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From Beast to Beauty: Men's laser hair removal explained

By Jenny Leung 29 March 2017

Localiiz man-about-town Graham Turner gives us the lowdown (pun intended) on the latest technology to transform hairy beasts into male beauties in the 852.

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Let me paint you a picture: it's 2009, I'm in my early twenties, fresh out the shower at the gym (a membership I've long since rescinded as it was cutting into my cheeseburger fund). I notice the gentleman—nay, Sasquatch (#sasquatchshaming)—beside me drying himself off; the poor man's back looking like an unsettling field of disturbing brown grass. I smile to myself as I appreciate the fact that hair-wise, I'm basically a goddamn Ken doll.

Fast forward to 2017: I'm not smiling anymore. Panic is setting in as I see the beginnings, the flirtations if you will, of unsightly hair taking residence where they just doesn't f*****g belong. What anthropological reason can there possibly be for me having about a dozen hairs on my shoulders? None. I could plead with a creator whose existence I doubt, I could pour over the works of Darwin to legitimise the need for these follicle perturbations. Or, like a lot of men, I could take action.

Since Einstein established the foundational principles of the laser, it's served largely as something bitching to include in science fiction movies, but now, it can be used to make guys like you and me look marginally less embarrassing in a vest. In fact, societal norms regarding male grooming have shifted so much that there is now a place in Hong Kong that specialises in laser removal just for men. Laser Kool !! (the exclamation marks are there on purpose, I'm only partially incompetent) is the go-to place for hair styling, removal, and maintenance of your privates with the help of FDA approved lasers. And best of all, they're offer a free session on any body part so you can see if it's for you before committing!

More and more men are turning to the laser to not only obliterate those unwanted stragglers, but also to keep their parts neatly trimmed—and we're not just talking their downstairs. Beards, hands, armpits, knees, and even toes are going under the laser at this popular centre which is thankfully run entirely by male employees and specialist technicians—so there's no embarrassment, no matter which part of your body you want to focus on.

Who's it for?

Laser hair removal is appealing more and more to specific demographics of men, and if you see yourself on the list below, read on.

  • Men who aren't exactly drowning in hair, but are maybe seeing the problem signs that make you think it's all over for your youth: things like daft, stupid hairs along your shoulders, or random, pointless patches of fur covering indiscriminate patches of your back for no reason, other than to make you cry in the shower.
  • Guys with, largely, no hair! Maybe you have just one really long hair that you've named, and you've come to realise that you're single because you have one massive f*****g hair called Juan.
  • Really, really hairy guys. At the end of the day, I'm not here to say that being really hairy is inherently bad. Maybe though, you're thinking you want some shape, some order to the madness, to trim those edges a bit and bring it all into focus, or add a bit of... grandiosity... to certain things. This is an option.

Keep scrolling for the rest of the article👇

Me getting a touch-up

What you need to know

1. It's not just for girls!

No. In fact, the social zeitgeist has arguably shifted to the point of inverse: grooming is good. Some well-intentioned lasering can be a huge confidence boost if you're a bit self-conscious about those straggling hairs. Actually, the societal norms have shifted such that there's a place in Hong Kong that specialises in laser removal just for men. What are they called you say? Laser Kool !! - which makes sense, because laser's, by their very nature, are cool. Laser Kool !! have a centre that only take on male clients, with all male employees so you don't have to feel embarrassed about your unnaturally hairy balls.

2. What can you get done?

Pretty much anything you can think of—nipples, abdomen, naval, groin, armpits, fingers, back of your palms, toes, and knees. Also, don't think that once you sign on the dotted line that's it, hairless for life. You can cater how far you want to go, and they'll even help you pick 'styles' for certain areas. They even provide a service called a "Manzillian" (a male Brazilian, if you didn't already guess it). They can have your manhood looking like a work of art before you can say, "holy f**k, there's a burning laser inches away from my testicles, get me the f**k out of here!"

3. Is it permanent?

For all intents and purposes—yes, but in order to completely rid yourself of unwanted hair, you will most likely need to book a few sessions over time to get the result you're after.

4. How long does it take?

It can vary between six to eight treatments, depending on your hair and skin pigmentation and the coarseness of the hair you are treating.

5. Most importantly, is it painful?

Yeah, a bit. Imagine a six-year-old with knives for feet kicking you when you've got a hangover. Just kidding, it's actually not that bad, kind of like getting pinged with an elastic band, so more a pain in the literal hairy arse than anything.

6. How does it work?

So now you know what you can have done, you must be asking "how does it work?" Well, the treatment area is exposed to intense light of a single frequency. The pigment in the hair absorbs the light and converts it into heat energy that preferentially heats the hair and the root ball, which reduces oxygen around the hair follicle. This causes damage to the hair root and reducing the ability for the hair to regrow. Obviously.

7. How much does it cost?

This is a little tricky to answer as there's such a wide variety of areas to cover, length of treatment, amount of sessions etc... As a very rough guide, you can be looking at as little as $300 to $500 for a single session on a small area all the way up to something in the region of $20k to $30k for a full course, like getting your legs totally baldified (disclaimer: not a word), or turning a bum crack that's reminiscent of the Amazon rain forest into the Sistine Chapel of bum cracks. I'm going to stop saying bum cracks now.

Laser Kool !!, 5/F, Cameron Plaza, 23 Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2369 5990

Keen to go under the laser? If you're ready to take the leap, you can go for a free consultation at Laser Kool !! and see what all the fuss is about. Offering a non-fussy, fun environment that doesn't take itself too seriously (apart from when the laser's get switched on, then they take it quite seriously), Laser Kool !! is a great option for first-timers and veterans alike.

If, however, you'd prefer to go to a salon that's less schizophrenic-sounding, then perhaps EstheClinic will be more up your alley.

Similar to Laser Kool !!, EstheClinic uses IPL light that travels through the skin to the hair follicle. This light is absorbed by the melanin in the hair (that's the colour pigment, in case you didn't know), causing enough heat to shrivel the follicle and terminate hair growth. Don't worry, that's the only thing that'll be shrivelling.

Next-generation IPL hair removal devices such as MacPeel, which harnesses the innovative technology of Pulse Permanent, allow for very effective and safe treatments. All this jargon basically to say that this is a painless and efficient way to permanently eliminate unwanted hair.

EstheClinic's quick sessions will also slot right into your schedule. This shortening of treatment time is made possible thanks to the continuous movement of the hand piece, so processing time is significantly reduced. All the sooner for you to get back to the pub.

Typically, you'll be looking at eight to 12 sessions to remove up to 90 percent of hair. Prices depend on the area you want to treat; for example, getting your shoulders done will start from $1,010 per session. À la carte rate are also available, so just get in touch to find out!

EstheClinic, 16/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central | (+852) 3615 0919 or (+852) 9158 9729 (WhatsApp)

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Jenny Leung

Senior editor

Born in Hong Kong and raised in the UK, Jenny grew up with the best of both worlds. She loves just about anything to do with music and doesn’t shy away from belting out a tune or two when it comes to karaoke. If she’s not out and about exploring the city and practising her photography skills, she’s probably tucked up in bed with a book or glued to her laptop doing her online shopping.