Manscaping is typically thought to be a job for clippers and razors. But hair removal creams, aka depilatories, promise silky smooth skin in a quarter of the time, without the possibility of nicks or cuts. So why aren’t more guys using them? According to Melanie Mari, owner and trained manscaper at Bare Skin Studio, it’s because they’re more trouble than they’re worth.
“Because hair removal creams are strong enough to break down thick body hair—like chest hair or pubic hair—they’re also strong enough to irritate sensitive areas of the skin,” Mari explains. “In fact, I’ve had a couple guys walk into my studio with chemical burns on their testicles after using depilatories down there.”
Her clients aren’t the only ones who’ve felt the depilatory-induced burn, either. Amazon’s customer reviews page for one kind of men’s hair removal cream is bursting with complaints of testicular pain. One reviewer writes:
“At first there was a gentle warmth which in a matter of seconds was replaced by an intense burning and a feeling I can only describe as like being given a barbed wire wedgie by two people intent on hitting the ceiling with my head. Religion hadn’t featured much in my life until that night but I suddenly became willing to convert to any religion to stop the violent burning…and what seemed like the destruction of the meat and two veg.”
Needless to say, he probably should have used a razor for his manscaping needs instead. That said, incidents like these are more the fault of the user than the hair removal creams. Another brand’s product page specifically tells users not to use their creams on particularly sensitive areas, warning that because they are strongly alkaline, they can cause irritation.
While even the companies behind hair removal creams discourage using them to manscape sensitive bits, that doesn’t rule out using them to manscape other hirsute areas. Even Mari recommends using hair removal creams on your chest and back—that is, if you’re brave enough to use them at all after reading that Amazon review. But using depilatories on your less sensitive body parts has its downside, too: “They don’t take the hair down to the root, so you’ll feel prickly after a few days,” Mari explains. By using clippers and a razor, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding the dreaded post-manscape prickle.
Equipped with this information, we’ll let you decide whether or not hair removal creams are right for your manscaping needs. Just be sure to remember the vital lesson Mari left us with: “Keep it away from your balls.”