As winter keeps our heating bills high, our minds can’t help but to wander toward warmer days when we will see the sun, the beach and bare skin. A solid workout regime and a healthy diet will rid us of the holiday weight, but one final step is needed before emerging from hibernation – manscaping. Girls can’t appreciate the muscle you’re building if you’re more wolf-man than baby’s bottom. Taking care of that extra hair can be a nuisance at best, and eye-gouging painful at worst. It is 2010, though, and options do exist for more gentle hair removal — though we make no guarantees concerning the verbal abuse your buddies might unleash. We check in with the latest options for manscaping.

Smooth Away Hair Removal System

As seen on TV. This product is a totally pain-free method to remove unwanted hair, for women and men. If you have not seen the infomercials, Smooth Away is a handheld device with one side made of tiny crystals. Also, the commercial tells you this product is popular in Europe, so it must be good, right? When rubbed in a circular motion on your skin, it gently removes hair, while exfoliating. Because of its construction, Smooth Away will not cut or nick your skin. The manufacturer says that after continued use, the hair grows back finer and finer. Works on all hair types, though long hair should be trimmed. Now if they could just do something about the color…

Kalo Hair Inhibitor Cream

Since beach season is still months away, we have some time to get that smooth body, thus a hair growth inhibitor is a viable solution. What Kalo, and other topical creams, aim to do is retard your hair’s natural growth cycle. Kalo is meant to be used after your current hair removal method, three times a day, for two days. This process is repeated again after the next time you shave, Nair, whatever. After each successive use, you will find your hair growing back slower, and notice that it is lighter and finer in appearance. Eventually, the hair will cease to grow at all. Most users report little or no pain when using these creams and their effectiveness varies. It is unknown why, but some people seem to be immune to the powers of hair inhibitors. Perhaps they are simply too manly. Hair inhibitors are also good to use in combination with a solution such as Smooth Away.

Alma Laser Treatment

You probably have friend that has described the ceiling-gripping pain of laser hair removal. It seems never shaving your armpits again is worth severe discomfort for a day or two. In this new decade we should no longer have to compromise temporary pain for lasting convenience. This is where Alma Laser Treatment differentiates itself. The Pain-Free, Hair-Free system uses new technology that focuses heat on the subdermal layer of skin, damaging the hair follicles there, while also keeping the surface of your skin cool. Patients describe the procedure feeling like a “warm massage.” As Bill Nye would say, “Science Rules!” There is no recovery time required; you can return to work immediately after the treatment. Remember, though, this is really permanent. The finality of some systems can be questioned, but not with laser treatment. Once the follicle is appropriately damaged, it can no longer grow hair. This is important to think about if the smooth look you are going for turns out to be a fad, and in five years all the ladies want is a nice, hairy chest.

A Really Long Razor

The final “painless” hair removal method is one we are too familiar with, shaving. The problems, of course, with shaving are well documented – razor burn, nicks, cuts and the frequency needed. There are techniques and products available that make shaving more comfortable and reduce the unwanted side effects. But even if you avoid cutting yourself, how do you rid your back of its caveman appearance? Enter the Razorba. Coming in three ergonomically designed styles (read: colors), the Classic, the Silencer, and Made Man favorite, the War Hammer, the Razorba is an extension tool for your current razor, allowing you to shave those hard-to-reach spots — like your back. The tool was designed and tested by men with back hair, so you know its claims of easy use and effectiveness are authentic.

You’ll have to choose which method is best for you, but make sure you do something. Thanks to advances in hair removal technology, excuses are quickly disappearing.