in your experience men are getting their underarm hair removed. It seems to me that most men regard their pit hair as some final bastion of maleness, though of course that is absurd, given how much pit hair women have. But I think it is a guys “right” to have natural pit hair, gross as it is, that men love about it. I’ve seen guys in the gym comb and blow dry their pits they have so much hair, and it doens’t bother them a bit. I think they revel in its grossness. Women, on the other hand, I think would love men to lose their pit hair. First, shavedd pits are very sexy, its a beautiful part of the human anatomy, where the biceps, lats and chest all meet up. If you are muscular, it is really a great part of the body, evidenced by how much time bodybuilders spend on flexing there. How often do you see men with no hair on their bodies except under their arms–I find that is rather common.

So, while intuitively I agree leg hair is the last thing men will shave, I actually think pit hair is the last to go. I see lots of men with shaved legss. I don’t know about pubes, of course, and armpits aren’t very visible. I am certain the most shaved body part is chest and back, probably followed by pubes. Of course, very few men shave their arms, though I do, and think it looks great. The fist thing I shaved was my pits, second my legs, then chest, abs, and pubes, and last, arms.

I spoke with an electrologist locally about having my pits done, and she seemed very surprised a man wanted his underarm hair removed. Of course she was more than happy to do it. She usually does back and chest for men. I’m always amazed at how few women have their pit hair professionally removed, as you can often see it, just like with a man, and it isn’t that attractive, though under the right circumstances the stubble can be sexy.