The best way for a human to remove their body hair? Sure, you could shave, trim, and wax. But have you ever considered laser hair removal?
We consulted with some of the most trusted experts to answer every question you’ve ever had about removing your unwanted hair.
What Is Laser Hair Removal and How Does it Work?
“Diode laser hair removal machine is a procedure where a specific beam of light bypasses the epidermis and targets the follicle, disabling the reproductive cycle of the hair without hurting the skin,” says Chris Karavolas, owner of Romeo & Juliette Laser Hair Removal in New York City. “As the follicle gets destroyed, the hair shaft becomes weak and limp, and eventually—with pre-prescribed periods of treatment—that follicle dies and no hair grows.”
Science jargon aside, the laser’s light is absorbed by the pigment in your hair; that light is converted into heat, delaying future hair growth, according to the Mayo Clinic.
How Can Laser Hair Removal Help Athletes?
“I deal with bodybuilders who don’t want any hair on their body,” Karavolas says because it helps enhance muscle definition.
“We have a lot of cyclists who do their legs and lower bodies, too.” A lot of body hair can cause added chafing and irritation when combined with tight cycling kits, sweat, and long ride times in the saddle. It also makes putting on compression tights, foam rolling, and massages easier and pain-free, since the hairs won’t get caught or tugged. Karavolas also sees plenty of swimmers. “If they can save one-tenth of a second by having less hair and break a record, then that works for them,” he says.
Plus, it saves any athlete loads of grooming time. There’s no need to shave and prep their bodies before a race or competition, and it eradicates any risk of cuts and nicks from getting infected in a locker room or pool.
Why Is more Guy Getting Laser Hair Removal?
1. Excessive Body Hair/Aesthetics
808nm diode laser hair removal is appealing for men who are uncomfortable with excess hair on their back, chest, stomach, or all over. And let’s clear up a misconception: Laser hair removal doesn’t have to leave you looking like a hairless fitness model (unless you want it to).
“A lot of guys treat their chest, not because they want to get rid of their hair completely, but they like to thin it out—they want it to be finer and sparser,” Karavolas says.
Most often, Karavolas sees men for their backs and chest. It helps men feel more confident in their skin.
Another misconception: Having a lot of body hair doesn’t mean you’re less hygienic. It’s just that some guys find manscaping helps them relieve irritation. Some might do it to reduce business and any itchiness that can be intensified by a hair in the summer months. Some guys just have really hairy butts, too. The stark contrast from a fairly hairless back to a carpet-clad bum warrant some men to get laser since shaving your cheeks is just plain cumbersome.
3. Easier Facial Grooming and Ingrown Hairs
The third most popular area Karavolas treats is guys’ mugs.
“A lot of guys want to have less hair to make shaving easier, especially if they get ingrown hairs on their neck,” Karavolas says. “Laser is the only way to effectively treat a condition called PFD, pseudofolliculitis barbae,” he adds. Clusters of inflamed, red, or dark bumps will appear around hair follicles from shaving. Essentially, they’re ingrown hairs that grow in all sorts of directions, which can leave scars.
“Even after two sessions the ingrowns can disappear, and the skin comes back to its natural condition,” Karavolas says.
Laser hair removal is also beneficial in patients with recurrent folliculitis—inflamed hair follicles that can appear as small, white-headed pimples.
4. Balding or Bad Hair Plugs
Karavolas estimates 5 percent of his clientele does their head. Might sound strange, but some guys would rather treat their head than have sporadic balding, while others might want to get rid of botched hair plugs that just don’t look right or irritate them.