Manscaping is becoming quite the rage, what with these girly-men shaving ever square inch of their bodies (with maybe the exception of their heads and eyebrows, but even that is happening in some cases). It’s easy to pick up a simple pair of hair clippers and man-scape every inch, but navigating the various areas of your body are likely to require very different pre-shave, shave and post-shave oils, lubes and shaving hardware. Understanding which tools will be best for each job can be tricky at best.
As an attempt to help you truly nail each and every square inch of your body with the least amount of damage to your skin, but also the best possible experience, we have put together this ultimate guide to manscaping. Enjoy.
If you truly are looking at manscaping, I picked up this great ad from Stihl, which I think showcases it in perfect manly fashion:
We would love to hear from you on the areas that need improvement and how you perform your particular manscaping sessions. Please leave your ideas in the comments section below. And, for the purposes of this discussion, we will not be discussing the shaving of lady parts (this is after all “MAN”-scaping) nor will be be delving into shaving of the face–it’s already covered plenty here.
What Exactly is Manscaping?
The word Manscaping is a combination of two words: man and landscaping. It’s the classic conjunction, much like the Jack Handey description of mankind:
Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself. Basically, it’s made up of two separate words — “mank” and “ind.” What do these words mean? It’s a mystery, and that’s why so is mankind.
–Deeper Thoughts: All New, All Crispy (1993)
Manscaping involves the removal of hair from man’s body in nearly all its forms and areas as a means of:
- Aesthetics & Cosmetics
- Improving Smell & Odor
Manscaping is generally accomplished by electric and wet-shave trimming, plucking, waxing or even electrolysis.
In it’s rawest form, manscaping can simply mean general maintenance of bodily hair. On the extreme end of the bell curve, it can include the complete removal of hair from nearly every square inch of the body, including shaving the inner workings of the nether-regions.
Don’t be alarmed. Manscaping does not need to be extreme to be acceptable. While a select few men may enjoy the feeling of a completely groomed physique, others may prefer to shave the chest and leave that trail to happiness.
When it comes to planning the man-scaping below the belt, there are many styles and extremes to choose from. Here we will be discussing every square inch of the male anatomy and how you might address each, including the various tools that may be helpful in tackling them.
We will start from the top and work our way down.
Unlike the female shavers out there, the typical man will not necessarily want to make it look like he has done major work on his eyebrows. The intent of the eyebrow trim is to avoid the bushiness from being a distraction. Just like when I tell women, “the point of wearing make-up, is to make it look like you don’t have any on.” While that’s one man’s opinion, I’ve always considered it good advice.
On the other extreme is NBA player Anthony Davis. He gets props for trademarking his lack of hair care, but most of us lack the notoriety to pull something like that off, let alone get away with walking around in public with a single eyebrow, but I digress.
To be concise, don’t overdo the eyebrows. Just clean them up and make them more easy-on-the-eyes, pun intended.
Manscaping your eyebrows can include tweezers, eyebrow trimmers and even a razor. Some areas may require complete removal (either by tweezing or by shaving), while other areas may benefit from a bit of trimmage. Squirrely eyebrow hairs that are far too long for the face will likely be unimpressive for the ladies.
When trimming and scaping the brows, be sure to go with the natural line and lay of the land, don’t clip into the hedge pre-maturely or else you may be elevated to shave freak status.
Age only increases the donkey-like appearance of unsightly ear hair. And while ear hair may be helpful at keeping out flies, it leaves less to be desired when it comes to cosmetics.
Feel free to pluck or trim with an electric razor. Plucking is likely most preferred to trimming as it will keep down the ear bush for a much longer period. However, if you have no problem with a quick electric trim on a more regular basis, then you can avoid some of the added discomfort of ripping out hairs by the root and just buzz off the hairs as part of your regular grooming routine.
Or, if you’re really ambitious and really don’t care, you can be like Radhakant Baijpai who holds the record for ear hair:
If anyone should consider manscaping (or trademarking) his ear hair, it’s that guy.
The nose can be an extremely tender area when it comes to trimming. Improper hygiene inside the nose can lead to furuncles and other unpleasantness. The struggle with the inner nose is that it often possesses curlier hair. Plucking (ouch) and even trimming can both lead to ingrown hairs and more than your average razor bump.
It is advised to clean the nose with an alcohol or witch hazel swab both before and after your trim. This will help to decrease bacteria that may cause furuncles and pimples to form inside the nose.
Nose hairs are typically trimmed with small scissors a nose hair trimmer or even nose hair wax or tweezers. I have done both of the latter. Probably best to get yourself a nose hair trimmer and an alcohol swab and call it a day.
Once you get below the neckline, that’s when personal style and preference really comes into play. I like to characterize the chest grooming in one of three camps:
- Complete annihilation. Trim, lather, shave and repeat. Some feel the bare chest helps them bear their chest.
- Trimmage. The hair is trimmed down so as not to be unruly, but some level of varying stubble may be left to maintain a groomed, manly appearance.
- Au-naturale. Why change anything that nature gave you. It’s who you are.
Depending on your level of grooming desires, the chest is typically best tackled–at least initially–with a pair of electric trimmers to move from long down to short. For those looking for the bald rat look, a cartridge razor and some shaving cream can do the trick. If you want to shave your chest with a straight or safety razor, just watch out for your nipples.
The curly-swirly world of unruly armpit hair is certainly an area that warrants the occasional trim. As it relates to odor in the under arm, a trim can help do the trick as a natural means of cutting down on the stank.
The armpits are best trimmed with a standard electric hair or body trimmer using a guard set to your personally-preferred length. Few men actually completely shave the armpits as the stubble that grows back can cause fierce itching and chaffing.
Legs & Arms
The legs and arms are similar to the chest. Feel free to use an electric trimmer to do the basic deforestation work on the tall wooded areas. If you want to go shorter and smoother, a disposable cartridge razor is likely to be your best friend to do the trick.
Undercarriage: Manscaping the Manparts
Prior to venturing downstairs with anything sharp, be sure you know your strategy. If you fail to plan, you can certainly plan to fail–and fail hard if you don’t get the process right.
Keep in mind, the undercarriage portion of your manscaping process is much more than your twig and berries. No, the buttcrack is another area that you may want to trim a bit. Again, extreme care should be taken with each aspect of this process as these areas can be extremely delicate.
When trimming your bush, make sure to pull the skin taught and use a body or head trimmer with the guard setting at your desired length. Run the trimmer over all the areas you intend to target making sure you nab the hair that is most important to you.
Most men opt to simply “trim” the triad. For those that wish to completely shave the penis and scrotum, it is advised to keep the following two thoughts in mind:
A lion without its mane is merely a mouse
When the mane grows back, there will be stubble. And stubble=trouble.
Post-manpart manscaping–regardless of whether you shave or simply trim–it is advised to get yourself some lubricating spray for your manparts.
For all those looking to manscape from their head to their toes, there are a number of products we provide at the Shave.net website which are likely to assist you in your quest to tidy up your body of unwanted or overgrown forest.
How do you manscape? What other pointers can you give others?