Q: I’m toying with the idea of trimming my chest rug to a more beach-friendly length but am worried it might go wrong / look ridiculous. I have an okay body but haven’t done anything like this before . What’s the best method and how should I go about it?
Our expert Ahmed Zambarakji answers your questions below:
A: A discreet peek around the men’s locker room reveals that ‘manscaping’, the US-coined term for ‘intimate grooming’, has finally filtered down to the masses. There are sheared chests, wax-sore shoulders and a bit of pubic topiary on display. Not that I’m looking or anything. While well-intentioned, the manscaping efforts of the masses often come with an unfortunate amount of painful looking razor-related rashes, which suggest that it’s both technique and tools are letting these men down in their mission for a perfectly follicle-free form.
In a recent poll, 13% of men who groom admitted to shaving their chests on a regular basis, 11% take a blade to their backs and a particularly brave 6% confessed to a shaved arse. The latter being a highly impressive feat considering the contortionist-like positions required for the job (think of the small Chinese children in Cirque du Soileil).
The first thing to acknowledge before reaching for that razor is that body hair hides a multitude of sins. So unless you can bench press triple your own body weight or consider a lunch of creatine pills and protein shakes a balanced meal, you might want to think carefully before reaching for that razor.
With that in mind, I’d always recommend a little bit of tidying rather than going completely ‘skin’. In terms of hardware, check out a dedicated body groomer like the Philips’ Bodygroom Pro (£74.99 from boots.com) as it boasts both an adjustable comb clipper and a flat foil blade for those, ahem, trickier areas where you don’t want any unnecessary tugging.
Use the trimmer at a 45-degree angle and just gently chip away at the bulk, pulling skin as taut as possible wherever it is flabby. So as to save yourself the shock of seeing a freshly shorn body for the first time, go easy with the comb settings – start at the longest and then work your way down to a length that looks and feels comfortable. That way you won’t end up spending your holiday looking like a stunned porpoise.
Remember that shaving leaves a blunt edge to the hair so, if you decide to go completely bare, you’re leaving yourself prone to some itchy regrowth and redness that can be exacerbated by sun exposure. You also won’t get a completely smooth finish as you would with something more advanced like waxing – but let’s save that one for braver / hairier folk.
Find Ahmed on theexfoliator.com