Men's Health (UK)
WTF Is Hair Doing Growing There?
You couldn’t muster much more than patchy chin fluff in your early manhood. But now, all of a sudden, you look like Teen Wolf’s dad at full moon…
It’s one of the great ironies of manhood that when the hair on your head begins to thin, the hair on other parts of your body goes wild – your ears, your shoulders, your left eyebrow (which now proudly sports a single strand three times as long as the rest). And these twin struggles, it turns out, are very much related. Both occur because of a genetic switch that typically happens in your forties, explains cosmetic dermatologist Paul Jarrod Frank. ‘Hair follicles appear to change their reactivity to androgen hormones, particularly dihydrotestosterone (DHT),’ he says. While follicles on the head react to DHT by shedding the hair, follicles on the body can react in the opposite way, turbocharging growth. ‘It’s one of nature’s mysteries,’ he says.
Most men see their chest hair thickening and experience new growth on their ears, nose, shoulders and back. When this happens, Dr Frank says, there are three options: ‘Own it, groom it, or destroy it.’
Your first strike could be taking a finasteride-based product, a common hair-loss treatment that also works to regulate excess body hair.
But to permanently rid yourself of unwanted fuzz, the best way is to zap it to death with lasers. ‘Laser hair-removal technology has come a long way,’ says Dr Frank. ‘Newer instruments can remove hair painlessly and in half the number of treatments as standard machines.’ Costs vary, but you’re looking at about £200 a session, on average, and you’ll need between four and six sessions for a full scorchedearth policy that will last for life.