8 August 2012
hair and back – one man’s battle with unwanted hair
Our resident not so metrosexual bloke deals with the age-old conundrum of the hairy back.
It’s no secret that us blokes are becoming increasingly more conscious about our appearance. Gone are the days when there was only one gender that frequented spas and beauty salons. We are now using moisturiser, having our teeth whitened, using a hair stylist – not a barber, getting sport massages and even having unwanted hair removed.
I’ll freely admit that over the past few years I have felt a sense of dread when asking a girl to put sunscreen on my back. Not that I have a back like a 70s porn star (see www.redtube.com: keyword retro, for reference), but there’s enough hair there to keep me out of the modern day “couples appeal” category (see same website for reference).
In recent years I’ve been experimenting with different hair removal techniques in the hope of achieving that slicked back look.
First there was waxing. Which I recently learned actually leaves the hair thicker and stronger – and subsequently more painful to remove. I have dabbled in this technique on numerous occasions, until one day, in the middle of summer, a dodgy waxer did a fine job of removing not only my hair, but a strip of skin right off my back. It looked like a piece of old wallpaper, while my back was left looking like a sliced Christmas ham.
After this experience I started living in a state of denial. Maybe it didn’t look that bad? I’m a man after all, and men are meant to look like men goddamnit.
It wasn’t until last summer, while languishing lazily on a boat anchored off Motuihe island, I noted with some distress the grimacing face of my lady friend as she rubbed lotion on my skin. I quickly came to the realisation that my hairy manliness was doing me no favours in the lady wooing department.
Over lunch soon after, with a mate who knows about these things, we got to talking about hairy bits. The recommendation was made to try a new method known as laser hair reduction from Prescription Skin Care in Remuera. Initially I was apprehensive. It sounded painful and time consuming. And time was definitely not on my side.
My first consultation (which is actually free) did wonders for putting me at ease. My consultant Julie Sissons explained that the Cutera CoolGlide laser is the safest and most effective hair removal system on the market today. And what’s more it would actually be effective on my (often described as exotic) dark skin tone.
Julie also explained that there are actually a lot less nerves on your back than anywhere else on your body, which would make the process pretty much pain free. Not that I’m a wuss or anything.
And according to Julie, no matter how much hair someone has, the treatment will take the same amount of time per session. The results, I’m told, do vary depending on your skin pigmentation and hair colour, but at the first consultation, an assessment is made based on these factors and Julie gives me a pretty good estimation of how many treatments I will require in order to be slick backed. Being of European decent and a child of the seventies – I’m in the slightly more challenging category, however Julie is confident that eight treatments should achieve the clean skin look I am after.
After my first treatment I was blown away. In and out in a sweet 45 minutes. I had been quite concerned that I would become restless considering I have the attention span of a gold fish. Better still, the most discomfort I experienced (if you can call it that) was from the cooling gel that is applied to your back before the laser kicks off. Apparently the laser is able to effectively treat large areas of the body with minimal discomfort thanks to the cooling hand piece.
A month after my first treatment I had a lot less hair growing back than usual and no nasty ingrown hairs. By my third treatment the regrowth was even less. I can see that I am going to be rewarded with some excellent results. With only five more treatments left, I am confident that I’ll be that shirtless guy on the streets (why reserve it just for the beach?) of Auckland this summer.
The best time to deal with hair removal is in winter, so if you’re serious about your manliness I suggest you join me in my pursuit of clean skin living. Your lady/s will thank you for it.
Prescription Skin Care
243 Remuera Road
(09) 529 5784www.prescriptionskincare.co.nz