As much as some would hate to admit it, the fact remains that for a number of men, the way they dress and their general attitudes towards their bodies, whether it be at work, playing sports or even in preparation for a first date, is dictated by the desire to look their best… and their grooming routines are no exception.
The modern man is confronted on a daily basis with the question of ‘hair or no hair’. From commercials featuring models that are as smooth as ice, to ever changing beard trends, men have their work cut out in an attempt to follow and adapt to new styles. Let’s focus our attention on one of the features that most distinguishes men from the opposite sex; chest hair.
Why it’s there
The reason why men, contrary to most women, exhibit chest hair in the first place is down to hormones called androgens- testosterone being the primary and most well-known example1. During puberty, men normally begin to produce an increasing amount of androgens. In turn these hormones transform vellus hair follicles (which produce fine, colourless hair) into terminal hair follicles (which display longer, denser and pigmented hair)2. The amount of testosterone present in a man’s body, alongside the number of hair follicles one possesses, will consequently affect the density, length, and vibrancy of their hair.
A Brief History of Chest Hair
Historically primates were covered, from head to toe, in body hair. This was mainly due to hair acting as a protective barrier and a regulator of body temperature. Although we still somewhat sport our ancient coats, evolution has led to a significant reduction in body hair on humans. As we began walking upright, the necessity to disperse body heat became paramount and the relatively hairless body facilitated sweating3.
Chest Hair in Society
Chest hair has been perceived in an ever-changing manner throughout history, from off-putting during certain periods to being viewed as a signifier of attractiveness, virility, and dominance in others. In ancient Greece for example the hairless, muscular man was considered attractive while the hairy body not so much.
During the 20th century on the other hand, facial and body hair was all the rage, somewhat reflecting the time; free love and sexuality5. In more recent times we have again moved away from the macho, rug-like Austin Powers chest hair to a more clean-cut, groomed torso, extremely well sported by particular athletes6.
Hair removal for men
This is not to say chest hair has completely lost its appeal, by all means, if you are proud of your manly hairy chest, flaunt it. If you’re one for a smoother approach, on the other hand, there are many ways to remove excess hair that you don’t want. From permanent hair removal methods to fast, easy-to-use depilatory products, we have now more choice than ever before, for men who want to go hair-free!
Intense Pulse Light is one way you can permanently reduce hair growth. As the name suggests, IPL uses pulses of light to safely reduce hair growth at the root, doing this by targeting the hair follicles we spoke about earlier7.
Alternately, if you prefer a short-term, faster treatment, Veet hair removal cream could be the way to go. It works in three to six minutes8 on all skin types and can provide longer lasting smoothness compared to shaving9. Make sure you always follow the guidelines and be careful not to leave the cream on for longer than the indicated time.
We hope this article has broken down a few common boundaries when it comes to male grooming. Guys, if you’re wanting to show off those hard worked on abs and pecks, don’t let a hairy chest stand in your way.