Body Grooming for Beginners

Thinking of trimming your chest hair or tidying up your trunk line but never manscaped before? Don’t worry—here are eight ways to make body grooming a breeze

There a lots of advantages to trimming or completely removing body hair. Not only can it make you feel fresher and act as a confidence booster, it’s a great way to show off hard-won pecs and abs if you work out regularly. And that’s before you take into account the legendary "optical inch" manscaping down below is meant to afford.

So whether you’re after fur-free shoulders, a smooth chest, or just fancy "Shaving Private Ryan," here are a few tips to get you started. Follow them and you’ll be a smooth operator in no time.

1. Invest in the right tools

There are several of ways to keep body hair in check but if waxing makes you wince and the idea of wielding a razor blade near your man bits gives you nightmares then your best option is a trimmer designed for body hair.

The Philips One Blade Face and Body, for example, has a special click-on body comb attachment to help you trim hair to just the right length and has been especially designed to cut hair, not skin—which is handy if you’re thinking of manscaping "down below" or want smooth results on your chest, legs, stomach, or shoulders.


2. Start with your trimmer on the longest setting

If you’ve never removed body hair before start by trimming it back using the longest setting on your trimmer. This will give you an idea of what you’ll look like with less hair and will also make shaving easier should you decide to go shorter.

Some men prefer to stop at this stage, leaving hair neatly trimmed rather than removed altogether, but if you want smoother results you can simply remove the trimmer comb and go in closer, applying a little shave cream, gel or foam to help you achieve a super-smooth finish.


3. Perfect your technique

For the best results, hold your trimmer firmly with one hand, pull the skin taught with the other and shave in the direction of hair growth, using short gentle strokes—the trimmer will do most of the work for you so you don’t need to press too hard. Go against the grain (direction of hair growth) to remove any stubborn hairs and to get an ultra-smooth finish.

Tip: Try not to go over the same place too often, especially where skin is sensitive, and don’t rush your first attempts—you’ll pick up speed the more you manscape.


4. Trim when dry; shave when wet

If you’ve very thick or long body hair trim it when it’s dry (it’ll be easier to cut and you’ll be able to see where you’re going), stepping into the shower if you need a closer, smoother shave.

There’s another benefit to trimming hair when it’s dry too: hair expands and relaxes when it’s wet, retracting to its normal length as it dries. Trim your body hair when it’s wet and you may discover you’ve overdone things when it dries out again.


5. Keep things consistent

In the same way that a lawn would look odd if you only mowed half of it, leaving some body hair long while the rest is super-short will make it appear that you haven’t quite finished the job. So if you’re trimming chest hair make sure you also trim the hair on your stomach and groin too or it’ll look uneven.

Likewise, if you’re going for a totally smooth look down below make sure you shave your stomach too. Opt for a trimmer with adjustable length settings and you’ll also be able to fade one area into the next to create a natural, seamless look.

Tip: Use a mirror so you don’t miss any bits and to ensure your results are uniform and even.


6. Shower your bits with affection

Trimming the pubic area is easy enough—it only gets tricky when you come to shaving your actual man bits.

To make things easier splash your bits with cold water first to make the skin tauter and apply plenty of shave cream or foam.

You’ll be tentative at first (who wouldn’t be given where you’re shaving?) but will soon get into the swing of things.


7. Don’t forget the aftercare

The process of removing hair from your body is pretty much the same as removing it from your face and the same aftercare principles apply: once you’ve finished your trim or shave, rinse skin thoroughly with cool water and apply a post-shave balm so soothe and protect freshly-manscaped skin.

Tip: To minimize the risk of ingrown hairs exfoliate skin regularly after manscaping with the help of a face scrub or exfoliating body wash and keep skin hydrated with a body moisturiser.


8. Develop a routine

In the same way that maintaining a beard or stubble is easier if you attend to it regularly keeping body hair neat and tidy is easier if you keep re-growth to a minimum, so build-in some body grooming time into your routine. A quick trim once a week or so is all it’ll take to stay immaculately manscaped.

Myth: Removing body hair makes it grow back thicker and faster 

Hair may look thicker because shaving or trimming leaves the ends blunt, but shaving won’t actually make it grow back thicker—or faster.


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