In 2013, body hair maintenance is a serious issue amongst men. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s a quick guide to manscaping.
HAVE A PLAN
Identify the look you want. Decide how much you’re willing to spend, how much pain you can tolerate and what kind of maintenance you’re willing to commit to. In doing so, investigate a number of options (ie. do-it-yourself, salon waxing, threading, permanent removal, etc.).
At first, I recommend a natural look. Spend some time on Google Images, and figure out what you like. Feel free to ask someone you trust for input, or see a professional for a consultation.
GET THE GEAR
If you have (i) sensitive skin; or (ii) coarse hair – razors aren’t ideal. In fact, for most men, I wouldn’t recommend a razor at all.
If you do use a razor, make sure it’s clean and sharp (note: pivoting heads can make manoeuvring easier). Always shave in the direction of hair growth. While shaving diagonally will give you a closer shave, it increases the risk of ingrown hairs.
While a regular pair of clippers is fine, it can be difficult to manage. Therefore, I recommend a multi-purpose body-grooming tool. Many items in the consumer market are designed for smaller areas and with higher precision in mind. These devices (which range from $10-$200 on www.amazon.ca) are great for trimming, tidying hairlines and reducing the risk of ingrown hairs. Spend the time (and money) and get the right device.
Slanted tip tweezers are versatile and great for precision. Use these to tidy hairlines or tweeze your unibrow. Make sure to pick a good brand.
At-home wax products are best for small, easy-to-reach areas. Make sure to follow the package’s instructions. Otherwise, you’ll end up with patches of bare skin, which looks odd and is certainly unbecoming.
Use a cream or gel to dissolve hairs. The results mirror a close shave, but reduce the likelihood of ingrown hairs. However, this can be very painful on sensitive skin and result in reactions. It also smells awful.
Shaving Cream and Aftershave Lotion
If you’re using a razor, invest in these products. Shaving cream protects the skin and enables a close shave, while aftershave soothes, moisturizes and disinfects the skin (preventing razor burns, rashes and ingrown hairs).
Use a loofah, washcloth or scrub. You want to regularly slough off dead, dry skin and allow hair to grow without obstruction.
If you’re unsure what to do – see a professional (eyebrows are particularly tricky and mistakes can’t be covered up).
With the exception of waxing very spare back hair, if you can’t see or reach it – don’t try it.
If you’re considering a sensitive spot where hair is thick, an aesthetician can make the process safer, faster and less painful.
Consider Extraordinary Measures
Permanent hair removal can be a great option. While I wouldn’t recommend it for all parts of your body, a hairy back or butt will never be in style. This can be very expensive, but there are often deals which aid in the process (ie. Groupon). It’s a long process that takes about a year (though individual visits are brief and occur every 6-8 weeks).
With that being said, permanent hair removal is often a misnomer. Touch-ups can be required every few years.