Whether or not a man should remove their body hair is really an individual preference. But for those who choose to trim – or "manscape" as so many call it – whether it's for sports or aesthetics, there's a proper way to go about it. Here's are some rules to follow.
Shaving should be avoided at all costs. "Each time you shave you run the risk of ingrown hairs, bumps, cuts, and the hair will re-grow coarser and thicker each time," says Natalia Romanenko, Waxing Therapist at Strip Ministry of Waxing. Not to mention that results last for only between two and five days, with an uncomfortable, prickly in-between stage.
Always Trim First
Dealing with body hair doesn't have to mean complete deforestation. "Trimming has become extremely popular over the last year," says Julio Mendez, owner of Wax Man Spa in Chicago that offers a specific service to trim men's body hair. He always suggests a trim in conjunction with waxing, to blend the hairline so that it looks more natural. Still, you can go it alone – a beard trimmer will do the trick, but it can be next to impossible to neatly trim your own back and neck hair.
We've all got that scene from the 40 Year Old Virgin burned into our brains, but waxing, which removes hair from the root, isn't as much of a torture sentence as you might think and it works well for any hair type. "The ideal hair length for waxing is about the length of an eyelash (4-6 mm), but technicians can trim it to the optimal length for a more comfortable experience," says Romanenko. "Waxing lasts for two to three weeks and hair regrows finer and over time will grow back at a lower volume." There's also aftercare, which means no tight clothing and skipping the gym for 24 hours after a procedure.
Try Laser Hair Removal if you Have Darker Skin
Laser hair removal is based on the pigment and works best on people with darker hair and lighter skin. Recently, technology has advanced so that it can work on Indian, Asian, and African skin, though it's still not at the point to help men with blond hair and fair skin. The procedure is minimally painful, amounting to zaps that feel like the snap of a rubber band. Depending on your physiology, the hair will be permanently or semi-permanently removed after between four to six procedures. According to Joyce Morra, medical aesthetician at J Medical Day Spa, "You can do this on your lunch hour from work. The only side effects may be mild swelling and redness in the area treated, which usually goes away within an hour."