Current state of the art for a defibrillator is to use pads with sticky (think duct tape sticky) in place of the hand held paddles we are used to seeing on TV.

Without going into a lot of detail, I would like to keep my chest as free of hair as possible for a while.

  • I am not comfortable using a disposable razor, so I have not tried it.
  • I am told hair removal creams burns.
  • Waxing... Well, that is the effect I am trying to minimize.
  • Shaving with an electric razor, I have been using a my three headed rotary razor, but it is not doing a super job, leaves a lot of stubble.

What is the most effective and least painful method of keeping a chest hair free, given that the standard methods (mentioned above) each have their own problems?

  • Why doesn't just shaving with a regular razor not work? Obviously it wouldn't work well if the length of hair is currently long, but once you use a trimmer to get it down, just shave on a regular basis every few days, should be very pain free and more effective than anything else
    Dec 19, 2014 at 15:41
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    Electric razors will not only clog, but will also have the shaving edge dull with use. Have you tried to sharpen the blades? Dec 19, 2014 at 16:02
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    I am going to vote to close this. The question lists all the common ways of shaving and is asking an opinion about which is best. I urge the OP to try what he has listed, or attempt to edit the question so it can have an answer.
    – Jon
    Dec 20, 2014 at 1:50
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    @L.B. That is for an patient who is unconscious. Having been conscious during both defibrillation and pad removal, I would not recommend either for a conscious person. Also from experience you can defibrillate a hairy chest with only minor burns that are MUCH less painful than either the shock or ripping out chest hairs. Dec 22, 2014 at 17:19
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    @JamesJenkins No you wouldn't want that! I was not thinking of defibrillation while conscious.
    – L.B.
    Dec 22, 2014 at 18:58

2 Answers 2


You mentioned you have 'heard that hair removal cream burns'. Try using it on a small area. It doesn't burn most people, but leaving it on longer (for thicker hair) and multiple applications within a short window will increase the chances of it burning. If it works without leaving a chemical burn or redness on a small area, try it on your whole chest. It can be much, much easier than shaving.

Epilators will also work, but they function by actually pulling the hair out by the roots, which, yes, is painful, and you don't want that.


I purchased a woman's electric wet/dry shaver, 3 Blade Foil Shaver. One of the blades is a trimmer that cuts longer hairs, the other two cut them short.

I had not shaved my chest in 3 or 4 days as dry shaving with the men's rotary was just not working.

I have used it 3 times now with good results. Get in a hot shower, soap up the area to be shaved, and shave. The first time I had my glasses on, but this turned out to be unneeded. There does not seem to be a risk of cutting your chest, and you can feel the area to see what needs more work. I did not do a side by side test, but the effectiveness of the wet foil shaver seems significantly better than the results of the dry shaving with the rotary.

I am settling into a routine of shaving my chest every other day. If I survive the next occurrence of defibrillator pads, I will update this answer as to the effectiveness of shaved hairs not being pulled.


With a chest that is shaved EKG leads attach to the skin better, they can removed without any discomfort.

Defibrillator pads applied at about 24 hours after shaving cause no pain when removed or repositioned. There is much better contact and almost no burns (4 defibrillation shocks). I wore the pads for 48 without discomfort from hairs getting pulled with each move that was experienced last time. There are some marks but it is hard to tell if they are very minor burns or just aggravated skin from wearing the pads so long. When the pads where removed I was about 72 hours our from my last shave it seemed like the hairs were just starting to get long enough to stick to the pads, but still no significant discomfort on pad removal.

In summary: wet shaving with a electric shaver as described above every other day provides a nearly painless experience with defibrillator pads wear and removal.

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