Should I beware of Nair?
June 11, 2006 10:29 PM   Subscribe

I'm considering removing all my body hair. What should I know?

For rather whimsical reasons, I'm considering removing all my body's hair (except for, probably, my eyebrows, which would just look weird) in about 4 weeks.

I'm actually only interested in remaining hair-free for a weekend, after which I'd let it grow back (or not depending on how much I like it). The issue is, I've never done anything like this before. I'm not a particularly hairy individual, but there is a fair amount of the stuff. My thoughts so far:

1. Head, face: I think I can handle these with no problem.
2. Arms, legs, chest, armpits: Use an electric trimmer and then Nair? Thankfully, I barely have any hair on my back.
3. Private bits: I really have no idea. I could just trim here if there isn't an easy solution. I imagine Nair probably isn't a good idea.

My only prior experience with Nair is when I once removed my armpit hair. Rather unpleasant smell, but I didn't have any sort of sensitive reaction that I can remember. I don't recall itching too much afterwards either.

Naturally, I'm apprehensive about possible itching. I want to enjoy my weekend, not be scratching all over. Should I a trial run a week ahead of time to see if I'm going to itch like a mother? How long does the itching usually last?
posted by neckro23 to Health & Fitness (22 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Don't remove your eyebrows. You'll look like a complete freak. All the rest of it is up for grabs. I find clippers and a blade very satisfying for a shiny shiny head.
posted by The Monkey at 10:31 PM on June 11, 2006

clippers are NOT OPTIONAL for anything being shaved. for areas you don't shave regularly, you will regret if it you have to go over them twice or more. spend $20 on decent clippers and hit everything with the closest setting.
posted by kcm at 10:36 PM on June 11, 2006

like, seriously, anywhere you have more than one day's worth of stubble has to be clipped first even if you're not removing much more than that. I cannot say this enough, obviously. :)
posted by kcm at 10:38 PM on June 11, 2006

Don't use Nair or Veet on your armpits or genitals, not sure why but it will probably hurt like hell, or take off more than you intended...
posted by MrC at 10:40 PM on June 11, 2006

I probably didn't make it clear in the original question, but yes, of course I will be using clippers first.
posted by neckro23 at 10:55 PM on June 11, 2006

Agree with The Monkey on the eyebrows, unless of course you want to look like a freak, in which case begone with 'em. Also, they don't seem to grow back very quickly. (A friend shaved his off some years back.)
posted by hattifattener at 10:59 PM on June 11, 2006

This thread has some suggestions for shaving the nether regions. It's written about "girly parts" but I'm pretty sure a lot of it would hold true in your circumstance as well. This page will also help in a more manly fashion, and this page is good for all over body info. My main advice is make sure you have extra razors and possibly a styptic pen in case of cuts and if you're doing it in the shower/bathroom, put some sort of a filter over the drain making it easier to scoop up and toss some of the hair you've shaved off. Also, when you're done, indulge in some really nice silky pjs, you'll be amazed at how good they feel on freshly shaven skin.
posted by jessamyn at 11:42 PM on June 11, 2006

Just to repeat the warning not to shave your eyebrows - they serve a very useful purpose. They stop rainwater and sweat from running into your eyes and making them sting.

They also have an important role in conveying meaning to your verbal communication.
posted by blag at 2:25 AM on June 12, 2006

I'll second AND third the no nair on the genitals. Even if you get the 'gentle' version, it still burns like you cannot imagine.

At least that's what my friend told me, anyway ;)
posted by ThFullEffect at 2:55 AM on June 12, 2006

Sweet mother of god, do not Nair your genitals. A buddy of mine did this in University, and the inflammation he got in the area didn't go away for quite some time. Your options there are definitely only shaving/waxing.
posted by antifuse at 3:04 AM on June 12, 2006

The only real option for removing pubic hair is waxing, if you want a smooth finish and to avoid razor-burn, especially if you haven't shaved it off before. But sweet jesus is it going to hurt...
posted by girlwonder at 4:10 AM on June 12, 2006

To trim things up below the neck, get a Phillips Bodygroom.

It's very similar to regular clippers, except the teeth are much closer together than clippers... less chance of getting something pinched. Also the head is much smaller, not much larger than a regular razor.

And now you people have the potential of knowing WAY too much about my grooming habits.
posted by aristan at 4:40 AM on June 12, 2006

Somewhat related question asked on Straight Dope.

Same advice: please don't use hair removing lotions if you're a guy.
posted by madman at 4:45 AM on June 12, 2006

Don't remove your eyelashes either. Sometimes eyebrows and eyelashes never grow back.
posted by orange swan at 6:30 AM on June 12, 2006

Sometimes eyebrows and eyelashes never grow back.

What? That's silly. Of course they do. Otherwise you'd see thousands of ex-firemen walking around looking like Marilyn Manson.
posted by Jairus at 6:46 AM on June 12, 2006

A few days down the line, be prepared to be covered in stubble -- not pleasant for anyone who might want to touch you, if you see what I'm getting at.
posted by reklaw at 9:05 AM on June 12, 2006

Using clippers at the closest setting should make you feel as hairless as you could possibly want to be. Everything beyond that is going to complicate the situation in ways you will regret. Especially considering the scope of the project.
posted by hermitosis at 9:16 AM on June 12, 2006

Go see a professional waxer. It's gonna hurt your first time. And there will be some minor swelling for a few hours. Of course, there will be a few strays that need to be plucked individually. Be prepared to pay between $40 and $80 for genital waxing and not all waxers will do this area (especially if you are in a small town where this is not frequently performed). Legs can be as little as $15.
posted by GIRLesq at 10:33 AM on June 12, 2006

Personally, I like the no eyebrows look. Shave 'em!

I recommend using an electric razor. That way you don't have to use shaving cream and you won't cut yourself. Plus, the thought of using a blade or disposable razor on the genitals sounds terrifying.
posted by zonkout at 12:16 PM on June 12, 2006

i do not recommend getting professionally waxed for someone who is just doing this for fun. waxing is not only QUITE painful, it is more likely to leave ingrown hairs and days of irritation the first time you go. it can also interfere with hair regrowth, leaving you with "patchy" areas for months or more. it is so not worth it for you. a lot of places also will refuse to wax men's franks & beans.

as for nair-ing one's genitals, there's nothing inherently wrong with it, but a lot of people are sensitive to nair *anywhere* on their bodies and will experience some level of irritation. i think nair is a good option for most though. just don't get it on any mucous membranes.

shaving is also a good option.

as for itching, i think shaving is the method least likely to itch. nair comes in second... waxing can sometimes drive me up a wall with itching. but for me the worst part about growing hair back out is about a week after shaving when your clothing rubs on the stubble. it feels very uncomfortable but only lasts about 2 days.
posted by nyanko at 6:23 PM on June 13, 2006

sorry for a second post, but i wanted to be clear i have actually used all of these methods so it's not speculation :)
posted by nyanko at 6:25 PM on June 13, 2006

I actually shave my genitals on a fairly regular basis, and I can say this for sure:

Do NOT use Nair. Do NOT use an electric razor. If you don't believe me, just try it and you'll know why in about 2 seconds. You should trim all the long hair first with clippers using the shortest guide you have. But be careful, I have cut myself much worse on this step than I ever have with a razor.

It is ok and actually quite easy to use a good disposable razor. One of those high-end ones like a Mach 3 or whatever, does a really good job. I use a new razor each time, because the newer the razor, the less irritation.

Just make sure you use the warmest water that is comfortable, and make sure you use ample amounts of soap or shaving gel. You will probably want to re-apply it a few times throughout the process.

A few other notes: It is a little easier to complete the process if you are at least slightly erect, but with all the slippery soap being applied, that's usually not an issue.

It is much easier than you might think to shave your testicles with a razor. As long as there is plenty of soap or shaving lotion, it is very hard to cut yourself. Just pay attention to what you are doing. And don't believe everything you see on TV about how it's so painful or crazy. It's not.

You can do it in the shower, but there is a little more risk involved. One time I was doing this in the shower and I nicked myself and just about lost my balance and fell. It wasn't good. Now I usually just sit facing backwards on the toilet and use the nearby sink to wet my razor. There is a little more cleanup involved, but the piece of mind is worth it.

When you are done, it WILL itch. Not right away, but definitely the next day. I have found this stuff called azuline oil that works very well for reducing itching and irritation, it's definitely worth your while. But you have to apply it liberally right after you are done shaving, and usually at least twice a day until the itching goes away. It's better to use too much than too little. And it's also a good idea to use a slightly abrasive cleaner to exfoliate your skin in the shower for the next few days after that. It will help to prevent ingrown hairs.

I have also tried waxing and did not like it nearly as much. But shaving definitely has it's drawbacks too.

And remember, when it starts to itch, don't scratch it, go put the oil on instead.
posted by bolloks at 10:51 AM on June 14, 2006

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