Get out of any ‘hairy’ situation with this easy to follow guide to manscaping.
In recent years, more men have been looking into ways to manage their body hair. Men are choosing to cut, shave or trim for a number of reasons: perhaps you’re looking to be as smooth as a seal, or just one part of your body. Some do it seasonally, others for activities like swimming or cycling. Removing body hair is entirely a personal preference and, of course, it should be treated as such.
Whatever the motivation, it is important you are equipped not just with a razor, but also the know-how to keep yourself safe, healthy, and hygienic. Because while most are accustomed to shaving their facial hair every now and then, below the neckline has become a new venture for many, with pitfalls to avoid. You’ve no doubt seen an ad or three for tools like Manscaped, is this the best on the market?
Not to worry! This guide is here to help, giving you the ultimate guide to grooming and maintaining your body hair.
General Grooming Tips:
1. Don’t Use a Razor, Buy a Body Trimmer
While most men probably have a razor or two to shave their beards, we recommend avoid using these. Sharp razors come with plenty of extra work and potential harm to your body, and especially don’t use the same blade for your beard and body. That’s why, when it comes to shaving your body, we recommend using a dedicated body trimmer rather than your razor. And with multiple settings, this buzzy tool is your best friend whether cutting through your fur or just keeping it under control.
Best Body Hair Trimmer for Men: Phillips 7000 Series Showerproof Body Groomer
The Phillips 7000 Series Showerproof Body Groomer ($129) is one of the best ways to trim, groom and shave men’s body hair. This double-sided wonder lets you swap between a body trimmer, with five different length settings, and another side for shaving. Both sides perfectly glide over your body for a smooth shave and trim over your entire body.
2. Separate your Beard and Body Grooming Tools
Like the separation of church and state, it is important to use different tools for your beard and body. This comes down to hygiene: since your body trimmer will be grooving over your armpits and groin, do you really want that touching your lips or mouth area? And, if you’re not dissuaded by the hygiene argument, there’s also practical reasons. Body trimmers have specialised features designed specifically for your body and can make the whole experience just that much smoother. Body groomers, for instance, have attachments that easily glide through your body hair.
3. Cut First, Trim Later
When dealing with longer hairs, it’s best to shorten your longer hairs first. Trying to shave it straight off will only get you into a hairy and painful situation. To save yourself the tears, get out the scissors for your initial cut, before using body hair trimmers to cut it close. Body trimmers also come with guard lengths on their attachments, helping you control just how much hair to cut. So start on the highest settings first before closing in.
4. Be Gentle
When dealing with blades, it goes without saying that it’s better to be safe than sorry. So when shaving or trimming, it’s best to use short, gentle, slow strokes that don’t cause too much irritation to the skin.
5. Double Check it’s all Clear
This one is simple enough. Once you’ve done your initial shave, go on over and see if you missed any patches. Like with shaving your beard, you’re bound to have missed a spot or two on your body, so run your eyes and hands over the area and see if any hairs avoided the trimming.
Grooming Chest Hair:
When getting rid of the hair on your chest, you have two options: shaving with a body trimmer, or using a hair removal cream. Waxing is also an option, but the pain and preparation will rule it out for most. Using a body trimmer has the advantage of letting you easily control your body hair. The only downside is that with the guard lengths mean there will still be a short stubble around the body.
For those that want to be buttery smooth, try a hair removal cream. This cream, while potent, seeps into the skin and removes the hair straight from the root, meaning it’ll be a while before you have to lather up again.
Best Hair Removal Cream: Nair Hair Removal Cream
When wanting an easy way to remove body hair right at the source, Nair Sensitive Hair Removal Cream ($15) is one of the best on the market. Used in the shower with wet skin, apply evenly to remove unwanted hair from your legs and body. Just apply over the needed area, and watch it wash off with ease.
Grooming Shoulders and Back Hair:
Your back and shoulders are among the hardest parts to reach. Once again, avoid using a razor and instead believe in your trust trimmers to get the job done. Identify the hairs you want sheered, set your trimmers to their lowest settings, and start shearing. Stop every couple of strokes to feel your shoulders and back to figure out where you need to go next and repeat the process. A partner could also be helpful in getting to those hard-to-reach areas.
Grooming Armpit Hair:
Armpits hairs are infamous for letting sweat build up and leaving an oh so awful stench. Shaving your armpits can be an effective way to get your body odour under control and feel more confident on a sweaty day out, especially as we head into summer. First, we recommend trimming your underarms: if you’ve never cut much there before, it’s best to trim this jungle a little. Once you’ve cut it down, now you can decide whether you want to go all the way down to the grain. If you prefer smooth armpits, make sure you are using a new, sharp razor, and keep your armpits wet. Like shaving your beard, using an aftershave balm ensures you keep this sensitive area tension-free.
Grooming Pubic Hair:
To shave or not to shave, that is the question. Perhaps the focal point for many men when it comes to their body hair, removing pubic hair can be a source of much consternation. Whatever the reasons you have, there are a few things to keep in mind when grooming your pubic parts. Firstly, using a body trimmer will give you complete control over the process. With guard attachments, you can glide over your skin to a short length without irritating your skin.
While many use razors, there are many dangers ahead. The closer you get to the skin, the higher the chance you will nip your hair or cause irritation. So be careful down there!
For more men’s body hair grooming advice, read our 6 Tips for Maintaining the Perfect Beard and Moustache. And, if a bit of self-pampering is what you need, we have a Guide to 4 Easy Skincare Routine Tips for Men.