This article serves as a 101-level introduction to manscaping, the art and craft of shaving your body hair.
For easy reference, here's a list of the manscaping tools mentioned in the article:
- Wahl Litium Ion Grooming Kit (my trimmer of choice)
- Dorco Pace 6 Value Pack (Amazon's #1 razor blade)
- Dermasuri Exfoliating Mitt (top seller on Amazon)
You’ve no doubt heard the term “manscaping” before, and maybe you’ve even tried it for yourself. Maybe you're even a seasoned manscaper like me!
Manscaping has become synonymous with shaving down below, but did you know there’s more to it than that?
We can accentuate our other qualities. We can look and feel our best. That’s where manscaping can help.
What Is Manscaping?
Manscaping is not just about shaving your body hair or cutting your own hair at home. It’s about looking and feeling great. It’s about hygiene and keeping you clean and neat.
Manscaping is also about taking pride in your appearance and being the best version of yourself you can be.
Manscapers have made the choice to take positive steps in their life. They take control of their bodies and accentuate their best features.
And they’re not alone.
Men from all walks of life manscape. Including a lot of our shortest celebrities. There’s a lot of celebrities we could add to this list, but here’s a few.
Like 5’8” Zac Efron, for example. Do you think his chest hair just naturally spreads across his pecs in a willowy pattern before trailing down his abs?
Of course not!
Or 5’7” Tom Cruise. He's been a notorious manscaper since before it was cool. In fact, you’ll rarely see pictures of Cruise with any kind of chest hair.
When he wears a beard it’s always well-groomed and precise, even when he’s going for the scraggly look.
Most male celebrities manscape to some degree or another. The chest is the most obvious location. Watch any action movie and you’ll see what we mean.
You think Schwarzenegger and Stallone are naturally hairless? Stallone’s Italian, for crying out loud!
Why Is Manscaping Important?
One of the biggest complaints you’ll hear women give about men is that we’re not clean. It’s true, a man is a big, furry, smelly creature in his natural habitat. But we don’t have to be.
See Also: How to Prevent Adult Acne (video)
Find us a woman who wants her man to be less clean, less well-groomed and less hygienic.
While you’re at it, find a woman who wants her man to smell worse, have greasier hair or dirtier nails. Go ahead, we’ll wait.
While women love a well groomed man, it’s not just about attracting a mate. That’s just a bonus. Real manscapers don’t do it for the ladies. They do it for themselves.
Many shorter gents suffer from low self-esteem or feelings of inadequacy. While nothing about manscaping will make you taller, there’s no reason you can’t be perfectly happy with what you have, but you have to foster a sense of pride and self-worth.
A man who can’t be bothered to clean and maintain himself isn't exactly proud of himself, is he?
By choosing to make the effort to improve ourselves, we take a step towards establishing increased self-esteem.
What Are Your Options?
There is no set rule for what you need to do in order to manscape. However, a general rule of thumb is that manscapers keep themselves clean and well-maintained.
This could include:
- Controlling sweat and body odor
- Removing odor-catching body hair
- Managing our facial hair
- Keeping our nails clipped and clean
And yes, of course, there’s some maintenance down below as well.
Shaving is the most commonly practiced form of manscaping.
Shaving the chest and any other parts of the body is most easily accomplished in the shower. This also makes for an easier cleanup.
Waxing takes a little more time, preparation and experience (if doing it yourself), but it's a great option for total hair removal.
Salon and spa treatments are becoming increasingly popular for men and are perfect for guys who want to be pampered by a professional.
Wait, a “spa day?” Isn’t that a little “un-manly?”
Well, if wearing a plush robe and getting groomed and massaged all day by a lady who understands my needs isn't manly, then you can go ahead and take my man card away.
Manscaping typically starts with a high quality razor blade and a hot shower. It’s important to have a quality razor because you’ll be doing a lot more work than simply shaving your face.
A better razor will help minimize the chances of cutting yourself.
The heat from a hot shower helps to open up your pores and prepare your body to be shaved. It also makes clean-up a lot easier, and it saves time (since you shower anyway).
Note from Brock: My go-to dry trimmer is the Wahl Lithium Ion Grooming Kit. It's got every extension you need, and the battery lasts a loooong time.
These automatic trimmers are designed for trimming and shaving your face, chest, arms and groin area. They are available for wet (in the shower) or dry use.
No matter where you start, you want to trim before trying to shave anything. This will minimize your chances of snagging, pulling and cutting yourself.
A hot shower is the best place to start. Gently clean and scrub the area you plan on shaving.
The hot water and steam will help to open your pores. This helps prepare your skin and hair for shaving.
An exfoliating mitt is a great tool to use at this point. Exfoliating softens and straightens your hair.
This makes shaving easier and reduces the risk of irritation and ingrown hairs.
Take your razor and use slow, even strokes. Go with the grain of your hair (this typically means shaving in a downward motion).
Is it your first time? Go slowly. You'll get the hang of it soon.
Take a moment after each stroke or two and make sure your blade is clean and rinsed of hair. Once you're done shaving, continue showering as you normally would and let the water handle most of the clean-up.
If you are shaving your body, it's a good idea to exfoliate again after you shave. You’ll be amazed at how smooth and clean your body feels.
Not to mention the sense of pride and accomplishment for having taken charge of your hygiene.
Manscaping is about taking pride in your appearance. It’s about taking charge of our bodies and bucking the stereotype of men as hairy, smelly creatures.
It’s about choosing to be the best version of ourselves we can be.
There are many things in life we don’t have control over. Thankfully, how we choose to present ourselves is something we can control.
Note: This article was written by Wesley Oaks, founder of iManscape, a website dedicated entirely to the science, art and philosophy of manscaping.