IPL hair removal for bodybuilding, cycling and swimming

Swimmers, cyclists and especially bodybuilders have a not much hair on their bodies, hardly any at all.

The question is do they do this for a strictly athletic purpose or having no hair actually increase performance? Do they gain just that tiny extra edge in their chosen sport by being hair free?

The only sport where the removal of body hair has been scientifically proven to give an advantage is competitive swimming where body hair definitely add to the drag resistance in water.


Some studies have to be conducted over the years about hair removal and its effects on sports. It’s didn’t conclusively show to be beneficial for athletes. However let’s examine possible benefits

  • Swimmers: hair can create friction in the water and slow them down. Even though studies have shown that the difference body hair causes is miniscule and might only change performance times by nanoseconds, competitive swimmers will do anything to gain those precious few nanoseconds. It could mean the difference between winning and losing. Swimmers have a long history of the “shave and taper” system before big swim meets.
  • Cyclists often remove their leg hair before competition. Cyclists have noted that hair-free legs improve wound healing should they fall and get road rash. Another claim is that smooth legs are easier to massage. The oils and lotions don’t get all gummed up in hair and it simply feels better to have a massage on smooth legs, rather than hairy legs. It also may simply provide a placebo type effect because if a cyclist believes he is going faster with no hair, he just might go faster at the end of the day.
  • Bodybuilders, almost every single professional bodybuilder do not have any body hair. This again is done for various reasons but the two biggest seems to be aesthetic and for massaging. Bodybuilding competitions focus on an athlete’s body and they are judged on the definition, size and shape of their muscles. So every muscle has to be put on display for the judges to score. In this regard hair cannot cover up any of the muscles and so hair is removed to give the judges a better view while judging. Also a lot of bodybuilders claim that having no hair helps in receiving massages to aid in tired and strained muscles.

Tips on how to be hair free

Laser hair removal was the first to replace electrolysis as permanent hair reduction method. It offers less painful, faster and more effective solution to remove unwanted hair. Laser procedures require multiple sessions to achieve complete hair removal, but in many cases the results are considered permanent. There are a variety of lasers used for this purpose, to help patients and doctors customise a treatment to a patient’s hair color and skin tone for best results.

The benefits of laser hair removal are numerous, and include:

  • Permanent hair reduction is seen in most patients, after the recommended number of treatment sessions
  • The procedure is not as painful as treatments like electrolysis or waxing
  • Treatment can be done on larger areas, like the legs and back
  • Hair that comes in after treatment is often finer and lighter in color
  • Removal of hair with laser eliminated problem with ingrown hairs, red shaving bumps and infections

While there are a number of benefits that laser hair removal offer, there are some drawbacks as well, including:

  • Multiple treatments will be needed to achieve desired results
  • Laser hair removal may not be a good choice for those with darker skin tones, since the risk of burning or skin damage is higher
  • Laser hair removal doesn’t usually work on hair without pigmentation, such as white or red hair shades