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Adventures in hair removal

February 9th, 2007 · No Comments · Grooming

I am lucky in that the only place I have a lot of hair is on my head. Though, as I get older, the hair on top gets more grey, and more hair is slowly showing up in other places on the body.

I do a wee bit of manscaping on a fairly regular basis: I fight the unibrow, tend to nose hair, trim (but not shave) under the arms and around the old John Thomas. Like Dr. Evil, I also usually keep the scrotum shorn. I also pass a Braun electric razor over my face almost every day. Conny View definition in a new window says facial hair is verboten, and I agree. Mostly because I couldn’t grow a respectable beard or mustache if I tried. Sadly, I did attempt a moustache once in my foolish youth, and that was a big mistake. In spite of attempts to destroy them, photos still keep emerging with evidence of this grooming gaff from my past.

There’s certain areas where I’d rather not have hair, mostly because my skin is so cave-dweller white and my body hair so frickin’ black. My back is one such place. But it is very hard to manscape back hair without help. Believe you me, I didn’t have to ask Conny twice. Not because she cares much about the hair on my back (she doesn’t care), but because it combines two things she loves: grooming, and hurting me. This woman is like Quickdraw McGraw with the tweezers given a chance. Some mornings I wake up and she’s looming over me, ready to pounce like a mountain lion, tweezers in hands, gleeful look in her eyes. My ingrown facial hairs are like a game to her, never mind that it hurts. When I suggested waxing, she practically dragged me to the drug store.

Our trial area was my lower back. It didn’t take more than 10 minutes to do. It didn’t hurt that much, and was very effective. I think Conny was disappointed that it was over so quick, but I tried to comfort her by pointing out we could still do my upper back at some point. That seemed to hold her over.

Two days later, my lower back looked like I had hives, and it was itchy as hell. Instead of having a little bit of back hair, I had an unsightly and uncomfortable skin condition. Needless to say, that was final time we used the wax on me.

So the next option was laser hair removal. Conny works at a dermatology practice, and I had been bugging her occasionally about arranging for me to get laser hair removal. Though, honestly, it seems like a pain in the butt to go just to get a few hairs on my back zapped.

What motivated me to go ended up not being my back, but my neck. One reason I use an electric razor is because I don’t want a very close shave. Due to my curly hair, I can get ingrown facial hair very easily. On a trip where my electric razor was MIA for almost a week, I had to use a regular blade, and it was hell after a few days. Upon our return, I vowed to get laser hair removal on my neck done, up to my chin. The goal wasn’t to eliminate shaving, but reduce the volume of facial hair in the area that gave me the most trouble.

Luckily, I’m a great candidate for laser hair removal: very light skin and very dark hair. And facial hair removal is easy, but it does hurt (and the smell isn’t so great.) The process was very fast, with the lasering taking less than two minutes. There’s some redness for a day or two after, and one time I had some very minor blistering, which isn’t uncommon apparently. The sensation is like getting snapped with a hot rubber band, and this is after applying a numbing cream in advance. It took about six visits to virtually eliminate the facial hair on my neck, and it was worth it. My skin in the treated areas looks and feels much better.

The bonus side effect is that when I occasionally don’t shave, I still look like I sort of did, because there’s a defined edge under my jaw line. The bad news is I should have done this a few years ago, before any of my facial hair turned grey. The only hairs left which the laser couldn’t get are the few grey ones I had. But the goal wasn’t 100% hairlessness, but to eliminate ingrown hairs for me, and that’s been a complete success. I also do save time shaving.

Before getting my neck done, I had joked that I wanted to get my balls done with the laser. After getting my neck done, I think I’ll stick to shaving. Besides, many dermatologists, including the one Conny works for, won’t do that area anyway. It would be a little awkward, even for me, seeing as we all socialize together. But even if I went somewhere else, I suspect that even my high tolerance for pain would be sorely challenged.

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