Peludo Potter
April 11, 2011 11:19 AM   Subscribe

I'm a hairy guy and want to de-hair my stomach and back. How can I do this without stubble, while leaving a small amount of chest hair?

Additional info:

I'm a student, so the cheaper the better.
My skin is fairly sensitive, but not horrible.
I've done shaving and electric grooming (bodygroom) and don't like the regrowth and daily upkeep.

I want to keep some chest hair (upper chest and possibly a line down the middle of my chest/stomach).

Final caveat: I'm going to be out of the country for 2-3 months over the summer, and would prefer low daily maintenance.

What should I do?

Thanks in advance!
posted by bradly to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Hate to say it: wax. For a natural-looking chest you might have to go to a pro, but wax is the best for long-term minimum upkeep.
posted by Carlotta Bananas at 11:22 AM on April 11, 2011

Waxing. Laser can be cheaper over the long run, but waxing is cheaper right now. I've never had it done (I embrace my hairiness) but my more metrosexual friends tell me that the chest is the part that hurts the most.
posted by Forktine at 11:24 AM on April 11, 2011

Try the wax strips yourself, to see if (a) you can stand it and (b) if they remove the hair the way you like. You will have to let it grow out to rewax.

Personally, I'd do your back first. Male chest and stomach hair don't seem as icky to me, (straight cis-female).
posted by Ideefixe at 11:27 AM on April 11, 2011

Waxing, and please go to an aesthetician for the first one. If you've never waxed before it's harder to get the leverage and, um, determination you'll need to rip the wax strips off yourself. It always hurts the most if you haven't been waxed in a while, so if you let them do the first one, upkeep on your own should be really easy.
posted by stellaluna at 11:31 AM on April 11, 2011

I would go to a professional waxer first instead of doing it yourself -- you'll never know if the experience or results you're having are really what you should expect, and you can probably learn a lot from your visits that will make you MUCH better at your own upkeep-waxing.
posted by hermitosis at 11:33 AM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

Just so you know, if you go the waxing route, you'll have to wait until the hair is long enough (usually a quarter inch) before waxing again.
posted by zephyr_words at 11:41 AM on April 11, 2011

Coming out against waxing here -- I'm a lady, so YMMV, but it hurts like hell, takes a long time, and you have to wait till the hair is long to do it again. Blech.

If you've got someone to help you (girlfriend/boyfriend? really close pal? your mom?), try a depilatory cream (Nair and Veet are the common drug store brands). They're easy to use, don't hurt, and don't even really smell that bad anymore. And they're no more expensive than waxing. I think Nair even has a For Men line now, although I suspect "For Men" just means "Not Pink and Smells Like Axe."
posted by AmandaA at 12:47 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

I use Veet. Big pink bottle. Though in a sense I'd rather that than a 'For Men' range. The big pink bottle could be for a girlfriend. 'For Men' would scream "I have too much hair sprouting on the back of my shoulders".
posted by spectrevsrector at 12:54 PM on April 11, 2011

Personally I'd recommend waxing or hair removal creams. Depilatory creams have never worked for me though (even though I left them on for longer than the recommended time.) And waxing isn't that painful after a while, although the first time might be.

If you do decide to wax, get it done professionally the first few times. And proper microwave or heated wax is waaaaaaay better than the "warm in your hands" strip kinds (which I have also tried, and which my leg hairs laugh at).

posted by stillnocturnal at 1:25 PM on April 11, 2011

This can be used to shave your back yourself in about 10 minutes once you get used to it. Much easier than other solutions .. not as "clean" but who really cares.
posted by blueyellow at 1:42 PM on April 11, 2011

I just want to throw this out there: If you are indeed a hairy guy, I'm not sure there's a way to engage in hair removal as you have described without there being a place somewhere on your torso that's like, "HI GUYS, THIS HERE'S THE BORDER BETWEEN WHERE I WAXED/SHAVED/DEPILATED AND WHERE I DIDN'T!" In other words, I am skeptical that you will be able to remove stomach hair while leaving chest hair and have it look natural, especially if there is a lot of contrast between the color of your hair and the color of your skin.

Having said that, I agree that waxing is probably the best option if you are going to do this.
posted by kitty teeth at 1:45 PM on April 11, 2011 [4 favorites]

Threading DIY
posted by hortense at 3:04 PM on April 11, 2011

Yeah, waxing is going to be your best bet, but I'm a recent convert to laser, and it is A-MA-ZING. Seriously. I even found a great deal on Groupon for a wonderful (aka not scary or bad treatments, etc) salon, for $99 for three visits. That's a CRAZY good deal. Even if you are paying full price, laser is cheaper and PERMANENT in the long run. It almost seems foolish to wax, unless you don't actually want the hair to permanently go away. As far as having a "border" like one poster above mentioned, you can go for a "gradient" when doing laser hair removal, because some hairs with go away permanently on the first shot, but most won't. So with each session, just leave a little bit more hair there.
posted by two lights above the sea at 6:23 PM on April 11, 2011

It's my understanding that laser removal is really only an option if you have dark hair and fair skin--the more contrast, the better. So it isn't for everybody.

I've used depilatory creams on my legs and, yes, the skin does stay smooth for a bit longer than shaving, but not all that much longer (2 days, maybe 3). It gets expensive pretty quickly, though, because you have to put on a thick layer of the cream, and it leaves your skin irritated and smelly. And it seems like it would be pretty difficult to do by yourself on your whole back.

I think waxing is your best bet. Not cheap, but a lot less hassle and you get a lot of bang for your buck.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 6:51 PM on April 11, 2011

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