Men's Neck Hair (and Shaving)
June 9, 2014 5:19 AM   Subscribe

I have a question about men's neck hair and shaving; looking for input and suggestions.

Ok, hopefully not TMI, but as I get older (I am in my 40s), I am noticing that my neck hair is increasing. I shave daily (and have been for over 20 years) and I have noticed that my neck hair (with my shave) is getting lower and lower. AND, my chest hair has been creeping up to the point where now, when I stop shaving my neck, my chest hair starts.

Personally, I think this is disgusting and it is noticeable when I am wearing certain t-shirts (you can see where I stopped shaving my neck and my chest hair is creeping up around.

I am sure this is the product of me shaving too far down my neck when I was younger? Regardless, its to the point now where it needs to stop and I need to do something about it.

I am thinking about laser hair removal or electrolysis for something more permanent, but I did some basic research online and it doesn't look like its effective for male's neck.

I am open to any suggestions/tips/advice.

Thanks in advance!
posted by dbirchum to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total)
You would have hair start growing there eventually, even if you never shaved. I am also a hairy dude, and shave down to my collar bone so that hair does not show up above a regular T-shirt. (V-necks are another story)
posted by dobi at 5:25 AM on June 9, 2014 [4 favorites]

This is not the product of your shaving practices. I mean, how you look is, but not where your hair grows. You need to shave all of your neck and down to your collarbone, it sounds like, and possibly trim your chest hair.
posted by J. Wilson at 5:35 AM on June 9, 2014 [4 favorites]

I'm 39, and hair just keeps popping up in new places. It's called getting old. Have you never heard jokes about old men and ear hair?

As for shaving being a "cause", when I was younger I shaved one half of my face twice a day and the other once a day for a while, as an experiment. After that time period I went back to every other day; there was no difference in hair growth rates.
posted by notsnot at 5:39 AM on June 9, 2014 [5 favorites]

I am not a man, but I am confident waxing would be effective. Hair salons do waxing, and even if they look like they are just for ladies, they will happily wax your neck and collarbone area. Pick one, call for an appointment and tell them what you want. It's not permanent, but it lasts longer than shaving and if you keep it up, you will notice lighter regrowth.
posted by donnagirl at 6:13 AM on June 9, 2014

I am sure this is the product of me shaving too far down my neck when I was younger?

Absolutely not, and I say that as a dude who rarely shaves and whose chest hair has been peeking out of his t-shirt necks since age 20. Shaving habits don't effect hair growth; the whole "shave it and it grows back thicker" thing isn't true at all. Mostly you hear it from parents trying to get their teenage boys to shave the wispy little beards and mustaches we all worked so hard on. Your body hair coverage is little more than genetics at play.

Were there any solid reasons why whatever you read indicated that electrolysis was ineffective? I've had it done on my unibrow and basically worked, but it was just so tedious that I didn't bother keeping up with it (you have to keep getting electrolysis for it to be effective, just not as frequently as you'd have to shave.) I can see it being that much more time-consuming for a hirsute dude's neck, but if the presence of that hair is seriously distressing you, it's worth a shot.
posted by griphus at 6:13 AM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

If I let it grow in, my chest hair and neckbeard form a single connected mane and have since I was about 18. Personally, I kind of like the fact that my chest hair explodes out of my shirt as soon as I loosen my tie, but if that's not your bag, just shave lower. Another thought, maybe, would be to bleach the hair. If you bleach it at full length, it should only grow VERY slowly, and blond hair is so much less noticeable.

And, as far as I understand, the "shave it and it grows back thicker" thing only applies the very first time you shave, as the initial growth tends to be very wispy. Even that may be a bit of a myth.
posted by 256 at 6:34 AM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Taking some time to address your feelings of disgust is worthwhile: this is something that your body is doing as part of a perfectly natural process that is common to most men. A bit of regular maintenance work with a razor or hair trimmer will stop you looking like you are going to be suddenly howling at the moon. If you want to look at more permanent hair removal methods then - as you suggest - you should be aware that you are entering a realm of rather expensive and dubiously effective treatments. Hairfacts is a good resource if you are considering more elaborate methods.

(Edited to replace outdated link)
posted by rongorongo at 7:08 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Shaving doesn't cause hair to grow in new places. So no worries there.

If you're on the fair side, you might want to look into laser hair removal as an option, or waxing, or keep on shaving.

Welcome to the wonderful world of aging!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:16 AM on June 9, 2014

Female here, but the issues are fairly similar. I had IPS done on a relatively small area a few years back - three to four treatments were $50 a pop (they were having a special, thanks to the crappy economy).

The results are still great 3-4 years later. Normally treatments are somewhat more expensive, and work best if you're dark-haired and fair-skinned. It stings a bit while it's being done; the practitioner applies some witch hazel and normally after that you're all set. I had no adverse effects and nothing went awry, but with any technology to do work on the body, there's risk. My practitioner also happened to be a nurse.

All of that being said, rongorongo's comment about addressing feelings of disgust are on point. For me, the issue was always nearly intolerable AND it was getting worse with age. You will have to decide if any permanent treatment is worth the risk and money.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 7:37 AM on June 9, 2014

Chiming in with hearty agreement for laser hair removal. I had it done on my neck and couldn't be happier. It was expensive, but it really does work for a very long time.

Just get your neck and nape done and stop worrying about it.
posted by Willie0248 at 7:58 AM on June 9, 2014

I have very long hairline on my neck which has always prevented me from wearing short hairstyles, ponytails, etc. I shaved it (which I hated), removed it with hair remover, etc. without satisfying results. About 10 years ago, I had my neckline re-shaped using laser hair removal. I understand they have much better instruments now. I get about a 5-10% re-growth each month which I have waxed. I like a clean, hair free, neck. I would like to suggest looking into a reputable laser hair removal facility in your area. The procedure changed my life for the better! I wish you the best of luck.
posted by htm at 9:11 AM on June 9, 2014

If you want to try it out, waxing is relatively inexpensive and effective.

I get my neck waxed because I don't like my hairline, although I'm female, I can generally go 1-2 months between waxings. The first time I had it done I was embarrassed, assuming that no one ever asks for a neck wax and I must be gross, etc., but no one there even batted an eye.
posted by inertia at 10:18 AM on June 9, 2014

Response by poster: Greetings all -

Thanks for the replies! A couple of quick notes:

- I was REALLY pleased to hear that "I" didn't bring this on by improper shaving techniques. I just assumed what everyone stated - if you shave something it will grow back darker and thicker. I just figured that allow the way, in the hopes of keeping a clean neck, I shaved too low and I ended up where I am.

- I have been getting rid of the excess hair with a hair trimmer (not a shaver) and I have used the home hair cream removal before on the area, but I find works great (but I find it sensitive on my neck area if i leave it too long). I have used this hair removal cream on my shoulders in the past and have loved the results. I figure that even by even trimming my neck area, I was doing more damage than good (as it would come back thicker and darker) if I keep it up.

- Hmmmm. I don't think I have read anything concrete as to why electrolysis or hair removal isn't that effective on men's necks. I know I read it somewhere when I did some research. HOWEVER, based on the above, it sounds like some men have had success with laser on their neck hair!

- Never considered waxing! I will certainly look into that (and I don't mind going into a salon and asking for this).

- And I don't need to delve into psychotherapy to get to the bottom of this issue. I 'can' live with this, but I like the look of a clean neck. For me, my excess hair all of my neck (front, back and sides), isn't appealing and I would love to not have it there. That's it.
posted by dbirchum at 11:12 AM on June 9, 2014

Nthing waxing. It does require some extra attention to exfoliating to prevent ingrown hairs, but over time, you kill follicles and the hair will thin out considerably.
posted by quince at 1:35 PM on June 9, 2014

Screw waxing. Just shave down to below your Adam's Apple as necessary. It can be a bit bumpy, but it's not that hard. The back of your neck can be more problematic.

I'm 42 - pretty much bald on top, but chest/neck hair is increasing. I shave down below my shirt neckline in the front, and go see a barber once a month to do the back.
posted by Diag at 3:14 AM on June 10, 2014

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