How is it that all the guys I see in magazines and on TV have these perfectly hairless bodies? Most of us are not born with a smooth back, legs, and ass. What is it they use?
Hairy and curious
Dear Hairy and curious,
Just as you have assumed, most people are not born with perfectly hairless bodies. In fact, most people only get hairier after puberty. The hairless male models you are seeing could be using a variety of different methods to get that smooth-smooth look. It’s important to remember that the guys you are seeing on TV or in magazines may have been “made” hairless with the help of image manipulation and editing software.
For real world hair removal, some of the men may be using temporary hair removal options including shaving (by far the most popular method), waxing, depilatory creams, tweezing, and trimming. If you decide to go this route, try using a light hand and keep antibiotic ointment close by to treat any nicks or bumps.
For a long-term solution, some men opt for laser hair removal. Although it’s costly, laser hair removal is a permanent solution that leaves the skin’s surface smooth by essentially killing hair follicles with the use of an FDA-approved laser beam. There are potential laser hair removal side effects. Also, if you choose laser hair removal, you may want to keep in mind that trends in body hair come and go and you may want your hair back at some point. Here's some additional helpful information:
- Abrasions, cuts, and rashes from hair removal increase susceptibility to infections so for extremely sensitive areas like the genitals, anus, and nipples, see a professional for medical advice.
- For do it yourself hair removal — take it slow and start by experimenting with the back of your neck, chest, buttocks, back, toes, and knuckles to get the hang of it.
If you are interested in permanent laser hair removal, it’s recommended that you meet and discuss your options with a dermatologist first. Your primary care provider may be able to recommend a dermatologist in the area. Columbia Morningside students can call Medical Services at 212-854-7426 or log-in through Open Communicator to make an appointment. Columbia Medical Center students can contact Student Health Services at 212-305-3400. If you’re not a student at Columbia, contact your health care provider or school's health service for an appointment to speak with a dermatologist
Body hair serves many purposes — including protection from the cold, cushioning, and physical expression of sexual maturity and virility. If you don’t want to remove your body hair, go ahead, embrace your fuzz! Go with your gut and do what’s right for you (and your wallet). If you decide to experiment with temporary hair removal and don’t like the results, don’t sweat it — it’ll grow back.Alice!