Male body grooming might be all the rage right now, but it can lead to some rather hairy situations if you’re not careful.
Skin thickness and sensitivity varies by location. Shaving your beard might be second nature, but hacking away at body hair with the same cheap disposable can lead to painful cuts, ingrown hairs, and infection.
Not sure where to start? We’re “hair” to smooth things over for you by revealing our top tips to mastering the art of manscaping.
Manscaping: Let’s Stop Beating Around The Bush
The days of 1970s shag carpet chest hair and luxuriant ball ‘fros are behind us. Having less hair down there is hot right now.
One recent survey found that 60% of young men in the UK maintain a regular male body grooming routine, up 33% since 2005.
You might be the most image conscious bloke on earth, but going au naturel with your body hair gives the opposite impression when the clothes come off. A well-groomed man garden simply looks tidier and shows you pay very close attention to your appearance — and your hygiene.
Excess body hair traps moisture and throws the skin’s microbiota off-balance, leading to unsightly irritation and unpleasant odours. It’s also a matter of comfort.
If you’ve ever snagged wayward pube in your zipper, you know exactly what we’re talking about.
Manscaping keeps excess body hair in check and eliminates these nuisances while elevating your sex appeal at the same time. It’s a win-win.
The biggest bonus of all
Another huge perk of manscaping your pubes in particular?
Your member looks massive.
Think about it: the more length you reveal, the larger your lad is going to look. It’s hard to appreciate the full scale of a phallus that’s half-hidden by hair.
Male Body Grooming: All or Nothing
You don’t have to go completely fur-free to be “well-groomed”. Manscaping was inspired by the word “landscaping” for a reason — it’s about customising your man garden to your (and your partner’s) personal preferences.
Sure, you can clear away all the underbrush, but sometimes just tidying up certain areas is enough, as long as it suits your style.
There are three degrees of manscaping:
- Trim – Using a dedicated trimmer to keep body hair tidy creates a sexy, well-groomed aesthetic.
- Shave/Wax/Depilation – The “hairless” look. Exposed skin is far more sensitive to touch, heightening erotic pleasure. A razor can also cut precise edges along trimmed areas for an impeccable appearance.
- Au naturel – Sometimes body hair grows finer, shorter and naturally neat in certain areas, and can be left as is.
Most male body grooming routines maintain some combination of all three, but how you go about achieving them depends on the body part.
6 Tips For The Ultimate Male Body Grooming Routine
1. Get it off your chest
A heap of wiry chest hair bursting through an open-collar shirt was once the hallmark of masculinity. These days, most agree it’s sexier to be smooth from the neck down.
A quick once-over with your razor and shaving cream might seem like a manscaping shortcut, but an electric body hair groomer, set to a short but still flexible length, is the way to go. Unless you want to maintain a rigorous body shaving routine, the spiky five o’clock shadow all over your chest will definitely rub your partner the wrong way.
Skip the waxing altogether. It can lead to acne on an already breakout-prone part of the body.
What you do with your happy trail (that line of hair that leads from your belly button down to your pubes) is up to you.
2. Shaving private Ryan
If it’s like a jungle down there, you don’t have to wonder why nobody wants to go under. That said, taming the wilds of your fun forest is a very delicate undertaking. The skin on and around your genitals is very thin and contains countless nerve endings, so pube manscaping requires utmost care to avoid any unfortunate mishaps.
If the idea of wielding a sharp instrument near your privates gives you the willies (or makes you feel a bit testy), follow these top tips for a safer clip:
- Take a shower first to soften hair cuticles, and fluff out your pubes before you prune them. Cutting clumped together hair leads to uneven results and can snag your tool (in more ways than one).
- Have a hand mirror nearby. Nobody should have to tell you that it’s a very bad idea to shave your cock and balls blindly.
- Stand upright, holding your trimmer or shaver in your dominant hand, using your other hand to hold your junk steady.
- Trim in stages before you even consider shaving. Use a pair of good quality scissors, or set your trimmer to a longer length, working your way down as the numbers as desired.
- A splash of cold water makes your testicles taut and thus, easier to groom.
- Aiming for bald balls or the full Brazilian? As always, proper lubrication (with a quality shaving gel or foam) makes for a more enjoyable experience down south. It puts a barrier between the blade and your skin and ensures a cleaner shave.
- Slow and steady wins the race. Taking your time will keep your nuts in good nick, minus the nicks.
3. Hacks for the back
A hairy back and shoulders is never a desirable look, unless you’re awaiting a casting call to play the head werewolf in a budget horror film.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t help that the back also happens to be the hardest area to manscape. It’s nearly impossible to see what you’re doing, and the problem areas are often just out of your razor’s reach.
For this reason, many gents opt for a professional wax job to get it all off in one go. If you prefer to go DIY, a high quality depilatory cream designed specifically for body hair removal beats blindly brandishing a blade behind your back anytime. Just apply the depilatory cream, wait up to ten minutes, step in the shower, and thoroughly rinse the cream and hair down the drain. Depilatory cream contains chemicals that dissolve hair and deter regrowth for long-lasting results.
4. Tips for the pits
While many men prefer not to go completely bare-pitted, a quick clip can clean up even the unruliest of underarms. (Not to mention, removing excess hair under there helps your deodorant work more efficiently, keeping you smelling fresher for longer.)
For a natural look, scrub your armpits clean in a hot water, set your body groomer to #2, run it over your pit hair, then rinse. If you decide to go for the full shave, use a premium shaving cream and a very sharp razor to avoid irritation that will make your deodorant sting. Make sure to rinse your razor blades regularly to avoid any clogging or snagging. Finally, do a spot check in the mirror to see if you left any patchiness behind, then splash with cold water afterwards to close pores.
5. Smooth cheeks for weeks
Here’s the bottom line: when it comes to trimming your backside, it’s always best to leave it to a professional. Whatever you do, don’t try to shave down there. Not only is it impossible to see what you’re doing, but the regrowth process between the cheeks can feel like sandpaper, rubbing you red raw with every step. (Ouch!) Using a good depilatory cream at home is the next best thing to waxing, but bear in mind the hair dissolving chemicals are suitable for the skin on your outer cheeks only.
If you’re serious about maintaining a completely bare bottom from the valley to the hills, laser hair removal offers a permanent solution with minimal risk.
6. Going out on a limb
Male athletes, swimmers, cyclers, football players and the like have been shaving their arms and legs to boost performance, reduce friction, and keep cool, long before it was cool. But the merits of shaving your limbs go beyond aerodynamics. Once you’ve enjoyed the frictionless pleasure of silky smooth skin between crisp, clean sheets, it’s hard to go back to shaggy shanks.
If you’re not ready to go full tilt, even a quick trim will make the hair on your arms and legs look and feel softer and smoother. For a naturally less-hairy aesthetic, set your body hair groomer to #1 or #2.
If you haven’t been skipping “leg day” lately, a close shave is the perfect way to show off your muscle definition. The skin on the limbs is far less sensitive than other areas, so a simple sharp razor and shaving cream should suffice.
Gillette Heated Razor Starter Kit
The world’s first heated razor – awaken your senses with the feeling of a hot towel shave
No Hair Crew Intimate/Private At Home Hair Removal Cream for Men
Painless, Flawless, Soothing Depilatory for Unwanted Coarse Male Body Hair, 100ml