Question: I think I have met a man who could be ‘the one’. The only problem is that he has a really hairy back, and for me that is something of a deal breaker. Can I suggest that he has it waxed? Or is that offensive?
Suzi says: Asking anyone to alter their appearance on your behalf is an affront, but if his hairy back is, as you say, a deal breaker, then you don’t have a choice.
Unless he agrees to wax, you will recoil every time he takes off his shirt, which will pretty much spell the end of the relationship anyway.
How you go about asking a man to strip off 30% of the hair on his body is way beyond my remit (a warning: don’t underestimate the possibility that your request may turn out to be a deal breaker for him).
If it is any consolation, your distaste for back hair is shared by most women.
According to a Harris Interactive survey of 1,000 women between 18 and 44, more than 90% find back hair unattractive, but only four in 10 are brave enough to ask a partner to remove the offending rug.
That’s probably because back waxing is a significant commitment.
It has to be done every four to six weeks and, according to a poll carried out by that well-known website, Waxing 4 Men (waxing4men.com), 46% of men say that it is very or moderately painful.
There are, of course, other ways to remove hair but, according to one hirsute man on Amazon, they all have their pros and cons. He provided the following helpful insights in a review on Amazon.
Pros: smooth, lasts four to six weeks.
Cons: very painful, ingrown hairs, spots, irritation.
Pros: smooth (for about a day), can be done at home.
Cons: stubble, irritation, ingrown hairs, spots.
Cons: poor finish, patchy.
Pros: Can be done at home.
Cons: If you are very hairy you need to shave the hair down to stubble and then leave the cream on for 15 minutes. High irritation, quick regrowth, ingrown hairs, spots, terrible product smell, burns.
So, all in all, it’s a big ask and I doubt that your man will see the upside.
However, if you can persuade him to give it a go, he could try sugaring, which is widely available in grooming salons.
Sugaring is a 2,000-year-old technique that dates back to the Egyptians.
A paste of sugar, lemon and water is applied to the skin and is removed with a gentle flick, taking the hair and its root with it.
On larger areas, such as the back, a cloth is laid over the paste and then lifted off like a wax strip.
The difference is that the cloth sticks to the hair only, not the skin, so the process isn’t anywhere near as painful as waxing.
Women, of course, have been removing their body hair for several decades, though 20 years ago German women didn’t shave their legs and French women had hairy armpits.
Now both are silky smooth. Hair harbours sweat, which can be a problem for high-powered businessmen who need to appear cool, calm and collected when stocks fall.
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