Beards may be back. But if we’re talking body hair below the neck, your goal is neat and kempt—not shaggy and unshorn.
“A hair trimmer is definitely your friend,” says Barron Cuadro, founder and editor of EffortlessGent, a site devoted to men’s style and grooming. “Your goal isn’t to be hairless,” he adds. “You just want to tame the growth a bit, and a trimmer is perfect for that.”
Here, he provides six essential tips for cleaning up your hirsute back, shoulders, chest, and most importantly—junk.
NEAT BEATS BARE
Maybe thousands of hours of porn viewing have accustomed you to the totally bare downstairs look. But just as real-life sex doesn’t often involve MILFs and three-ways, a fully shaved twig (and berries to match) is going to look weird to most women.
Assuming you’re not a porn star and your partner hasn’t specifically asked you to shave yourself bare, you’ll probably want to leave a little hair on your privates, Cuadro says.
Set the trimmer to one of its shortest settings, take your time, and you’ll end up with a neat, appealing appearance, he says. Repeat once a month to keep things tidy.
HOLD YOUR SKIN TAUT
Unless you’re an AARP member, the skin of your face is probably still smooth and wrinkle free—making its hairs easy to shave.
Your undercarriage is a different story. To avoid cutting or mangling yourself, be sure to pull taut the skin on your rod and tackle before hitting it with your razor or trimmer, Cuadro says.
Also, always shave or trim with the grain, he adds. This will avoid irritation and lower the odds of a knick or cut.
LIGHTLY TRIM YOUR UNDERARM HAIR
Just as bare balls are unsightly to many women, a guy with shaved underarm hair just looks off. “But that hair can still get unruly,” Cuadro says.
He recommends putting the longest guard on your trimmer and hitting your pits once a month.
Your goal is to avoid looking like you’ve tucked two wigs under your arms. Stand shirtless in front of a mirror with your arms handing straight down at your sides. If you can still see hair poking out from your armpits, keep trimming.
THE CARPET SHOULD MATCH… THE REST OF THE CARPET
Some guys make the mistake of trimming their chests while leaving their back hair unclipped. If your backside is noticeably hairier than your front, that’s not a good look, Cuadro says.
Unless you have a partner who’ll use a razor to shave your shoulders and back for you on a regular basis, keeping that hair at bay won’t be possible on your own.
Copious back hair is best handled by a professional, Cuadro says. By that he means a body wax practitioner. It may hurt, he says, but waxing will last you at least a few weeks and won’t result in ugly ingrown hairs.
While thick chest hair coupled with a hairless back is an acceptable look, you probably want some kind of harmony between the two. Consider trimming back your front-side hair to somewhere between a quarter to half an inch.
CLEAN UP STRAYS
“Pay attention to the stray hairs that grow past the general underarm area, around the nipples, below the belly button, and even on your fingers and toes,” Cuadro says. In most cases, you’ll want to shave, pluck, or wax those suckers.
At the same time, resist the urge to shave your arms or legs—a look that’s become oddly popular among some gym types. It may work for Arnold and pro bodybuilders. But most women are going to think a guy without any limb hair looks a little freaky.
DON’T NEGLECT YOUR LOWER STOMACH
A lot of guys forget about the area between thee bellybutton and tallywacker—sometimes referred to as the “treasure trail.”
If your hair down there is concentrated in a small strip or right around your belly button, trimming it very short or shaving it completely is probably best, Cuadro says.
For guys with more widespread hair in that area, Cuadro recommends trimming it down but not all the way to your skin. Your goal should be hairs about a quarter-inch in length. (You don’t want your belly to feel like sandpaper when you and your girl’s torsos are rubbing during sex, Cuadro says.)
In the end, manscaping is mostly about awareness, Cuadro says. You’re used to the way your body hair looks, so you may just not give it much thought. But a new partner will. A few minutes spent assessing and trimming will go a long way, he adds.