While the beard trend continues to grow, more and more men are choosing to go clean-shaven on other parts of their body. And it’s not just hairy backs that are targeted by razor-wielding dudes. According to research by Nivea Men, 64% of men regularly manscape’ removing hair from their chest, back, legs or intimate areas.
“The Sean Connery/Tom Selleck hairy-man vibe is behind us,” declares renowned barber and Nivea Men ambassador Brent Pankhurst, owner of Pankhurst London. “A lot of men will choose to take it all off.”
Why has the trend taken off now? Some sporty guys say it’s to help improve their performance, while others want to show off their hard-won gym ‘gains’ or their tattoos.
“On the whole, trends come from social culture and what the male idols are doing with their bodies,” Pankhurst says. “It’s not a coincidence that men are paying more attention to the hair on their bodies when adverts and social media campaigns, models and brands are avoiding body hair in their posts.”
Whatever the reason, if you’re going to shave your body hair, it’s important to take care and follow a few basic rules. No one wants to make a mistake with a razor blade, do they?
How to manscape
Here, Pankhurst offers his advice for wherever you choose to go smooth…
“For men, [hairy backs] can be very embarrassing and make them feel quite insecure. Especially in the warmer months, when it can become sweaty and carry a smell.”
But you’re going to need some help with this area, unless you’ve got special yoga skills that enable you to reach all areas of your back. Pankhurst says, “A close friend, a family member or a partner are the ideal people to ask, especially if it’s for their benefit!”
“My top shaving tip for the chest is to always trim the hair down first. I would recommend using a number one on the clippers to get the hair nice and short.
“After that, work from a T-shape – from the navel up – so you’re left with a short, tight, groomed T-shape silhouette.”
“If men are just shaving their legs, then perhaps it isn’t too much maintenance, although the hair will grow back quickly and this will be a regular endeavour.
“There is always the risk that regrowth can be uncomfortable and itchy, plus having stubble on legs during the regrowth period can cause friction if you wear tight trousers.”
“It would make the most sense to shave your arms if you have tattoos or are involved in certain sports where you want the outlines of your arms to be showcased without any distraction.
“After shaving, the skin should always be moisturised, so it’s kept soft and left free of irritation. As well as locking moisture in, it will also help sustain and enhance the colour and vibrancy of the tattoo.”
“Like with all shaving, the hair should be short to start with and trimmed down with clippers. A shaving cream or balm should be applied onto clean skin in circular motions, so the hair is raised, making it easier for a cleaner shave.
“It is really important in general, but particularly on areas of the body where the skin is more sensitive, to make sure you’re using a new, clean and sharp razor, so you don’t need to keep going over the same areas and making it sore.”
“Gently does it is the key! The skin needs to be pulled very tight, which will then reduce the risk of cuts. The hair must be trimmed short before you start shaving, and you need to move very gently and softly without placing too much pressure.
“Shave in short sections, so you can move the skin in different places if need be, to get the right angle. I would suggest keeping it to a light-trim situation to avoid any casualties!”
“This can be done, but there’s a lot of feel and touch and stretching required, and you will definitely need a mirror. Do not shave into the bum, shave from the crevice out and try and keep your cheeks held apart nice and wide.
“Do not shave any long hairs, make sure the hair is clipped down.”
Shaving kit: 3 of the best products to manscape with
Nivea Men Body Shaving Anti-Irritation Shaving Stick, Amazon
Green People For Men No. 2 Soothing Shaving Gel, Amazon
Gentlemans Face Care Club Luxury Sandalwood Shave Cream, Amazon
Niva Men Anti-Irritation Body Shaving Range is available at Boots. Prices start from £4.50.
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