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#23409 - 05/26/05 08:03 PM Men's Leg and Body Hair Removal ****
Stuart Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 371
Loc: Florida
Hi All

Having followed this forum for several years now as well as many public polls, and being an active participant in hair removal as a male, I think it can be confidently said that male hair removal is exponentially on the increase. I personally believe that male hair removal will equal that of female hair removal soon.

I have said before that I believe there is a huge industry in male hair removal in the near future and I am interested to see who would agree with that. The depth of detail supplied by all the regular members of this forum indicates the clear interest in hair removal for men.

There is much less emphasis on men who shave being gay today as I see it, and rather it seems that shaving gels (pardon the pun) nicely with modern patterns of fitness and youth. I would be interested and appreciate the input from the forum now as to the question of whether shaving legs, body etc. for men is regarded as mostly normal in modern society in the various areas of the world.

My personal opinion is a big yes, and I do so with total confidence. While hair removal on legs is very common in SA where I live, not very many clinics and therapists advertise for men yet, so shaving dominates. The US by contrast do advertise towards men in this regard, but from what I note fewer men in their 30's ever consider this in the US. The youth on the other hand, just like here, seem to accept this as normal.

This is an interesting shift in modern thinking and I think would make for a good topic of discussion.

Regards
Stuart

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#23410 - 05/26/05 10:57 PM Re: Men's Leg and Body Hair Removal
barrester Offline

Top Ten Contributor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 306
Loc: california
When I first waxed my underarms I was hesitant in letting other men see the result. Afer awhile I began letting people see the hairless pits and got favorable comments.This led me to having the hair removed permanently by electrolysis. I now go out of my way to display my smooth underarms;and while some men and women don't say anything,most think they look wonderful and about 30% want to know where they can go to get it done. What is holding most men back is that women are not pushing enough to make men do what men expect them to do..have smooth bodies.Girls it is up to you to set the stage
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barrister

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#23411 - 05/27/05 03:35 PM Re: Men's Leg and Body Hair Removal
Veinlover Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/04
Posts: 121
Loc: Chicago
Stuart:
Its funny you made that post today. I am a research psychologist by training, though not by practice, and I have become totally fascinated by this, and related trends in men's grooming and sex role stereotyping as it appears to have changed in the past 20 or so years. There was an article today in the Wall Street Journal, of all places, on the image of men in Chinese advertising, and using men who are extremely "androgenous" in cosmetic advertising. There also are substantial amounts of face cleansers, and other skin care products now aaimed at men, where 10 years ago only Clinique made products for men.

Now, about shaving. The big question to me is, no disrespect, on this board there are about 5 of us talking to one another, which does not a trend make. I do agree that many more men shave their legs, pits, abs, etc than used to , and I'm not disputing a clear shift in men's grooming and hair removal, but I would really like to know how large a shift it is, and also how women, in a systematic way, feel about it. Clearly such detailed research would be expensive, but pershaps there are some creative ways to obtain a bigger pool of data than we have here. I believe, deep down, there has been a shift among younger men and women that do not like body hair on men, at least not too much of it, and probably other grooming for men as well. There are even some hints that men use make up, though I've never seen it personally. In truth, it does not make sense that women do all the grooming, and men do none, but I think historically it has been an economic and power issue. If men make the money, and women look good, you have a kind of balance. Now, women make almost as much as men, and still look good, whereas in America, there exists this ":ideal male" who is a total pig. Granted, I believe this is changeing, but how do you explain using this total male pig in so much advertising that men are meant to relate to? Are women shifting and men not? There are tons of interesting questions here, and I'm open to everyone's thoughts.

Meantime, I know I personally am not a bit self conscioius about shaved legs now, whereas 10 years ago, I was very self conscious. I would say I'm still sensitive about the shaved pits, and outside of a gym, would probably not really show them. However, it is self fulfilling--pershaps I'd leg loads of positive feedback if I let others see them.

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#23412 - 05/27/05 05:19 PM Re: Men's Leg and Body Hair Removal
barrester Offline

Top Ten Contributor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 306
Loc: california
Veinlover,you are probably correct that this is the wrong place to get the average mens reaction to removal of body hair;however the women who frequent this web have husbands or boyfriends that they can discuss the subject with. Their feedback would provide a more accurate assessment of trends in males toward shaving various area of the body and if they dont presently shave those areas would they like to if they were not fearful of public reaction the smooth pits,legs,etc. Its difficult for men to talk to other men about the subject.
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barrister

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#23413 - 05/27/05 05:35 PM Re: Men's Leg and Body Hair Removal
Stuart Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 371
Loc: Florida
Hi Veinlover

Yes good points all around in your post. There are a limited mumber and small pool discussing this openly on this board. However looking at the amounts of views in the short time since I posted this comment, I think there is a tremendous amount of interest amoung men and women (and younger people) about the whole subject.

It would be difficult to establish a scientifically valid theasus in a consumer forum despite the accuracy of any posts. I think Barrester also has a good point in that women need to speak up today. I know that from my personal experiance most women I interact with do like my appearance and don't feel it is wrong or "gay" at all. They like it and they also like men who stand up and embrace a change.

The "hairy belly beer drinking pig" is definatly out of fashion if I can put it that way. This of course does not mean I don't drink beer and have a hairy belly (the hairy belly I am trying to change).

Apart from replys on the forum and views of posts by non-members, I base a lot of what I say on what I see in reality. Most male younger people up to say 30 are shaving their legs and maybe other parts of their bodies here in SA. This seems aimed at both sport and what I think is a fashionable look now.

I saw some well built guys recently in Florida doing the same, but far less "average" people adopting the trend in that State. I belive men will shave their legs and bodies much more and quite rapidly in the near future (at least in western cultures). What motivates this is what interests me. I have posted my reasons extensivly on this board and am interested to know if this is the true of other men of any age.

Regards
Stuart

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#23414 - 05/28/05 04:49 PM Re: Men's Leg and Body Hair Removal
md1239 Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 01/14/05
Posts: 188
I think this is an excellent thread. And yes, indeed, it seems much more prevalent to see guys today looking for the bare look. I don't know if the advertising industry has started it, or if the advertising industry is merely reflecting a societal trend.

But I see many more guys these days that shave their arms, legs, etc. as where in the past it has mainly been swimmers or bikers. Non athletes are doing it now for the sheer look. I find shaving to be very therapeutic and also because I absolutely detest hair that isn't on my head, beard, or eyebrows. I shave my chest stomach and upper arms and don't know why I didn't do it earlier. I'm currently saving up so I can have it all permanently removed with electrolysis and not have to worry about it ever again.

I have several friends who shave and, while you can tell who shaves what (for the most part), its something we rarely talk about. But I don't think guys actually talk about these kind of things, we just acknowledge that it IS something we do. However, the fact that we aren't talking about it could be a sign that it is becoming a more common and natural thing for guys to do...

There will always be guys who won't shave, or guys that don't have to shave (bastards), but it is certainly becoming more socially acceptable. Free socities tend to secularize and liberalize - not in a political sense, but social - on their own over time and I think what we are sensing now taking root is probably just a makeover (no pun intended) of an increasing trend for males.

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#23415 - 05/28/05 11:16 PM Re: Men's Leg and Body Hair Removal
tex Offline
Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 258
Loc: North Texas (DFW), USA
Well, if you need more input, I'll chime in here (first post). I think men do less grooming, simply because its a time-consuming pain to do so. If I can get away with less personal expense/time/pain in my grooming, then (guess what?), I will. Just like the typical couple who reduce their levels of self-grooming after marriage. Women have been conditioned since birth to meet certain minimum limits and to ignore this within most societies, is to buck a very significant pressure. Male slobs are not really chastised much, ya know.

I do not like to shave and had a beard for years because of this. However, after my wife and I "discovered" the thrills of being smooth, I now shave regularly (face and elsewhere). I am not really a metrosexual, but I have kept some minimum standard of neat personal appearance. I have always trimmed underarm, back, pubic hair. Now, at 40+ (an old man for you guys!), I am ready to have permanent removal; its now affordable for me and I want the convenience (I have just started LHR). Also, it can now be obtained easily -- in Dallas, there are many salons that cater to male hair removal (all over, too!).

I limit my hair removal to face, neck, shoulders, back, full groin, and buttocks (to me, this is the annoying hair and parts I like smooth). I will leave my chest, gut, arms, and legs as is (medium hairy) because my wife likes it that way (and so do I).

At the health club, I do NOT see any shaved males (below the neck) in suburban North Texas. Although, I do not "hide" my pits or back, I do not show my pubic or buttock region. I am somewhat shy with hair, but I do not want extra attention from the lockerroom guys due to my hairless groin.

It's a great trend since I like the support (such as this forum). But, I do hate "wasting" the time and energy...
_________________________
Enjoy bein' a smoothie! Completed 2 years of LHR and started electrolysis in 2007 for face, neck, underarms, and male Brazilian on Type I/II skin.

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#23416 - 05/29/05 12:23 AM Re: Men's Leg and Body Hair Removal
Veinlover Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/04
Posts: 121
Loc: Chicago
Tex, I agree that most men will be disinclined to spend much time shaving their bodies unless somehow forced. Ways to force would include women, and the media. Face it, the media got women shaving their pits and legs, it can get men to shave too. And, if not, it will get their women to make them do it. Until then, I think most men will leave well enough alone. Unless, like those of us on the board, they personally don't like hair.

I do not usually look on shaving my body as a chore. It is kind of relaxing, and in its own way sensual, and mostly, unless I'm in a big hurry, I enjoy it. Plus, there is the usual male reward at the end, satisfaction at a job well done. I find it rather a nice challenge to see how good a job I can do, how fast, but not to stress out about it. I enjoy showers anyhow, and this gives me something to do while I'm standing there. I am generally mystified at how women can find shaving their (mostly lower) legs, and pits such a pain, when in reality that can be done in a very few minutes. Plus, since their hair is usually finer, it is easier to shave. My legs are always at least as smooth as my wifes, usually smoother, as I do it every day, and she does not. Plus, she is one of those women who doesn't feel the need to shave her upper legs, though there is fine, blonde hair there. Of course if a woman shaves down below, that takes some care, naturally, but so many women have that waxed.

It definitely is not super common for USA men to shave their body hair, but much more so than 10 years ago. I see many men with shaved legs in the Chicago area, not really a hot climate. Pubes I have no idea, and men don't tend to show their pits, either, which is fortunate, because I think hairy pits are totally disgusting. When I go to the gym, no one says anything about the pits or the legs. What really IS common for men to shave is their chest, and if you have back hair, I think it is getting to be very common to remove it, as women seem to universally dislike back hair, even if their like hair elsewhere. Figure that one out. Lots of salons will wax men's backs for them. In movies, TV, magazines, men who obviously are hairy, judging by their thick beard and pit hair, have no chest hair at all. That is not natural, so it must be shaved. I admit it looks nice, especially if the guy is in shape, and I think many women, especially younger ones, like it shaved. The era of guys with hair poking out of the top of their shirt ( and sometimes through the fabric) is ending I believe.). My 20 year old daughter, for example, thinks that looks "gross".

More men are working out, at least younger ones, and trying to diet better, so the emphasis on grooming may catch on more. Guys who lift weights tend to shave their body, as it shows their muscle and vascularity. Cyclists shave their legs, as do runners, principally, I think, because the cyclists do.

One thing for sure: If you shave a body part, you will probably not go back to natural. That has been my experience, and I've read it here on the board. I think once men shave, they will realize how nice it looks and feels, and will stay with it. However, judging by how men shave their faces, you will see a lot of body stubble along the way, unless they get it zapped off. If the cost of laser comes down a lot, I'll bet many more men will do it. I know I will, though I think I would actually miss shaving, but the results will be better. The other thing, I think if you begin with guys "trimming" their hair, which is less "threatening", they will move on to shaving it altogeether. Women might want to be patient with their men, and let them get there gradually, as there still is huge bias in the US that shaving is somehow "gay". In other countries, people are not nearly as homophobic, so this may not be an issue.

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#23417 - 05/29/05 12:44 AM Re: Men's Leg and Body Hair Removal
tex Offline
Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 258
Loc: North Texas (DFW), USA
It may not be a chore sometimes, but it does take time to shave face, neck, and groin (carefully). And also at the salon for back and more. I must shave daily to stay smooth, but often its less often and I must time my shaving/depilation for date nights as well.

I have a teen girl, so I get to see the Abercrombie catalog via the UPS. The male models have no hair except under their arms! I agree that this is not attractive (but it must sell clothing to teens!). In real life, though, you will get stubble allright as male hair grows significantly every day!

North Texas may not be the same as the coasts (duh!) -- I do not meet any guys at my LHR salon. Only women work there as well! They say they have male clients, however, and are beginning to target us in their advertising (e.g. articles, up front quotes, pictures).
_________________________
Enjoy bein' a smoothie! Completed 2 years of LHR and started electrolysis in 2007 for face, neck, underarms, and male Brazilian on Type I/II skin.

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#23418 - 05/29/05 05:47 AM Re: Men's Leg and Body Hair Removal
Stuart Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 371
Loc: Florida
Hi md1239

Thanks for your response. We both seem to have a common adversion to non facial hair. As tex & veinlover have discussed the time and effort of removal for men seems to be as big a deterent as the so called "gay" perception. After years of leg shaving I now acknowlegde that I actually do it more for the look and feel than for the sport that started it.

Lots of other guys here are moving in the same direction. It is incredibly comfortable not to have hairy legs and this makes it worth the time for me. I have had one laser session on my knees and this was a bit uncomfortable in the sense that I was the first male client that salon had for leg hair removal. I was OK actually (at 35 I'm a bit behind tex in age, but too old to be very self consious), it was the women who seemed not to know how to react.

After we got down to it however I was the center of attention and they all agreed smooth legs looked better on guys. I think men need to look above the trees today and realise that smooth skin is much more attractive to women and much more comfortable than general hairiness. There will always be a section of society that will disagree, but one can't care about that above what you feel to be better.

Luckily in South Africa having shaved legs is not looked at as gay except by a very small group, who would be ill advised to say that in public here. Gay people here are openly so, and for the most part nobody really cares as they are entitled to that lifestyle and don't bother anyone else.

A lot of guys that I know admire the sleek look of shaved legs, but are a bit to lazy to shave every day as you need to do too keep the look. As I mentioned before advertising here is behind in targeting men for laser & electrolosis. This will change soon, I am sure, because of the huge potential market.

Some of my older friends have teen boys who shave their legs as normal practice and a lot of male kids here do it (apparently it's "not cool" to have hairy shins when skateboarding or if wearing longish boardshorts).

A smooth skinned look adds a sense of youthfullness and energy. I lot of people I meet for the first time casually, think I am still in my twenties. That may be because of my blonde hair (which does not show the grey) and smooth legs I look a bit "boyish", but it is quite complimentary.

Anyway there is still a lot to be discussed about this subject, but these are my points so far.

Regards
Stuart

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