Male Body-Hair Grooming Tips

by Whitney Elaine

Some men do not want hair on their chest.

boy barefeet and with nude and hairy chest image by Dade83 from Fotolia.com

While male body hair is often seen as a sign of virility (just take a look at some popular websites like AskMen.com for proof), some new age men shun the thick hair that covers their frames. While chest and back hair has long been unwanted by some, other areas like the legs and pubic area are becoming new frontiers for men to explore personal grooming. It was revealed in 2008 that popular hip-hop figures Sean "Diddy" Combs and rapper Jay-Z both waxed their genitals. A subsequent poll on the website of Coed magazine revealed that 789 out of 1,424 respondents either did groom or would be willing to try pubic area grooming.

Chest and Back Grooming

The hair on the chest and back of a man is often some of the most difficult hair to groom, since it can't be simply trimmed. It can also be difficult for a person to shave or wax hard-to-reach areas alone. For both the chest and back, a depilatory cream is an effective and easy way to remove unwanted hair on the chest, stomach, shoulders and/or back. The creams are chemicals with the consistency of frozen yogurt and they are applied to clean, dry skin, allowed to sit on the skin for a specified number of minutes (as instructed of the particular cream) and rubbed off. Most of your unwanted hair will also come off as you rub off the cream.

Since the products are made with strong chemicals, test the cream on a small area of your skin to be sure that you do not have an allergic reaction to the cream.

Pubic Area Grooming

Like the popularization of genital area grooming in women, now there are men who groom this area. The level of grooming varies widely and can include anything from trimming hair with scissors to shaving unwanted hair to waxing.

The goal with pubic hair grooming to create a more aesthetically pleasing pubic area, whatever that might mean to you. However, in general, trimming "down" the hair on the pubic mound with scissors is an easy way to begin the grooming routine. If you like the results, move to shaving the area surrounding the pubic area (between the thigh and pubic area) or even shaving the pubic mound itself. To do this, treat the area first with a hot shower, soaking in a warm bath or even sitting in a steamy bathroom for a few minutes to soften the skin. Select a shaving cream designed for sensitive areas (usually marked sensitive skin) and a high-quality razor from a familiar brand. Use downward strokes of the razor to prevent in-grown hairs and be sure to apply a cream (or even a special after-shave gel) afterward to prevent irritation.

Leg Grooming

While some men (and women) like the look of hairy legs, many do not. Also, some cyclists and swimmers must shave their legs for the sport. If you would like to try less furry legs, consider shaving or waxing the leg area. To shave, many of the above suggestions would apply. Additionally, consider exfoliating the legs before you shower or steam, so the area is as smooth as possible before you begin to shave.

Waxing is another option for the leg area. Many nail salons and spas offer waxing services at prices that vary, but generally range from about $30 to $50 (as of 2010). Legs may stay smooth up to a month, or less if your hair seems to grow quickly. There is also the option of at-home waxing. Beauty supply stores and online retailers (including mail-order companies such as Avon) sell at-home waxing kits that include a couple of ounces of wax, a wooden spatula for mixing and waxing strips for less than $30. To use these, simply heat the wax in the microwave for a few minutes (exact times will be in the instructions), stir the warm wax and allow it to cool for a few seconds, then apply a small amount of the warm wax to your leg with the wooden spatula, spreading like you would spread jam. Take a strip of wax cloth and press firmly onto the wax, pressing and smoothing for a few seconds before pulling the strip (and unwanted hair) off.

Photo Credits

  • boy barefeet and with nude and hairy chest image by Dade83 from Fotolia.com

About the Author

Whitney Elaine is a freelance writer in the Washington, D.C. area. Besides contributing to Web sites like BusinessWeek.com, AOL and Parents.com, she's worked for magazines like "Essence," "Heart & Soul" and "Sister 2 Sister." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in print/online journalism from Howard University and has been writing for since 2004.