Cidofovir: an end to facial hair forever? I don’t think so…

I read with interest yesterday that tests have been taking place at the University of Pennsylvania into using the drug cidofovir to stop stubble in its tracks and put an end to men’s need to shave once and for all.

An anti-viral drug previously used to treat people living with HIV cidofovir has the side-effect of ‘local alopecia’ and, as was the case with Minoxidil (the active ingredient in Regaine and one originally used to treat high blood pressure), its alternative money-spinning usage is clearly a big draw to its manufacturers.

The study, published in Archives of Dermatology, appeared to show a reduced hair count in the men who used a 3% dosage of the cream, opening the door for a product that could prevent stubble once and for all. The big question, of course, is will men use it?

It’s one I’ve asked numerous times in articles and on message boards and the resounding answer has always been no. Creams and balms already exist (Clarins and Clinique both do them) that reduce stubble growth a little but they’re hardly hero products men are falling over themselves to have in their grooming armoury.

Sure, on paper a life sans stubble sounds like a great idea: no more five o’clock shadow, no more boring daily shave, no more expensive blades to shell out on, but in practice I’ve discovered men are remarkably attached to their facial hair. And why wouldn’t they be? After all, an end to all the down sides also means and end to the main upside too which is that a beard, ‘tache or goatee is a cheap and effective way to change your look whenever you fancy. Women have make-up to play with and men have facial hair.

And let’s not forget that facial hair is fundamentally a secondary sexual characteristic – there to indicate masculinity and the presence of testosterone. It isn’t just about fashion: Anthropologically speaking it has function too. In fact I believe research has shown that women are programmed to find three days’ worth of stubble particularly attractive.

There will be those, I’m sure, who find my attitudes decidedly retrosexual and, since I have beardage myself I am slightly biased, but the day I’ll believe men want to live without facial hair is the day women say they want to live with it. Now there’s a thought – a cream that makes women grow facial hair…

9 thoughts on “Cidofovir: an end to facial hair forever? I don’t think so…

  1. fortheyoungdude

    Hmm.. I’ve always been clean-shaven and being able to forgo my morning shave sounds incredibly tempting.

    My only hesitation is that ‘local alopecia’ sounds very… permanent. My taste in facial hair may change in my 30s!

  2. I’m clean shaven and planning to stay that way – but (and here it comes) what if I change my mind?

    Also – and here comes a bit of cackhanded moralising – I’m more than slightly concerned so much money is being spent on “curing” stuff that isn’t an illness. Baldness is one, and now stubble..?

    Finally one of my favourite self-indulgent treats is a hot towel shave at my local barber. I wouldn’t want to be ‘cured’ of the need for those, ever.

  3. Gerry

    Isn’t this pretty much the same claim as the Declerine ingredient in Bluebeard’sRevenge?? They claim growth reduction within like 60 days or something *shuffles off to find packaging* – I’m totally with the Guru on this one! I’ve had a soul patch since I was around 18 and every so often I get rid of it for around a month cos I’m bored but then miss it and grow it back!! I would akin using a product like this to getting a tattoo – in fact I’d prefer to have stubble tattooed on my face than use a product which completely stops it from growing…..

  4. TJ

    But if you have Folliculitis and as damaging as I do and utterly relentless then this could be a life saver so to speak and rid people like myself of this terrible inflicting condition which a lot of men suffer from especially from non European ethnic backgrounds due to western view of clean shaven for work and business is seen as a standard imposing on a lot of men the need to shave and ultimately causing this condition in a certain percentage of men. Also women who shave a lot and get shaving rashes woul;d aslo like to use this product if it proves 100% effect without side effects. I see this as having massive potential in cases such as mine and others who suffer Folliculitis.

  5. lisa

    hem hem hhhgghm. i am a woman. this would elicit a shit load of money from us, the other half of the population- which, really now, would be their main target wouldn’t it? i’ve never met a woman who loved removing their hair. we remove it because we hate having it. this would be like the sexual revolution all over again, but better.

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