I hate shaving. I’ve Twittered about it a few times. Beard hair, especially just under my jaw line and on my neck, grows very quickly and mostly dark. If I shave in the morning then by lunchtime there will be significant regrowth of the hair. A 12 o’clock shadow! Not only that the hair is like stiff wire and rubbing a finger over it is actually painful to the face skin. The shaving bumps and razor burn I get are quite painful as well. It’s not quite as bad as the Pseudofolliculitis barbae that some people get, but still a pain in the neck (pun intended!) I think that the hair composition changed a bit after I had surgery for testicular cancer. Maybe my hormone levels went a bit haywire for a bit. I don’t know. I wasn’t tested for testosterone levels at the time.
I’ve been a long advocate of the mantra there is a technical solution for everything. It’s a bit of a glib phrase I know. But it suits my view of the world. If you define it widely enough then the phrase can take in braces for teeth straightening, surgery, lots of things.
So, is there a technical solution for the shaving problem? Research shows that there is. Laser hair removal. In particular a technique that uses a laser with a certain wavelength of laser light that is meant to work really well on coarse, dark male beard hair. It’s known as the Lightsheer Diode Laser System. There are lots of sites on the Internet where people outline their successes (or not – mostly successes though) with beard removal using with the Lightsheer machine. Apparently it works due to the melanin pigment in dark hair follicles absorbing the energy in the laser light. This heats the follicle and destroys or impedes its ability to produce new hair. It seems it doesn’t work on light coloured hair or hair that has gone grey or white as there is not enough melanin to absorb the energy.The science behind it is interesting stuff. Not sure why I didn’t think of this before. I lost the hair on my chest and abdomen during my radiotherapy. That grew back after a while. With Lightsheer it takes several sessions spread out over about a year to provide a complete zapping.
Do I hate shaving and the associated razor irritation enough to try getting it lasered? I don’t know. My beard now grows with colours like a Persian carpet. Not all the hairs are as black as they were 20 years ago. The laser might not work on the light coloured hairs, and definitely won’t work on the white/grey hairs. But then again maybe removing the majority of the hair, which is dark and susceptible to the laser, would be enough. It’s also meant to be painful. Do I have the balls for it? I don’t like pain! There is also the societal aspect. Is it socially acceptable for blokes to get their beard hair permanently removed? I don’t see why not. What’s the difference between a few laser removal sessions and shaving everyday?
Anyway. I’ll have to have a think. It’s meant to be quite expensive as well.