Should you be trimming your body hair?
In case you’ve been living under a rock or covering your eyes and ears and screaming loudly to yourself every time it’s mentioned, manscaping is an actual thing that guys do. What is manscaping? Well, manscaping, as defined by the Google Dictionary is “the removal or trimming of hair on a man’s body for cosmetic effect.”
Manscaping as a subject and practice is something with more than a little bit of a stigma attached to it. It’s often seen as feminine or, in other words, not very manly at all. That is a point of view that I honestly find completely ridiculous.
For one, I’ve seen plenty of super-jacked, muscle dudes with no hair on their chests, legs and sometimes arms. You can’t tell me they don’t grow hair there. They do and they’re totally shaving it. Does this make these gym bros any less manly? Or does it just make their muscles look that much more awesome now that they’re free of their furry obstruction?
There are any number of reasons, from aesthetic to practical, that men may choose to trim their body hair, or manscape, if you will. Heck, I do it myself to a certain degree. Below, I’m going to go over the five most common manscaping sites and then discuss whether or not you should be manscaping.
Now, if you plan on manscaping, you need the right tool. I’ve reviewed the Philips OneBlade Pro in the past and while that can certainly get the job done, I highly recommend checking out the OneBlade Face + Body trimmer and shaver, which is specifically designed for these sorts of jobs.
Chest hair is an interesting beast. Some find it disgusting. Some find it sexy. Interestingly, the subject of chest hair and a class of men who are embracing it, has been in the news not all that long ago. An article in The New York Times (read it here) called it a possible grooming trend for straight men grappling with their identity in a world that they could possibly feel less relevant.
The piece brings up the fact that because there have been big movements for gays, lesbians and transgender individuals, straight men have been trying to figure out just who they are and have adopted hyper-masculine personas like the lumbersexual or urban beardsman to assert their, well, masculinity. Interesting stuff and we did cover it on the site when it first came out – you can read that here.
But back to chest hair as an area for manscaping. Personally, I trim my chest hair. I have what I might call longer and bushier than average chest hair and I’m not a big fan of it billowing out of my unbuttoned button-up. Additionally, it gets kind of hot in the summer as well as fairly gross when sweating. For those reasons, I like to keep it on the shorter side, though I’m not shaving my chest bare.
Although there are some who may find chest hair sexy, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who felt the same about armpit hair. Especially the kind that sticks out from the bottom of a t-shirt sleeve. I’d like to believe we can all agree that this is not attractive and, as such, should be trimmed to guard against such appearances.
As a former elite bicycle racer, I am intimately familiar with the shaving of the leg hair. As a bike racer, you’ve simply got to do it. The lack of hair allows sweat to evaporate faster, which has a cooling effect. You do it in case of a crash – having hair heal into road rash is a recipe for an infection. You do it to make massage less painful. And, finally, taking a page from the jacked gym dudes, your huge quads and calves look way more awesome and menacing hair free. One reason bike racers shave their legs is not for aerodynamic advantage. Big misconception about that, but there’s been scientific studies proving there is literally no performance gain as a result of smooth legs.
I am not a bike racer any more, however, although I don’t shave my legs bare, I do keep the hair trimmed. I do this for the exact same reason as I trim my chest hair. My leg hair is longer and it gets really nasty and sweaty in the summer. If you’re like me, consider trimming your leg hair, which aside from being cooler in the summer, just looks nicer, in my opinion.
The Nether Region (a.k.a. The Groin)
Buckle up, we’re actually going to talk about this. I know it’s something you’ve thought about before, so don’t even try and pretend like you haven’t. We’re talking pubic hair, man parts and, yes, the crack. I’m going to actually keep this really simple. Regarding the forward facing stuff, if it’s bushy down there, consider mowing the lawn. Someone may appreciate it. Just saying.
For the undercarriage and the aft-related area, well, you’ve got to be creative, flexible and careful. That means having a guard on your tool of choice because there are some things down there you do not want to cut. That’s all I need to say about that.
Should you be manscaping?
After all of that, we’ve arrived at the question of whether or not you should be manscaping. So, not to sound like I’m copping out, but the choice is really yours. However, choosing to trim your body hair has nothing to do with your masculinity or manhood. As we’ve discussed, manscaping can serve both practical and aesthetic purposes. And there is no shame in either of those reasons.
Chime in: What’s your take on manscaping?
Thanks for reading.
He Spoke Style