Hair removal for bodybuilders
Why do bodybuilders need to be hair free?
Bodybuilders need to have smooth, hair-free skin to let their muscles show to their optimum for competitions.
There are many different ways to remove body hair and one system may not necessarily be needed for the whole body. Hair type, cost, skin sensitivity and the accessibility to reach parts of your body are a consideration.
Shaving is quick, non-invasive and relatively inexpensive. A good starter razor will cost around £10 + and then the cost of the blades. You will need a good sharp razor and a shaving medium, foam, gel or shaving cream. Shaving cuts the hair off just above the skin and leaves a fairly smooth finish, but certain areas on the body can be more difficult to reach. For some people there may be some irritation or redness so a good quality moisturiser, as natural as possible, applied after shaving can reduce this. Hair re-growth can be noticeable within a few days, or for some people the next day. And of course there is the possibility of cutting the skin – not good before a competition!
Waxing can be done at home using strips or using a strip-less wax system, this would be in the region of £12 + and then you would need to replace the wax. Waxing at home can be tricky and sticky and you may need to get someone to help for inaccessible areas such as backs, back of legs under arms etc. A salon is the other option and many salons offer male waxing for arms, legs, chest etc. but finding a salon that offers intimate waxing for men might be harder to find. Waxing by a therapist will of course will be more expensive, starting from around £40 for full leg, £50 for a Brazilian wax. Going to an experienced therapist should give a great finish, in less time and be less painful than doing it yourself. Do look for a therapist with good feedback and not necessarily the cheapest.
Waxing removes hair from the root, with results that typically last between 3 and 4 weeks. Hair does need to be 1-1.5 cm long to get the best results. There are different waxes for different body parts, warm wax for arms and legs etc, and hot wax for the more coarse hairs under arm, pubic and facial hair. After time you may notice a slowing down of hair growth and thinning of hair; you can even purchase creams that inhibit hair growth. Moisturising the skin after waxing helps to reduce in-growing hairs keep the skin soft and hydrated.
Depilatory creams have come a long way since they first came on the market in the early 1900s, when you needed either a gas mask or to apply it while out in the garden to avoid the choking smell.
They contain chemicals that dissolve the hair just below the skins’ surface and last usually 2-4 weeks. This is a fairly inexpensive home treatment and creams start from around £6 a tube. This is ideal for people with normal to dry skin, you can use on all body areas and it is easy to access all body areas. However, they are not always suitable for those with sensitive skin, and you do need to use the correct cream for certain areas, i.e. face and intimate.
Laser hair removal is a more permanent treatment and has to be done by a fully qualified and insured laser therapist. This is a much more expensive treatment starting from around £100 + for a small area, i.e. upper lip ,to £1000s depending which body areas you want treated. It has better results on darker and courser hair and may not work well on fair or red hair.
The laser light dissolves the pigment at the root of the follicle and reduces hair growth after each session. It usually takes 4-8 treatments for the hair to stop growing permanently. Prior to the laser treatment you will need to shave the area and the hair will gradually fall out after each session.