Here’s a quick look at different techniques for chest hair removal:
1. Shaving: Pros: Cheap, easy. Cons: Grows back quickly; itchy chest. Shave with the grain of the hair, not against it. And Kramer’s wrong on this one. Shaved hair does not grow back thicker or darker.
2. Tweezing: Pros: Cheap, easy, hair grows back less quickly. Cons: It takes a long time, especially if you’re really hairy, and is slightly painful.
3. Depilatories: Pros: Painless, cheap. Cons: Funky smell, messy, and chemicals can cause irritation or rash.
4. Waxing: Pros: Hair grows back less quickly; faster than tweezing. Cons: It’s expensive and hurts, as Steve Carell illustrates. Don’t try it at home.
5. Electrolysis: Pros: Permanent. Cons: Permanent. Can also be expensive depending on the number of treatments needed, and hurts. It works by zapping the hair and plucking it out. The zapping part makes it more permanent than tweezing.
6. Laser hair removal: Pros: Permanent. Cons: Permanent. Very expensive and painful. It works by using a laser to explode the hair follicle, which feel like snapping a rubber band against your chest. It only works for darkly colored hairs. Lightly colored or gray hairs don’t respond.
If you’re a guy who prides himself on his close shave, then think about taking a break once in a while. Here’s why:
1. Allowing your hair to grow can help unclog pores and reduce ingrown hairs in just a few days. Longer, trapped hairs are easier to pluck free than short ones. Once free, be sure to shave it gently and not too close to the skin so it doesn’t start to grow inward again. Don’t pluck it. Plucking can lead to a new ingrown hair when that follicle starts to grow hair again.
2. Shaving is a form of exfoliating, which is good for sloughing off dead skin cells. However, too much exfoliation can sometimes to lead to irritation in the form of razor bumps and redness. Exfoliation exposes tender skin underneath. Taking some time off gives your skin a chance to heal.
3. It’s easier to soften your beard when the hairs are longer. Short, just shaved hairs are pinchy. As the hair grows it becomes softer. Apply warm water and warm shaving cream to your beard and let sit for 3 minutes before you shave again.
Bonus: Periodic displays of facial hair demonstrates to your potential mate that you’re a healthy male who’s capable of siring children for her someday.