It can be a challenge.
Every guy is different and it’s really up to you how you want your body to look.
And body hair is going to play a big role in that.
At the same time, you need to navigate each manscaping zone differently - deciding on the best method and tools for the job.
From top to bottom – eyebrows to below the belt – here’s how to get your body hair looking the way you want it to look (along with tips on aftercare and maintenance too).
Go for the manscaping look that makes you feel most confident
The benefits of manscaping
To start with, removing unwanted hair is going to make you feel cleaner and fresher – and, in some areas, improve the line of your clothes too.
And if you’ve been working out it’s going to help to show off those hard-won muscles to their advantage.
Finding a balance
As a guy you want to make sure you’re not looking like a caveman. On the other hand, you don’t want to look completely hairless either.
You have to find a balance between taking care of yourself and your looks, while not going over the top and obsessing about being too perfect.
What that balance looks like is entirely up to you.
The art of manscaping
All-over body grooming is tricky! When it comes to manscaping there are no hard and fast rules.
How much you want to take off (and from where) is your first decision.
You also have to consider how much maintenance you’re willing to put in.
And, let’s be honest, your pain threshold too!
Your body grooming options and the best tools for the job
There are several ways to remove unwanted body hair, and different techniques work better for some areas than others. Some methods you can easily handle yourself at home; some are best left to the professionals.
And for some areas (like your back) you’re going to need to get some extra help.
Most areas you can handle yourself, but you do need to Invest in quality tools - including a body groomer, disposable razors, precision tweezers, and round ended scissors.
AT HOME OPTIONS
You will need: Disposable razors, good quality shave cream
- Pros - Fast, easy and inexpensive, shaving is the simplest way to get rid of body hair.
- Cons - Regrowth can be quick and itchy! And, as with shaving your face, you run the risk of razor burn, nicks, irritation and ingrown hairs.
You will need: a body groomer with adjustable height settings
- Pros - Easy to use. Body trimming tools give you total control over how much hair you remove. You can get the job done quickly and they rarely cause cuts or irritation.
- Cons - May not give you as smooth a finish as you would like.
You will need: a really good pair of tweezers (ones with a slanted end work the best). Always keep the points clean so that they can close around the hair firmly. This will make the job a lot easier and quicker because they will grasp the hair firmly.
- Pros - Ideal for removing straggly eyebrow or ear hair
- Cons - Not great for clearing a large area
You will need: A cream that has been developed for thicker hair
- Pros - Easy to use. Simply apply, leave on for a few minutes and wash off. Depilatory creams contain chemicals that weaken hairs at the root so they fall away
- Cons - Results can be patchy and inconsistent
BEST LEFT TO A PROFESSIONAL
Waxing rips the hair directly out from the root.
- Pros - Waxing gives long lasting results (you’ll be reasonably hair-free for around four to six weeks). And because the hair grows back with fine ends, the regrowth will feel smoother and less scratchy.
- Cons - The pain!
There are home kits available consisting of pre-prepared waxing strips. But truthfully this is a job best done by a professional. The wax needs to be hot enough to effectively grab onto the hair, and then it needs to be pulled out quickly (and in the right direction). Only a trained professional can do this well. They will also make it less painful for you.
Waxing strips are great to do a quick touch up in between salon visits though.
LASER HAIR REMOVAL
Laser treatment is the most expensive and time consuming option as you’ll most likely need several sessions to get hair free.
Having said that, it will permanently reduce the amount of hair. You might get a few stray hairs reappearing, but that is all.
- Pros - Lasering is the best option for long-term hair removal and manscaping. It’s excellent for problem areas like your back and shoulders. And if you suffer from ingrown hairs when you shave your face and neck, then removing hair permanently by lasering the area is definitely worth considering.
- Cons - It’s expensive! You will need several sessions depending on the thickness of growth and it takes a long time. On a pain level it’s like being pinged by an elastic band. Easy to handle, but worse on sensitive areas.
You need to navigate each manscaping zone differently - deciding on the best method and tools for the job
So whether you just want to keep things neat and tidy, or you want to take it all off, here’s a guide to what to use where… and the best way to do it.
ACTION PLAN: Your guide to manscaping every part of your body
Some of these are an easy decision – and some are personal taste.
From the top….
Some guys are worried that if you groom your eyebrows you’ll end up looking too feminine, but that's not the case.
In fact, long straggly eyebrow hairs are the worst thing. They make you look older, and they make you look unkempt.
While a unibrow gives the impression you’re permanently angry!
But tidying up your eyebrows is a simple fix…
How to groom your eyebrows:
You don't need to go to a salon and go crazy with waxing or threading. You can start at home and take it from there.
You just need a good pair of tweezers – ones with points that close tightly and will grip the hair firmly.
First tweeze out any long stray hairs. And then get rid of any in between your brows to get rid of a unibrow.
We’ve got a more comprehensive guide on shaping and grooming your brows here: “Transformative power of perfectly groomed eyebrows”.
Ear & Nose hair
This is an easy decision. Any visible nose and ear hair needs to go!
If you can see hair there then other people can too - and it's not attractive.
How to get rid of ear and nose hair:
You’ll need precision tweezers, grooming scissors with rounded ends or a special trimmer designed for nose and ear hair.
Ear hair: This is quick and easy to get rid of.
Use tweezers to pluck long hairs from the outer ear area. Then, carefully use the grooming scissors to trim any inner ear hair that is visible.
Alternatively use the electric trimmer for a speedy tidy-up.
Nose hair: Again you can snip off unwanted hairs with the rounded end scissors or by using the nose hair trimmer.
Just remember that nose hair is there for a reason. It helps trap dust and pollution and stop it from getting into your lungs.
So don’t remove too much or go too deeply into the nostril.
Just trim it down so that the hair isn’t visible to people around you.
Hair can sprout pretty quickly! So get into the habit of checking for errant eyebrow, ear and nose hair each morning to keep these areas looking clean and well groomed.
It’s a small detail, but shaving the back of your neck will make it look as though you’ve had a fresh haircut even if you haven’t had time.
How to groom the back of your neck:
Shave it properly – and use a mirror (or a good friend) to guide you.
Remember to go easy and don’t shave too high. The aim is to keep the area looking clean in between barber visits, rather than attempting to style the back of your hair yourself.
Unruly armpit hair never looks good, plus it can harbour sweat and bacteria, causing irritation and bad odours!
But how much you want to groom this area is up to you.
How to Groom Your Armpits:
You can start by trimming the hair down with a body groomer to a shorter, more uniform, length. Use an electric trimmer with at least a #2 guard and trim all armpit hair.
Or if you want a completely smooth finish, then trimming the hair with the body groomer to the shortest length possible first will make shaving easier.
After that, shaving with a disposable razor is the most straightforward way to remove hair altogether.
Be careful though because the itchy regrowth can irritate like crazy!
A better option if you’re after a super-smooth finish is to have a professional underarm wax. The results last longer, and the regrowth will be softer and finer (and not nearly as itchy!) But, be warned, it can bring tears to your eyes!
For sure keeping your chest hair trimmed down will help show off hard-won pecs if you’ve been working out.
It can make you feel cooler and fresher – as well as improving the line of your shirts and T-shirts too.
But when it comes to grooming chest hair it’s really a matter of personal preference.
So go for the look that makes you feel most confident.
How to Groom Your Chest:
Neatly trimmed chest hair - If you just want to tidy up and trim down then equip yourself with a good electric body groomer. Then, select the guard you want and adjust it appropriately as you go. Better to start too high and experiment to find the right length for you.
The finish won’t be completely smooth but you’ll still be able to see muscle definition beneath, and you’ll avoid the itchy regrowth associated with shaving.
Trim the hair up to the edges of the nipples (rather than going over them) to avoid accidents.
Smooth, bare-chested look - Shaving, waxing and lasering are all options if you’re looking for a completely smooth chest.
If you opt for shaving, then always begin by trimming hair back as short as you can with the body groomer first.
Use a good quality protective shaving cream and a fresh disposable razor.
Shave with the direction of hair growth and apply moisturizer afterwards to soothe your skin.
Find out what makes our Protective Shave Cream the answer to a perfect shave here …
If you’re feeling creative, you can contour your chest and stomach hair.
You can create the optical illusion of a more V-shaped body by trimming chest hair into the shape of an elephant’s head and trunk.
To minimise the risk of ingrown hairs exfoliate twice weekly with a gentle body scrub – or better still, use our Daily Face Wash which cleans and exfoliates using a mild chemical Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) – lactic acid – and contains aloe vera to soothe your skin.
You can find more details here …
Back & Shoulders
Not all men have it, but if you do you really should think about removing the hair on your back and shoulders.
It rarely looks good, it ruins the line of your clothes, and you’re going to feel much cooler and fresher without it.
How to Get rid of Back Hair:
There are body trimmers and razors with extendable arms, along with depilatory creams and at-home wax strips.
Don’t waste your time and money (or ruin your relationship by getting a friend to do it for you!)
These methods will never give you a smooth finish.
Thankfully, waxing is fast and efficient - but be sure to leave it to the professionals for perfect results.
Getting rid of unwanted back and shoulder hair is a very personal, intimate thing and the only way to address this area is waxing (or lasering) performed by a professional in a salon.
They know what they’re doing, have lots of experience and will be able to do it in a (relatively!) pain-free way.
And the good thing about waxing is that you’re much less likely to experience itchy regrowth – and the results can be long lasting (you shouldn’t need to wax again for around a month or so).
Alternatively, you can try lasering the area – again done by a professional. This is more expensive - and will take several sessions – but the results will be excellent, and permanent.
Stomach & Abs
If you’ve been working out you’re definitely going to want to show off your abs, not have them covered up by a thick layer of hair.
And when considering this area you need to balance it with the level of your chest hair.
How to groom your stomach and abs:
The same methods apply as with chest hair.
You can trim the hair down with a body groomer using a guard.
Or if you want a completely hair free zone then opt for whichever method you use to remove your chest hair - shaving, waxing or lasering.
The most important thing is to keep it in proportion to your chest hair. You want to create a nice balance.
Arms & Legs
Even if they manscape, many men choose to leave their arms and legs ‘au natural’.
But again, it’s all about balance and how you want to look. And if you’re a cyclist or a swimmer, there’s aerodynamics to consider too.
Along with displaying any tattoos you have in the best way.
And there are really good options if you’d like to get rid of your own, including trimming, waxing – and, for your legs, shaving too.
How to groom your arms:
It’s best not to shave your arms. It will leave them feeling rough and itchy.
Much better to trim once every ten days to once a month with a body trimmer – using a #2 or #3 guard.
How to groom your legs:
For a natural look, you can also groom your legs with an electric trimmer - with a #1 or #2 guard this time.
If you must have a silky smooth result, then opt for shaving or waxing.
Use a fresh disposable razor each time and always prep skin with a protective shave cream first.
And with waxing, while it is possible to do it yourself with at-home wax strips, or depilatory cream, for the best results you really need to go to a professional. As with other body areas, a professional wax will give you the best finish, the longest lasting results – and the least pain! They know what they’re doing.
Below the belt:
When it comes to grooming the pubic area it’s not just a question of aesthetics. Keeping this area trimmed down is going to make you feel fresher too.
But yes let’s be honest a well-groomed pubic area is going to be more appealing to your partner.
How to groom your pubic area and groin:
To keep things neat down below, a body groomer works best.
They’re great for trimming hair so it looks neat and tidy, and the special guards on them prevent nicks and cuts, as well as following the curvature of your body.
To trim your pubic hair and upper legs, pull the skin taut and use a #2 or #3 guard.
If you decide you want to remove the hair altogether you can opt for the shortest setting later.
How to shave your balls:
You don’t need us to tell you to be extra careful in this area! So put away the body groomer before you get anywhere near to your balls.
You can start by carefully trimming any extra-long hairs with the round-ended grooming scissors.
Then apply lots of high-quality nourishing shaving cream (definitely not foam or gel!). Use a disposable wet razor and plenty of slow, careful strokes, making sure to rinse hair from the blade regularly.
Take your time (this is not an area to be rushed!), and splash with lots of cold water as you go to keep the skin taut.
How to remove hair from your shaft:
There tends not to be too many hairs on the shaft of the penis so the best (and safest) way to remove them is to trim them off individually using round-ended scissors.
Pull the hairs taut away from the skin with your fingertips and snip the hairs off as close to the skin as you dare.
And if you want to take the grooming further…
For an instant illusory extra inch or so, you can shave the hair at the base of the shaft.
Just follow the same shaving method as for your balls, (using lots and lots of protective shaving cream) and taking care not to shave too far into the bush itself.
Again, take your time and apply lots of TLC!
How to remove hair from your perineum and backside:
If you want this area to be hair-free then only five words are needed – LEAVE IT TO THE PROFESSIONALS!
You could trim it yourself with a body groomer on a low setting or round-ended scissors – but please don’t!
A professional wax (or laser) will give you safe, smooth results - and the hair will grow back finer and after a couple of months.
And a professional laser treatment (although costly) is a more permanent solution.
Whichever technique you use, once you’ve finished manscaping, apply a hydrating moisturizer to soothe your skin.
After grooming your pubic area you might also think about wearing briefs rather than boxers for a few days to protect the skin around your balls from being irritated by prickly regrowth.
What should I do about irritation or ingrown hairs after shaving?
Even if you’re careful, you can still get redness and irritation (or ingrown hairs) when you shave, especially in the pubic area where the skin is most sensitive.
Bumps and irritation
- Firstly, try not to scratch. This can make the skin feel more itchy (and could cause an infection).
- Next, apply a topical hydrocortisone cream to reduce the itching.
If an ingrown hair appears there are some simple things you can do to speed up the healing process:
- Avoid shaving the area for at least a week: just until your skin has had a chance to heal.
- Gently exfoliate the area around the ingrown hair using a mild exfoliating face wash: this will remove any dead skin cells that are blocking the hair from breaking through the skin’s surface.
- Apply a warm, damp compress: to soften the skin and help to tease out the ingrown hair.
- Use a light, non-greasy moisturizer: this will soften your skin and soothe the inflamed area.
- Tweeze out any visible hair: if you can see a hair near the surface try to gently pull it out with a pair of sterile tweezers.
WHEN TO CALL THE DERMATOLOGIST
Not all ingrown hairs get this bad but if the bump won’t heal, and it’s becoming more and more painful, then it’s worth calling a dermatologist.
A medical professional can give you a cortisone injection to quieten down the redness and inflammation caused by the infected ingrown hair under your skin.
For more on preventing (and treating) ingrown hairs check out: "How to eliminate ingrown hairs and razor bumps".
How often should I manscape?
This depends on the area that you’re grooming. The body hair in some places grows back quicker than in others.
And the grooming method you use has an effect too.
Trimming: wait until the area is looking too long for how you want to look, and retrim
Shaving: the hair will grow back quickly and can feel prickly. It’s at that point you need to redo it.
Waxing: this is the longest lasting. Expect to be hair free for about a month.
Lasering: this is expensive and removes the hair permanently. It takes several sessions, but once it’s done, it’s done!
How much manscaping should I do?
It’s entirely up to you and how you want your body to look and feel.
Start slowly – and work from there.
When it comes to grooming your body hair it’s really a matter of personal preference.
It depends how you want your body to look and what will make you feel most comfortable. And, to some extent, how much maintenance you’re willing to put in too.
Above, we’ve given you a guide to what method to use where… and the best way to do it.
Some of these are an easy decision – and some are up to you.
So go for the look that makes you feel most confident.
SHOP THE ROUTINE.
All that you need to keep looking handsome.