The world is a cruel and unpredictable place, and while some dudes are lacking in the hair department, other people have more than they could ever need or want. Among the latter group are a subset of people who feel both ashamed of and burdened by the unreasonable amount of hair on their body.
“I’m 18 and I don’t think I’m normal,” writes one hirsute redditor. “My hormones must be messed up or something. I’ve too much body hair and I don’t know how to deal with it.” They feel especially upset about the thick, dark hairs sprinkling their legs. “I’ve a lot, I mean, a lot of ingrown hairs and because of them my legs are always coarse (paradoxically, they’re smoother when the hairs are long).”
Another overly-furred redditor says their excessive body hair limits their wardrobe: “So the lower half of my body (from crotch to toes) is really hairy. I don’t own a pair of shorts because it’s just too unsightly.”
One woman claims that her abundance of body hair impedes their relationships and desire to socialize:
“It actually causes me distress, sometimes I don’t go out cos I feel it is too much, and even when I do go out I find that I am constantly touching it. I also get paranoid that it is really noticeable and people are looking at it. And I don’t let my boyfriend go anywhere near my neck which he isn’t too happy about.”
Melanie Gardner, owner and trained manscaper at Bare Skin Studio, witnesses how having too much body hair impacts people on a daily basis. “Guys are suuuper self-conscious,” she emphasizes, adding that back and shoulder hair seem to have the worst effects on her clients.
Besides being unsightly (to some), Gardner says too much body hair can make otherwise-simple grooming tasks much more difficult. She says her clients often need to use a separate towel to remove the water trapped in their body hair after a shower, “or they blow dry their junk and butt crack.”
Speaking of which, Gardner explains that, since body hair holds onto sweat and water, people with large amounts often suffer from skin problems. “For example, in the underarm, when there’s too much hair and the antiperspirant can’t get down to the skin, people experience a lot of water collection,” she says (likewise, moisturizers and ointments have trouble penetrating the skin). “That creates an impairment in the skin barrier, meaning your skin can become irritated very easily.” Of course, that sweaty buildup can also result in intense body odor.
For these reasons, Gardner says hairy people are often forced to add an additional step to their grooming routine — namely, covering themselves in cornstarch-based powder to prevent sweat (and therefore, odor) from lounging in their hairs throughout the day.
Even pampering yourself can be trickier when you have loads of body hair. “Getting a massage with full back hair is gross for the massage therapist, but it can also rub and catch the hair, which makes it painful,” says Gardner. “So massage therapists appreciate a shaved back.”
In fact, Gardner has been witness to a whole host of reasons why body hair can impede someone’s life. “I have one guy who has a medical condition, where if he gets too hot, his vision becomes blurry,” she says, adding that some of her clients claim they feel cooler when they have their body hair removed (although that’s probably a placebo effect). “Aesthetically speaking, some guys say they feel 100-percent different when they put their clothes on — their shirts fit differently.”
Whatever the case, if you have more body hair than you’d like, the good news is, you have all sorts of options for removing it — might we suggest starting with our guide to manscaping every single body part and going from there.