Will waxing my chest damage my skin?

Although waxing is painful, it's relatively harmless to your skin. See more pictures of personal hygiene practices.
©iStockphoto.com/Björn-Robert Schmechel

It's becoming more popular these days for men to get rid of their chest hair. In fact, a 2009 study by the University of South Florida found that 80 percent of men surveyed engage in some form of body-hair removal [source: Brown]. Some men do it for comfort, some do it for medical reasons, and some do it simply because they like the way it looks. Whatever the case may be, there are only a few options for removing chest hair. The most common methods are shaving, hair removal creams and waxing. But shaving and hair removal creams don't last very long. In fact, shaving will probably require daily maintenance once you begin. Waxing is more effective and usually lasts about two weeks [source: Bouchez].

Waxing your chest is relatively harmless and won't cause any permanent damage if it's done correctly -- but it will hurt, and the treated area will be raw and sensitive immediately after waxing. After all, the process rips a large quantity of hair out from the root in one motion. Keep in mind that waxing can cause a skin infection, so apply an antibacterial cream or lotion to the treated area after waxing [source: Bouchez]. Also, you shouldn't use wax on moles, warts or broken skin, and don't wax your chest if you have irritated, sunburned or sensitive skin.

To avoid any complications, you may want to consider getting your first wax done professionally at a salon, but call ahead -- despite the growing popularity of chest waxing, not all salons offer the service. If you decide to use a do-it-yourself kit, read the directions carefully and don't overheat the wax. If you do, you could burn your chest and cause permanent scarring [source: Barba].

Overall, waxing your chest shouldn't damage your skin if it's done correctly. Check out the links below for more tips on waxing.

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  • Barba, Alicia MD. "Nonlaser Hair Removal Techniques." eMedicine. May 27, 2008. (accessed 08/26/2009) http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1067139-overview
  • Bouchez, Colette. "Hair Removal: For Men Only." WebMD. Jan. 1, 2007. (accessed 08/26/2009)http://men.webmd.com/guide/for-men-only-hair-removal?page=3
  • Brown, Douglas. "For Guys, Less Hair is More." September 8, 2009. (accessed 9/8/09) http://www.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_13283384