Grooming

Manscaping Tips 101 – A Personal Grooming Guide

More often than not, the very word manscaping evokes images of men with such perfectly groomed hair on their heads, and absolutely no body hair anywhere else. Other instances paint the picture of a guy trying to shave his twig and berries in the shower with a Lady Bic. Ultimately, the word gets a bad wrap, and I’m here to give you a heaping scoop of man-truth about manscaping and why you should be doing it.

What is Manscaping?

By definition, manscaping is personal grooming to the effect of removing or trimming hair on a man’s body to improve it cosmetically. Unfortunately, most men think it simply means “shaving your junk” – something they cringe just thinking about. The bigger picture here is that there’s so much more to it, and it behooves them to take advantage of the trend. Let’s cover the manscaping tips you should do and why it’s good for you.

Chest – Trim, Don’t Shave

what is manscaping tips guideBody hair on men grows at an almost comical speed. You can shave your chest at 8am and by 5pm, your body has a 5 o’clock shadow. Stubble develops and it acts like velcro to your undershirts. Plus, it can itch like crazy later on in the day. Nobody needs that. You’re welcome to wax it, but make sure you go to a professional like European Wax Center because they use better wax than most other salons.

Trim your chest hair with a beard trimmer (the link shows the one I have and love) set to its lowest (closest) setting, or another setting that’s short and manageable. Having a little hair is acceptable (think Jason Statham in Transporter), but if the hair is long and wispy, it needs to go. Your partner will appreciate the cleaner look, and you’ll appreciate being able to see a little more chest definition in the mirror every morning.

This also goes for hair on your stomach. If you have hair from crotch to collarbone, you DEFINITELY want to trim the stomach and chest short… and read the next section carefully.

Twig & Berries – Short & Soft

What is manscaping tips guideOne of the greatest things you can do for yourself and your sexual partner is to trim the hair “down there.” With a beard trimmer, you can get the hair above, around, and against the “family jewels” short and soft. Why would you want to do this?

  • It will make your equipment appear larger (remove the shrubs and the trees appear taller, right?)
  • It will keep you cooler and eliminates a lot of bacteria (they love pubic hair)
  • It will make you smell better (less hair to hold in sweat means you stay clean and dry more often)
  • She will appreciate being able to “see what she’s working with” when the two of you are intimate

A quick caveat to getting cleaned-up down there: do not go completely bare. You are a grown man after all, and there’s something off-putting about looking a little pre-pubescent when your pants come off. A great rule of thumb is to trim with a beard trimmer on the lowest setting every couple of weeks. It will keep you soft, relatively smooth, and won’t cause any irritation or stubble. How’s that for a good manscaping tip?

Back – Shave or Wax

What is manscaping tips guideEvery man has hair on his back. But, if it’s more than a dozen hairs, or if any of those hairs grow longer than a half inch, it’s time to bust out the razor. Most men can get away with having a wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, or very discreet friend help them out, but there are a few men that need to be waxed. – you have back hair periscoping out the top of your shirt collar. You need a professional.

If you take your shirt off at the pool and you hear someone in the background yell, “Oh my God, it’s a bear!” you clearly need to heed my advice. Don’t be that guy. Spend the money and get your back waxed. 

Underarm – Trim or Shave

what is manscaping tips guideFor some reason, armpits are a topic of great contention in the grooming world. Men seem to think shaving your pits is for bodybuilders and ladies. I’m here to tell you, it’s actually wonderful. I began shaving my underarms nearly a year ago, and it has made a huge difference in my day.

  • It’s incredibly easy – once every two weeks in the shower
  • It prevents deodorant clumps or stickiness
  • It keeps me smelling better, longer
  • It keeps the armholes of my dress shirts cleaner

I honestly wish I started shaving my pits earlier in life. I mean, what does armpit hair do for you anyway? Does it make you more manly? Does it keep you warm on cold nights? No. It just gets long and sweaty and hangs out under your arm. It’s the pits. Pun intended. Shave it or trim it nice and short. With a great shave gel and a hot shower, you won’t even have stubble or irritation.

Don’t Neglect Your Face

what is manscaping tips guideIf you’ve got a nice full beard, you need to read this article as well. You want to keep ALL your hair in check, and that includes your face, ears, and eyebrows. As we age, our nose hair, ear hair, and eyebrows can get long and unruly. There’s nothing wrong with staying on top of it with a pair of scissors from time to time. Here are a couple of tips:

  • No human being is permitted to sport a unibrow. Ever.
  • Only Eugene Levy is allowed to have his eyebrows
  • Trim your nose hair whenever it’s visible
  • Trim your ear hair at the same time
  • Do not shape your eyebrows (unless that’s something you’re into)
  • Check for rogue hairs on your face, nose, etc. and pluck them

I’m not going to cover beard etiquette in detail here because that’s a different article altogether, but I will add that you want to keep it in check just as much as everything else. If you’ve got a perfectly groomed body but a poor beard care, you’re doing yourself (and your beard) a disservice. Get it together, man.

One Last Thing…

Do not try to clean up your downstairs with a waxing kit, epilator, or depilator cream you purchased at the drug store. You will regret that decision and burn with the rage of a thousand suns at your mistake. Simply using a beard trimmer will make a significant improvement, but if you want to take it to the next level, take your untrained ass to a professional. Better skills, better wax, no fear. They’ll get the job done.

Have any manscaping tips to add? Do you do your own manscaping on a regular basis? Share in the comments below!

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The Author

Blake Hammerton

Blake Hammerton

Blake Hammerton is the founder and coach at The Sharp Gentleman, and helps men earn more respect while gaining confidence in who they are. He is a certified relationship coach and loves writing about men's fashion, style, character-building, relationships, travel, adventure, and more.

  • I was unaware of just how uneducated on this matter I really was haha. I had always just kind of done my own thing in terms of manscaping and settled with whatever results they yielded. Thanks to these tips however I plan to change up my approach a bit, especially since it seems a new level of comfort is achievable. Now all I need to do is find someone willing to shave my back hair…

    • No worries, Krim. It’s all an adventure, right? You learn something new every day. The manscaping rules aren’t written in stone, and they change over time, but a few things are great staples to follow, no matter what age or shape you’re in.

      Good luck with the back hair. Don’t fear the reaper, my friend. A friend, spouse, or professional will help greatly.

      Thanks for the feedback!

  • I really enjoyed this! And felt like some, no wait, all the tips here were directed at me.

    I’m especially guilty of rocking a unibrow and mocking all my friends who dared shave theirs. Until I saw one of my pics from a wedding I attended earlier in the year where my beloved unibrow was pulling a duck face of its own. That’s when I knew it had to go.

    I’d like to know about arm hair though. I have pretty hairy arms, which sometimes steal the show when I’m trying to pull off a polo. But I’m afraid, thanks to all those childhood myths, that if I start shaving it’ll end up growing even faster and thicker.

    • I love the unibrow story! Sometimes we don’t know the err of our ways until we see it through someone else’s eyes… or a photograph. I think all men have a slight unibrow that we have to shave off from time to time to keep it in check. Some are lighter in color than others. I’m glad you joined the non-unibrow crowd. We’re good people.

      I have an Assyrian friend who struggled with arm hair for years. He went a couple of different routes with it. First, he picked up a beard trimmer, set it to the middle setting, and simply trimmed up his hair. He also noticed than when he spent more time outside, the hair would lighten slightly. His next move was a razor. When the trimming wasn’t good enough for him, he shaved them clean. They came back just a dark and just as rough, so he had to continue a shaving routine to stay happy. He didn’t like this for very long.

      His last DIY resort was Nair. It’s safe for arms and other non-tender parts of the body, so he went for it. He actually liked the results. The hair did come back, but it came back finer and didn’t have a shaved off tip, so it didn’t appear as dark. Ultimately, though, he started getting them waxed once a month. That’s his current routine. He uses the trimmer on his legs and gets his arms waxed. It works for him. I think I would probably do the same if I were in his shoes.

      I hope this helps!

  • I’ve very much been the man described in this article’s forward: perfectly groomed hair on my head, and absolutely no body hair anywhere else! It’s especially important to shave around the pubic and armpit regions, for the very reasons discussed in this article! Elsewhere is more of an aesthetic decision, although I’ve found that it’s preferable to be smooth everywhere and itchiness can be an issue if one doesn’t keep up with shaving everywhere every day or so!

    It’s also important to take one’s time whilst shaving and apply witch hazel and other such ointments and/or creams afterwards, to avoid cuts, scrapes, ingrown hairs, red bumps, and other such unsightly skin irritations!

    However, I’m thinking about letting my chest hair grow a bit longer and trimming it rather than merely shaving it off completely–as it does seem to be the one area below the neck where some ladies actually like a gentleman to have some hair, although on the other hand there are also other ladies who prefer a smooth surface there as well!

  • theduck7

    Enjoyed reading this and thought there was some really good advice here. I never thought of a man shaving his armpits but it sounds like an excellent idea. Liked the advice about chest trimming too.