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By Earl Coetzee

Digital Editor

Hair removal for men means no more suffering for beauty

Rubbing hair removal cream all over doesn't work, nor does getting your hair ripped out, but men do have options for getting smooth all over.

Every cloud has a silver lining, the old cliché goes, and I guess this is true even of this ongoing pandemic we’re stuck in.

Beside the most obvious benefits, like relaxing in my sunny backyard while attending Zoom meetings and working with my favourite tunes blasting in the background, there was an even bigger upside to the past year’s lockdown and working from home situation.

I’m referring, of course, to the fact that I no longer had to care about getting dressed and going through the tedious process of making myself look presentable to my fellow humans.

I spent a large part of the lockdown wearing nothing but shorts and my favourite comic T-shirts, while completely foregoing pesky tasks like haircuts and shaving.

When my wife complained that my hair was becoming too bushy and unruly, I simply put on a hat. When she complained about my beard, I started wearing a mask around the house.

There was, however, one patch of hair that I couldn’t cover up. I’m talking about my unibrow.

It consisted of a few barely noticeable hairs at first, but had become more noticeable the older I’ve become. What was once a wispy shadow was well on its way to becoming a squiggly caterpillar on my face and with a bit of care and a few more months, I could probably have turned it into a lush, single eyebrow.

I kinda liked it.

Not quite a Brooke Shields-level brow, but I tried. Picture: Earl Coetzee

But, it wasn’t surprising at all when we returned to the office recently and my colleague asked if I’d be willing to have a laser hair removal session and document my experience.

I get it. Not everyone appreciates a good unibrow and some may be threatened by the powerful aura of a man with big brow energy.

So, this is how I ended up at Laser Beautique in Rosebank, under the care of somatologist Celina Chathuri.

Not just for the ladies…

Chathuri says laser hair removal is no longer just an option for women and the vain, but that professional sportsmen and other guys going for that maximum smooth look also regularly have their bodies zapped.

Apparently men can’t simply rub hair removal cream all over themselves whenever they feel like going smooth, since this could lead to skin irritation and damage.

Who knew?

Tweezing large areas is also not an option, and I don’t even want to imagine going through a full body waxing, which involves pouring a sticky substance all over the area in question, and using sheets of paper or cloth to rip out the hairs.

According to Chathuri, laser removal also comes with the benefit of almost completely eliminating the risk of ingrown hairs and irritating shaving side-effects, like razor bumps and rashes. It works for all skin types, with the exception of only a few hair types.

So, for these reasons plenty of guys are now opting to have their body hair permanently zapped away.

How does laser hair removal work?

Well, according to Chathuri, they use a quick zap of infrared light which heats the hair and follicle, causing growth retardation and after several sessions almost completely hairless skin.

The session on my eyebrow started with a quick shave of the section of hair I wanted removed. This is done to prevent long hairs from catching fire.

She explained that laser hair removal works by the heat from the beam being absorbed by the pigment in the hair, which is why those with darker hair tend to see better results from laser. Failure to shave first would therefore give a completely new meaning to the phrase “melanin popping”.

After the shave, she applied a cooling gel to the area and while I was still getting myself comfortable, there was a quick zap and we were done.

No pain. No heat. Not even a tiny bit of discomfort. What happened to having to suffer for beauty?

So, since she had some time to kill before her next client arrived and my cheeks had some stray hairs due to lack of proper grooming, we decided to give them a blast as well.

Another quick shave, another layer of cooling gel and this time a lower frequency of laser light needed to be used, since a much larger area would be zapped.

This time the area was blasted by Chathuri’s magic wand for nearly a minute at a time and due to the gel and the circular motions of the wand on my cheeks, it felt like a cooling facial massage.

laser hair removal on cheeks removal

The cooling gel and massaging motions of the wand meant this was probably the best time I’ve ever had while on the clock. Picture: Earl Coetzee

Did it work?

It’s been three weeks since my treatment and my unibrow is still nowhere to be found. I’m honestly quite impressed, especially since this was only the first session.

According to Chathuri, it would require multiple sessions for complete hair removal and those wishing for a permanent solution to their hirsutism have to commit to about 12 sessions under the laser.

Nearly three weeks later, my brow is showing no signs of touching again any time soon. Picture: Earl Coetzee

Laser isn’t for everyone though.

As mentioned earlier, darker hair responds best, so those with extremely light hair or grey hairs would probably have to explore other options like waxing or electrolysis.

If you do have a bush of dark, healthy hairs you want to get blasted away, laser is definitely the best option.

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