Should I get laser hair removal?
September 24, 2009 9:11 AM   Subscribe

Thinking of getting laser hair removal on my front collar area. Good idea?

I am a guy. My chest hair in general does not bother me, but I am considering having laser removal done on the small portion that pokes out of my t-shirt collar (pic).

I had a consultation at a laser hair removal clinic, where I was offered a series of treatments to remove the hair for a total of ~$400. They would probably treat the area visible in the picture above, and a bit underneath the collar.

The clinician told me the result would look fine, but I am still concerned about the risk of an unsatisfactory aesthetic outcome (such as it looking weird when my shirt is off or apparent that I have had hair removal done there). For those in the know, how "risky" is this area to treat?

(Side question for the hetero ladies: how distracting is it when a guy has hair in this area?)

Anonymous because of the linked picture and because of the potentially embarrassing subject.
posted by anonymous to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (31 answers total)
 
I'm hardly "in the know" but the variations of male chest hair is so wide that I can't imagine that it would be noticeable. Sure, there might be a very clear line, but that could easily be natural.

Also, I love that TinyPic wants to sell me your chest hair on a shirt. Since I barely have any of my own, maybe I should buy it.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:19 AM on September 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


Side question for the hetero ladies: how distracting is it when a guy has hair in this area?)

Distracting? Don't you mean sexy?
posted by desjardins at 9:21 AM on September 24, 2009 [9 favorites]


What desjardins said. Unless it's easily braidable or something extreme.
posted by small_ruminant at 9:23 AM on September 24, 2009


What? Why would you want to remove that?
posted by HotToddy at 9:25 AM on September 24, 2009


Hetero lady here. I would never even notice that amount of chest hair unless you pointed it out to me. Even then, to my eye it's masculine and attractive. There are many better ways to spend $400.
posted by JennyK at 9:30 AM on September 24, 2009


how distracting is it when a guy has hair in this area?
It depends on the girl. I'm not a fan of really hairy men but I don't think your picture is too hairy. On the other hand there's a lot of women who like that. I think it would be more distracting if there was a line where the non-lasered hair started when you take your shirt off. In other words, don't do this for the ladies if you decide to do it.
posted by Bunglegirl at 9:34 AM on September 24, 2009


Honestly, I think it will be stranger to have a clear line between 'hair' and 'not hair' on your chest. What you've got is a segue, not a line of demarcation, and it looks good. One of the quandaries of waxers who work on guys is the decision about where to start/stop. Like, if you are just doing the back and they have a hairy neck, do you do the neck? Otherwise it will look like they are wearing a weird fur turtleneck but have a naked hairless back.

Let me also just say that laser hair removal hurts like a motherfucker. Don't buy that 'feels like a quick snap of a rubber band' shit. It's feels exactly what it is: like a quick zap with a laser, frying hair at the root.
posted by 8dot3 at 9:38 AM on September 24, 2009


Yes, I like it so much, I'm tempted to buy it on a shirt even.

Seriously though, it's pretty sexy. But if you don't like it, you could start with waxing for a bit (much cheaper and would thin it out). Laser is expensive and painful, but would work too.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:52 AM on September 24, 2009


Hetero girl-type here. I would consider that a scarcely noticeable amount of hair. Having seen fur pelts and almost completely smooth chests, that looks like a normal, masculine amount of hair, which inspires a fairly neutral response.

If you don't like the hair, feel free to get rid of it, but if you're doing it for the ladies, I gotta tell you, if I found out that the guy I was seeing went to such lengths to get rid of a little body hair, I might be a little weirded out.
posted by Diagonalize at 9:55 AM on September 24, 2009


Just noticed the picture. That is a totally normal amount of hair.
posted by small_ruminant at 9:58 AM on September 24, 2009


Is it good or bad? I don't think it's either. I think it's rather benign. But given the small area $400 seems like a lot of money. Also my experience with heterosexual women is that some women like body hair on a guy, some don't and some are indifferent.
posted by dfriedman at 10:07 AM on September 24, 2009


A laser doesn't remove hair permanently on the first session - so if you don't want a clean straight division between hair and no hair, get the treatments as a sort of gradation. Do the entire area first, second time stop a little higher, etc, etc. That way you hair will thin out rather than
just stop.

Not all lasers hurt, either. I've has three treatments on my legs with the Soprano LX, and it was completely painless. Just as effective - I come from a dark-coarse-haired people - but way less hassle.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 10:11 AM on September 24, 2009


Side question for the hetero ladies: how distracting is it when a guy has hair in this area?

We're here, we're queer, we love your collar-fuzz.
posted by hermitosis at 10:11 AM on September 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Couple of things: you could try shaving the area down a little past the collar of your shirt to see what it looks like post-laser and decide if it looks funny. Lots of guys trim the length of the hair in that area with a beard trimmer. It makes it look a little neater if that's all you're after. And no, trimming or shaving your chest hair will not make it grow back thicker.

Additionally, I think you're totally fine in terms of the aesthetic look of your hair.

Furthermore: WOOF!
posted by Craig at 10:20 AM on September 24, 2009


I did once have a veterinarian - a really great guy and doctor - who I hated talking to face-to-face because the astounding quantity and blinding whiteness of the hair exploding out of his scrub v-neck was distracting and disturbing. I wanted to give him a beard trimmer as a gift. I think it's fine to trim it down a little if it is emerging well out of your collar, but otherwise it's pretty hot. And a naked V is going to look really freaky with your shirt off.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:23 AM on September 24, 2009


You can always shave or trim it down a little bit if you're going on a first date or something with a girl whose feelings on body hair you don't already know. I'm pretty hairy, and I do that sometimes.

My general theory on body hair is that, once my shirt is off, we're already hooking up, so it doesn't really matter how hairy I am at that point.
posted by Aizkolari at 10:37 AM on September 24, 2009


I like virile hairy men. That's such a teeny amount of hair, that I probably wouldn't do the hair removal treatment. Couple of reasons: One, those laser hair removals don't work very well on coarse dark hair. The treatment really only works as advertised on blonde people. Two: You could spend $400 and have the hair come back next year.

Before I did something that drastic, I might consider doing a less drastic method, like perhaps trimming, or maybe even an epilator. (I know that sounds really painful, but Braun makes one for the ladies market that is outstanding and pretty painless.)
posted by dejah420 at 10:59 AM on September 24, 2009


Sometimes I've used a few swipes of my beard trimmer to keep my chest hair from poking out of my t-shirt. This works well and is cheap and reversible. I'd suggest trying it as an easy (and impermanent) way of seeing how you like the aesthetic.

(But I haven't bothered in a long while.)
posted by Zed at 11:16 AM on September 24, 2009


WTF? No, don't do that. Consider it a plus.
posted by kmennie at 11:26 AM on September 24, 2009


One, those laser hair removals don't work very well on coarse dark hair. The treatment really only works as advertised on blonde people.

I think it's the other way around: coarse, dark hair, especially against relatively pale skin, is more easily removed, while blonde hair has often been difficult, although newer lasers may be able to handle that better.

If your chest hair doesn't bother you, why pay $400 or more to remove it? You've already heard from a number of people that it's attractive, so if it isn't snagging or otherwise driving you crazy, spend your money somewhere else.
posted by maudlin at 11:46 AM on September 24, 2009


Distracting? Don't you mean sexy?
What? Why would you want to remove that?
That is a totally normal amount of hair.
We're here, we're queer, we love your collar-fuzz.
I think you're totally fine in terms of the aesthetic look of your hair.
WTF? No, don't do that. Consider it a plus.


Quoted for truth!
posted by deborah at 11:58 AM on September 24, 2009


Another vote for don't do it, and I'm not into the macho aesthetic. That amount of hair is actually cute.
posted by amtho at 12:01 PM on September 24, 2009


I was expecting a chest afro. What you have is totally normal.
posted by gdziengel at 12:40 PM on September 24, 2009


hetero lady comment:
That little chest peep makes me wonder what the rest of the man looks like (this is where I usually check out his arms). I wouldn't think anything of it- if you do get it done, consider just thinning it out and not completely removing; I think completely removing that portion would look odd.
posted by variella at 1:25 PM on September 24, 2009


nthing the answer to your side question, that this looks totally normal to me and not at all distracting. My boyfriend has way more hair than you and I tease him about it when it pokes out of his shirt. Because I love him and I like to take the piss. But I would never suggest that he do anything about it ... some people are hairier than others, it's a fact of life.

If it really, really bugs you, then go ahead and get it done, but that's a separate issue. If you're just worried about what other people think, I think the answers here should confirm that most people's reactions range from neutral to positive. I'm sure that there are plenty of people who wouldn't like it, just like with any physical attribute, but hey, you can live with that.

PS Yes, it's really painful and around the collarbone is a really sensitive area. IME it feels like small electric shocks. Ugh.
posted by different at 1:29 PM on September 24, 2009


Okay, I'll go out on a limb here and say that it squicks me out to see chest hair poking out of a collar. But that's MY problem, not yours. Don't do anything to your body if it's not for you.
posted by runningwithscissors at 1:51 PM on September 24, 2009


Distracting? Don't you mean sexy?

Ding ding ding ding.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:57 PM on September 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hetero lady here: excuse the possible crudeness of this comment, but when a man has hair peeking out like that, it makes me want to nom on it. I think it's the male equivalent of cleavage: I see it and I want to see MORE and interact with it if possible.

I don't know how they'd remove it without it looking weird. Would there be a small dip? A straight line? No thanks - chest hair is sexy and seems to be vanishing at an alarming rate. Be proud! Surely there must be something else to spend your $400 on? Maybe button down shirts??!
posted by caveat at 2:57 PM on September 24, 2009


No. No, no, no, no, no. Spend the $400 on a great dinner and a couple of bottles of wine or something.
posted by tristeza at 4:30 PM on September 24, 2009


Not that you need another vote here, but no, that's totally normal and I would never notice it in a negative way. Trim it down if it bothers you but don't worry about everyone on the street staring at it.
posted by shiny blue object at 5:14 PM on September 24, 2009


In 20-plus years of, er, close contact with men, I never liked hairy chests, but somehow fell love with a hairy-chested man. His is a similar length to yours, a bit thicker & curlier, & graying... and oh lord, it still makes my knees tremble when I glimpse it unexpectedly. There's something very masculine and strong and, um, non-metrosexual about it. It does it for me, bigtime.

Don't ever do anything like this for anyone else, but if you MUST do it for yourself, laser is the way to go. (Maudlin is correct: my beautician advised that my fair/pale-blonde facial hair can't be successfully lasered because the beam uses the pigment as a 'target' or something, apparently, and so pale hair doesn't get zapped while dark hair does.)
posted by malibustacey9999 at 10:51 PM on September 24, 2009


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