The marvelous manscape
Tips for the body-hair-beautification beginner
September 13, 2012 | 1:00 pm
(Updated: January 17, 2013 | 3:52 pm)
Shaving or trimming body hair was once considered a woman’s thing – but times have changed! Gay men don’t only dabble in it, many expect it as a matter of hygiene, and rather than seeing it as vain and feminine, consider it basic courtesy to a mate. But there are some pitfalls in the process. Here are ways
to do it right.
1 Trim, don’t shave! The skin on your face is more tolerant than the rest of your body. Areas that stay covered full-time or get warm and sweaty are much more susceptible to razor burn, ingrown hairs and itchiness after a shave. Instead, use scissors or an electric razor’s sideburn trimmer to get the brush cleaned up – but not gone – in the most delicate spots.
2 Don’t overdo it. If you’re new to manscaping, decide what you want to look like, then trim a little less than that. Check it out in the mirror and maybe even sleep on it before you go any further. You risk the panic of realizing you’ve gone too far and have to flash your ID card on your next date to prove you’re of age!
3 Think natural. You’re not a topiary! Consider the places where a less-hairy guy would still have a few strands: Maybe a trail below his navel or a scattering in the center of his chest, depending on the person. Leave a little hair in those places for a realistic look. There’s an added perk – natural patterns tend to make your muscles look bigger and prevent you from looking like a poodle … unless you’re into that kind of thing.
4 Don’t do it last minute. Think ahead. An emergency cleanup before the first date you’ve had in three months can lead to disaster: Leftover trimmed hairs stuck to your body (that end up in somebody’s mouth), nicks and cuts, and a rash that (yikes!) might be confused for something contagious.
5 Spare the drain. If you trim or shave in the shower or over a sink, scoop out the hair and put it in the trash rather than letting them build up in your pipes – it may take a few days or weeks for a backup you caused to be noticeable. Your partner, roommates, landlord or pocketbook will thank you for that small courtesy.
6 Don’t believe myths. No, shaving your body hair will not cause it to grow back thicker or darker – that’s determined by hormones and genetics, although shaving can make your hair seem more coarse. A single new hair emerges thin and gradually slopes to its full thickness, but shaving gives all the hairs blunt tips when they grow back. At first that may seem like it’s more hair – but it’s not!