The Ultimate Guide To Manscaping
Last updated March 4, 2023
Whether you need to trim around the family jewels or take a weed whacker to your chest and back, you probably already incorporate manscaping into your personal grooming routine. But manscaping isn’t just about pruning the shrubs—it’s a crucial part of hygiene for the modern man.
No matter how well you know your way around a set of clippers, there’s a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to manscaping. That’s why we’re diving headfirst into the wonderful world of body hair removal for men—whether it’s a light trim around your nether regions or a full Brazilian on your chest and back, we’ll cover everything you need to know about manscaping. So grab your clippers and get ready to trim, shape, and sculpt your way to manscaping mastery. Trust us, your family jewels will thank you for it.
What is Manscaping and Why Should You Manscape?
Put simply, manscaping refers to grooming your body hair. For many guys, manscaping is synonymous with giving your pubes a buzzcut—but in fact, it’s so much more than that. If you’re bothered by the hair on your chest and torso, back and shoulders, or even your butt and thighs, you can manscape the rest of you by trimming, shaving, or having it professionally removed.
Manscaping is purely a matter of personal preference—if you’re not bothered by your pubic or body hair, there’s certainly no medical or scientific reason to manscape. But many guys feel cleaner, more comfortable, and more confident with less hair. Here are a few reasons many men take the hair removal route:
- Hygiene: For many men, manscaping is a matter of hygiene. Pubic hair can create a breeding ground for bacteria and unpleasant smells—especially in warmer weather when you’re more prone to sweating.
- Confidence: When you're feeling fresh and clean, you're bound to feel better in your own skin. Plus, some guys may be self-conscious about the amount of body or pubic hair they grow naturally.
- Reduces chafing and irritation: When body, chest, or pubic hair is trimmed, it can reduce friction and irritation that leads to uncomfortable chafing. This is especially important for active dudes.
- Enhances appearance: Manscaping can give a cleaner, more polished look and help you feel more attractive and put-together.
- Improves intimacy: Manscaping can improve the experience for you and your partner during intimacy. Many find a groomed appearance more visually appealing and can help make sex more enjoyable for both parties.
When it comes to manscaping, having the right tools makes all the difference. Managing back hair and pubic hair is a different game than trimming your beard, so be thoughtful about selecting the right tool for the job. Here’s what you’ll need to keep in your manscaping kit:
An electric trimmer or electric razor is essential for manscaping. Look for one designed specifically for body hair, as they tend to have different attachments and settings for different areas of the body. You can choose between corded and cordless options, depending on your preference.
Comb and Scissors
If you don’t have a trimmer, you can get good results with a comb and a pair of scissors. Pass the comb through your hair once or twice, then hold the comb against your body as you trim. Be sure to use a pair of blunt scissors and be extra careful around sensitive areas.
If you prefer a smoother finish, you can use a razor to shave the hair completely. Use a clean razor designed specifically for sensitive skin with a quality shaving cream to avoid irritation.
Regular exfoliation can help prevent ingrown hairs and keep the skin smooth and soft. Avoid scrubs, as they can create microscopic tears that allow bacteria to enter the skin. Instead, use a washcloth or exfoliating brush to exfoliate your skin after manscaping.
Preparing Your Skin and Hair
Manscaping isn't just about whipping out your electric trimmer and going to town. To avoid discomfort and irritation, it’s crucial to prepare your skin and hair beforehand. Here's how.
- Cleanse: Before you start manscaping, make sure the area is clean and dry. Hop in the shower and use a gentle cleanser to wash the area to be trimmed, paying extra attention to folds or creases.
- Trim: Before going in with trimmers, use scissors and a comb to trim the hairs down to a more manageable length. This will prevent tugging and pulling, which can be uncomfortable.
- Exfoliate: Exfoliating scrub can help remove any dead skin cells and prevent ingrown hairs. Avoid scrubs and opt instead for an exfoliating cloth or scrubber.
- Use shaving cream: If you’re going to shave, always use shaving cream or gel to lubricate the area and prevent irritation or razor burn.
- Take it slow: Don't rush the process. Take your time and use gentle, slow movements to avoid nicks or cuts.
Manscaping Different Areas of the Body
Time to get into the nitty-gritty of manscaping. Your approach may vary depending on personal preference, amount of hair, and area of the body, but here’s what you need to know about taming your body hair.
To trim around the family jewels, start by trimming the hair with scissors. Then, go in with your clippers and carefully trim the hair down to your desired length. Many guys like a natural-but-trimmed look; however, you can follow up with a fresh razor if you prefer a clean-shaven look. If you have a sense of humor, you can even “style” your pubic hair by leaving a small amount at the top and shaping it to your liking. Who said manscaping can’t be fun?
Chest and Stomach
To tame the hair on your chest and stomach, use clippers or a body trimmer to trim the hair down to your desired length. Be sure to use shaving cream or gel to prevent any irritation. Because it can be quite tedious, many guys prefer to manage chest and stomach hair by waxing, depilatory cream, or even laser hair removal.
Back and shoulders
For hard-to-reach areas, use a back shaver or ask a trusted partner for help (lucky them!). A mirror can also help you see what you're doing. Again, use clippers to trim the back hair or shoulder hair down and a razor for any shaping or definition. This is another area of the body that may benefit from a different hair removal method, such as sugaring, waxing, or depilatory cream.
Butt and thighs
It can be tricky to manscape the butt and thighs. But if you’re a particularly hairy guy or just prefer the look and feel, it’s worth a few minutes with the trimmers! Use a trimmer with a guard to achieve an even length and a razor for shaping, defining, and adding finishing touches.
Armpit hair is a bit more natural, but when it starts to get out of control, it may be time to get in there with a pair of scissors or a trimmer with a guard. Trimming your pits can also feel good in hot weather and help manage odor. A comb and a pair of scissors or trimmers should do the trick!
Avoiding Irritation and Ingrown Hairs
Ah, the joys of manscaping. While it can make you feel like a new man, it can also come with some not-so-pleasant side effects. But don't worry, my dudes, we've got some tips to help you avoid irritation, ingrown hairs, and other common manscaping issues.
Exfoliate: Exfoliating before manscaping removes dead skin cells and prepares the skin for a closer shave, and exfoliating after can prevent ingrown hairs by keeping the pores clear. Use a washcloth, loofah, or exfoliating scrubber. Avoid exfoliating scrubs as they can damage the skin, allowing bacteria to enter.
Use a sharp razor: The microscopic jagged edges of a dull razor can cause major irritation. Be sure to use a fresh, sharp razor and change the blade frequently.
Shave with the grain: Shaving against the grain can give you a closer shave, but it can also increase the risk of irritation. Instead, go with the grain and use light, gentle strokes.
Take your time: Try not to leave your manscaping for the night of a big date! Allow enough time to prep your skin, and work carefully—especially when trimming or shaving near sensitive areas.
Aftercare: Be sure to take good care of your freshly-manscaped skin to avoid nasty after-effects.
Many guys make the mistake of neglecting their freshly manscaped skin and end up with irritation and other unpleasant surprises. Here’s what you need to know about post-manscaping skincare:
Moisturize: Use a gentle, unscented moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and prevent itching. Avoid products with harsh chemicals or fragrances that could cause irritation.
Exfoliate: Exfoliating can help remove dead skin cells that could clog pores. Exfoliate before and after using a washcloth or exfoliating brush (not an exfoliating scrub).
Don't scratch: Freshly shaved skin can be itchy. Avoid scratching or picking at your skin after manscaping, as it can cause irritation, redness, and even infection.
Avoid sun exposure: If you've removed hair from an area that's normally covered up, avoid UV rays for a few days. Sunburnt skin is not only painful, it can delay the healing process and make you more susceptible to skin cancer. Use a quality sunscreen every day—especially on freshly-manscaped skin!
Avoid tight clothing: Tight clothing can cause friction and irritation, so it's best to stick to loose-fitting clothes for the first few days after manscaping.
Post-Manscaping Toolkit: Must-Have Aftercare Products
Let's take a look at some products that can help soothe irritation and maintain healthy skin and hair.
An aftershave balm can work wonders in preventing irritation and ingrown hairs. Choose a product that contains natural ingredients like aloe vera, witch hazel, and tea tree oil to soothe the skin and prevent inflammation.
Exfoliating brushes are fantastic tools for treating skin before and after manscaping. They gently remove debris and dead skin cells and leave your skin feeling soft and smooth.
Hydrating your skin after grooming is essential to prevent dryness and maintain skin health. Look for a moisturizer that contains natural ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, or jojoba oil, which provide long-lasting hydration without clogging your pores.
Ingrown Hair Treatment
Despite your best efforts, you may still experience ingrown hairs. An ingrown hair treatment can help soothe the area and reduce inflammation. Look for products that contain salicylic acid or tea tree oil, which can help treat hair follicles and keep bacteria at bay.
Sunscreen is a must for taking care of sensitive post-manscaped skin. If you’ve recently manscaped your chest, shoulders, back, or anywhere else that sees daylight, apply a generous amount of quality sunscreen to avoid skin damage.
Deodorizing spray or powder
Keep your nether regions dry and fresh with a deodorizing spray or powder. These products can help neutralize odor and absorb sweat. Choose a product that’s safe for sensitive skin and doesn't contain any harsh chemicals.
Tight-fitting drawers can irritate freshly-shaved areas and trap sweat and bacteria. Opt for loose-fitting underwear made from breathable materials, like cotton or moisture-wicking fabric.
Alternate Hair Removal Methods
Now that we've covered the basics, let's dive into some more advanced manscaping techniques—hair removal. Typically, these methods require a trip to a professional, so be sure to do your research and choose a reputable esthetician.
Waxing involves applying hot wax to the skin and then pulling it off, along with the hair. Though painful, it's a popular method for removing hair from larger areas like the chest or back. While shaving removes only the hair above your skin’s surface, waxing pulls the hair out at the root, meaning you won’t have to worry about manscaping for several weeks afterwards.
- Long-lasting results: Waxing can give you several weeks of hair-free skin.
- Good for large areas: While shaving and trimming is a tedious, multi-step process, waxing allows for complete hair removal from a large area of the skin in a matter of seconds.
- Smoother skin: Waxing removes dry and dead skin cells along with your hair, leaving your skin feeling smoother and looking brighter.
- Reduced hair growth: Over time, regular waxing can reduce the amount of hair that grows back, making it easier to maintain.
- Pain: Waxing can be painful—especially on sensitive areas of the body. You're essentially ripping hair out of your skin, so it's not exactly a walk in the park. Fortunately, most men find they “get used to it” after a few waxing sessions.
- Cleanup: Waxing is messy and often leaves residue on the skin, which must be cleaned up using special solvents.
- Cost: While at-home waxing kits are pretty affordable, professional waxing can be quite expensive—especially for large areas of the body.
- Ingrown hairs: Like all hair removal methods, waxing can sometimes cause ingrown hairs.
Sugaring is similar to waxing, but uses a sugar paste instead of wax. It's gentler and less painful than waxing, and also pulls hair out from the root.
- Natural ingredients: Sugaring uses all-natural ingredients, so it's a great option for guys with sensitive skin or for those who prefer to avoid harsh chemicals.
- Less pain: Many find sugaring to be less painful than waxing. Unlike wax, sugar paste adheres only to the hair, not the skin.
- Easy cleanup: Unlike waxing, sugaring doesn't require any special solvents to clean up. Leftover sugar paste can be easily washed off with water.
- Cost: Sugaring can be more expensive than other hair removal methods, especially if you go to a professional.
- Skill required: Sugaring is a bit trickier than waxing. If you're doing it at home, you may need some practice before you get it right.
- Not as long-lasting: The results of sugaring may not last as long as waxing, so you may need more frequent touch-ups.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal uses a concentrated light beam to destroy hair follicles, resulting in permanent hair reduction. It can be pricey, but it's a great option for guys who want a permanent solution to body hair.
- Long-lasting: Laser hair removal provides permanent or long-lasting results, so you can say goodbye to constant upkeep.
- Precise: The laser can target specific areas for precision sculpting.
- Less painful: Compared to other hair removal methods, laser hair removal isn’t nearly as painful.
- Cost: Laser hair removal is typically quite expensive.
- May not be suitable for all skin types: Check that your esthetician uses a laser that’s safe for your skin tone. Some lasers are suitable only for those with fair skin and dark hair.
- Requires multiple sessions: Laser hair removal can only target hair in later stages of growth, meaning you’ll need a few sessions to remove all of the hair.
Well, gentlemen, we've covered a lot of ground in this ultimate guide to manscaping. From the tools for manscaping and aftercare to the options for permanent hair removal, you're now armed with everything you need to tackle the jungle down there. So there you have it - now you're ready to tame the beast and rock your freshly groomed bod with confidence. Happy manscaping!
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