Body hair occupies a somewhat contentious spot in our cultural conception of masculinity. While in years past, thick facial and body hair was considered a sign of virility, now it could send signals of poor hygiene. Despite its popular conceit as the classic, fertile "manly man" symbol, women find body hair more attractive once they're past their fertile years.
So, with all of this in mind, you may be wondering: Should you shave and groom your body hair? Or is it better to let it grow free?
Let's examine the benefits of shaving body hair area by area to find the best answer for you!
Should You Shave Your Legs?
Clean-shaven legs used to be the purview of male swimmers, bodybuilders, and drag queens. However, in recent years, the trend has taken off in the overall sphere of grooming for men. If you're on the fence about whether or not you should shave your legs, here's what you should keep in mind.
Pros of Shaving Your Legs
Male athletes have been shaving their legs for years, and not only because of their greater sense of confidence. Less body hair means that muscles are more defined and easier to spot. It also means reduced drag against water and air currents, so bikers and swimmers rejoice!
Shaving your legs, or at least trimming the hair on them down, can make you feel cleaner and look less unkempt. In fact, many manscaping tips recommend trimming your leg hair down if you're on the hairier side.
Cons of Shaving Your Legs
There are, however, some negative stereotypes surrounding shaving your legs as a guy. A majority of women might find it weird if their legs are hairier than yours. Not to mention the amount of maintenance required to keep them completely clean-shaven, especially if you grow hair fast.
Should You Shave Your Chest?
Chest hair is one of those quintessential, albeit now dated, symbols of masculinity. A vast majority of manscaping tips floating around on the internet exist to show men how to grow and prune their chest garden. Here's what to keep in mind before you hop aboard the chest-shaving train.
Pros of Shaving Your Chest
Shaving your chest can give you a cleaner profile, especially if you're wearing a V-neck or low-cut shirt. It's not the seventies anymore, so no one's grooving with a full bush. As with shaving your legs, it can also increase muscular definition, which can help you show off those hard-built pecs.
Cons of Shaving Your Chest
If you opt for traditional shaving, you could leave your chest feeling like a pumice stone. Waxing and depilatory creams work best for keeping your chest clean, and they can be painful or potentially harmful. Plus, once you start shaving your chest, you have to keep at it or deal with an uncomfortable, itchy period as the chest hair regrows.
Should You Shave Your Armpits?
Ah, the armpits. While they're not an area anyone wants to spend too much time thinking about, they're a crucial part of grooming for men. You can most plainly see and experience the benefits of shaving body hair in the pits and the pubes.
Don't believe us? Here's what you ought to keep in mind.
Pros of Shaving Your Armpits
We'll just come right out the gate and say it: Shaving your armpits can help reduce your body odor. Hair is porous by nature, letting it hold on to sweat and all the wonderful funk that brings.
Since hairier pits also tend to sweat more due to increased heat retention, you might not have as many shirts wrecked by sweat rings if you shave them. They also look and feel cleaner to the outside observer.
Cons of Shaving Your Armpits
While the benefits of shaving body hair in your armpits might be clear, if you don't have a good shave gel and the right tools, you could give yourself ingrown hairs and razor burn in a very sensitive place. You could also end up cutting yourself in a place ripe with the potential for infection.
Should You Shave Your Neck?
Whether hair on your neck qualifies as facial hair is a matter up for debate. However, if you want your shaving technique to extend from your face to your neck, here's what you need to consider.
Pros of Shaving Your Neck
If there is any feature and term that's become synonymous with "unattractive" in recent years, it's the neckbeard. Leaving your neck unshaven can make you look unkempt and desperate. So, if you don't shave your neck bare, at least trimming it can help improve your odds the next time you talk with the ladies.
Cons of Shaving Your Neck
Shaving your neck adds another, sometimes time-consuming step to your morning routine. Plus, if you're a man who likes to use the old-fashioned straight razor to get the job done, you run the risk of seriously injuring yourself if you're not paying attention to what you're doing.
Should You Shave Your Back?
There's no end of people desperate for a way to tame or get rid of their back hair. In fact, that's where we got our start!
So, as you might imagine, the consensus on the question of "Should you shave your back?" is "Yes, absolutely". Here's what you should keep in mind to make that decision for yourself.
Pros of Shaving Your Back
Back hair is one of the few types of body hair considered to be near-universally unattractive to potential partners. (Let's be honest: The hair would feel pretty weird when you're going hot and heavy.) So, by shaving your back, you're increasing your muscle definition and your attractiveness in one stroke.
Shaving your back also reduces sweating, which can reduce or eliminate the appearance of pimples on your back, or "bacne".
Cons of Shaving Your Back
Your back is one of the most difficult places to reach. Without a specialized shaving kit, you might struggle to get all of your back hair, which can end up giving you razor bumps and other unpleasant side effects. (This is why many guys will ask their partner to help them shave their back, as it's almost a two-person job.)
Should You Shave Your Butt?
The butt, like the back, is a serious problem area in grooming for men. It's hard to reach, hard to see, and if you grow hair in your buttcrack, difficult to shave. It's easy to skip out on trimming and shaving this area but keep these factors in mind before you do:
Pros of Shaving Your Butt
Shaving your butt helps you avoid two major hygienic concerns: dingleberries and butt sweat. Dingleberries (bits of poop stuck in your butt hair) stink and itch like nobody's business. Shaving this area can eliminate that threat.
Butt sweat leads to a phenomenon we all tend to call "swamp ass". If you've ever been to any sort of fandom convention, you've experienced that uniquely gross scent in close quarters before. Shaving (and properly cleaning) your butt can cut down on this issue.
Cons of Shaving Your Butt
As we've mentioned before, this area is hard to reach. Worse, it's surrounded by bacteria, meaning that you risk some serious infections if you don't know what you're doing or use the wrong tools. This area can be incredibly sensitive, which makes shaving nicks more painful and the chafe from regrowing hair more irritating.
Should You Shave Your Pubic Hair?
Now we come to the most, pardon the pun, sensitive area of shaving your body hair. Here, as with the armpits and the butt, the benefits of shaving body hair become most apparent. However, many men link their sense of masculinity, strength, and identity to the presence or absence of their pubic hair.
Here's what you need to keep in mind while deciding whether or not you should give the boys a trim:
Pros of Shaving Your Pubic Hair
For starters, if you have especially thick pubic hair, trimming it can actually make your equipment look larger. It also makes sex a better experience for both parties as, let's face it, no one likes the experience of a stray pubic hair getting stuck on their tongue or in their teeth. Plus, it can reduce sweating in that area, which helps cut down on your body odor.
Cons of Shaving Your Pubic Hair
This area is among one of the most sensitive parts of your body, and you could hurt yourself badly if you're not one hundred percent sure of what you're doing. You also have fewer options to get rid of body hair here, as many depilatory creams and similar products aren't approved for use on or near the genitals.
Hair also tends to grow back faster in this area than in many others. This means that if you want to keep from experiencing itchy regrowth, you'll have to shave this area every two to three days or so.
What About Nose and Ear Hair?
While nose and ear hair technically fall on your face, most don't consider them part of your "facial hair". Nose and ear hairs can be annoying and distracting to those who have them. However, you should take care not to remove them entirely.
Your body has nose and ear hairs to protect itself from dust, allergens, and other environmental contaminants. So, if you must get rid of them, opt for trimming with the right tools over a complete removal.
How to Shave Body Hair Effectively
Now that you understand the benefits of shaving body hair, let's talk about how to shave body hair effectively. After all, you don't want to walk around sporting the body hair equivalent of a half-job. Here are some manscaping tips that will help you shave your body well, no matter where you decide to put your razor.
If You're Super Hairy, Trim First
Hey, we get it. Some of us were blessed with greater amounts of body hair than others. If you have this blessing yourself, rushing straight for the razor or body groomer is a no-go.
Why? The longer hairs can clog up your razors and make it harder for them to do their job. So, if you're a very hairy guy, incorporate a pair of scissors into your shaving kit and give yourself a trim before you get started.
Work from a Clean Canvas
This ought to go without saying. However, just like you wouldn't attempt to shave your face without washing it first, nor should you try shaving your body hair without cleaning the area you intend to shave. Doing this reduces your risk of razor bumps, infection, and a host of other nasty consequences.
Exfoliate and Moisturize for Best Results
This may seem odd, especially if you're shaving a sensitive area, but exfoliating your skin before you shave can improve the results. We carry around more dead skin cells than we realize and our razors can catch these instead of their intended targets. So, by exfoliating to get rid of dead cells and moisturizing to soften the skin, we can ensure that our razors get only hair.
Don't Neglect Your Aftercare
The aftermath of a shave can be a particularly itchy and uncomfortable experience. Don't neglect to apply aftershave balms and lotions to the places you shave to soothe any skin irritation and other symptoms. This also helps to reduce the risk of ingrown hairs and other complications.
Let's Review the Benefits of Shaving Body Hair
Overall, the benefits of shaving body hair have as much to do with appearances and personal preference as they do hygiene. However, with proper shaving technique, getting rid of your body hair will reduce your difficulties with sweat and body odor as well as make you look and feel better.
No matter where you choose to shave, we at Bakblade Body Grooming Co. are on standby to help you. Visit our website today to get started on your journey to manscaping perfection. Our products and blogs will guide you every step of the way!