When it comes to manscaping, it’s never too late to work on your summer bod. Less clothing calls for less body hair. Why spend the whole winter grinding in the gym if you’re too furry to show off the results?
Buff or not, if you want to hit the beach at your best, you’ll need a full body cleanup. Manscaping from the neck down can be tricky, so we spoke to Grooming Lounge founder Michael Gilman and skincare expert Claudia Duran to get some tips on pruning back your body hair.
TM: Where does a dude even start?
MG: Start in the shower! Pick up an exfoliating bar of soap and scrub away the dead skin of winter. Ursa Major Morning Mojo Bar Soap … uses volcanic lava rock to gently exfoliate and nourish dull skin. Exfoliating will keep ingrown hairs at bay while lifting the hair follicles. Now you’re ready to shave!
TM: Can you take us through the steps of getting rid of unwanted body hair?
MG: For the chest, you first need to decide whether you want chest hair that’s trimmed to look well groomed or no chest hair at all. In both cases, you start with a great electric trimmer. If you want completely smooth skin, after you trim, break out a high-quality razor with fresh blades (there are plenty of choices on the market). Hop in a warm shower to open your pores and soften the hair. Then apply a shave cream or shave oil to the chest area. Be sure to shave with the grain. Once finished, towel off and apply a aftershave … this helps to prevent ingrown hair and razor burn.
TM: Nivea has a great new product duo that helps make manscaping a quicker, more painless process, once of which is the body shave cream stick, which allows you to roll on directly in the shower. It clings to the skin even under running water, making a razor-sharp shave so much easier.
TM: What about the family jewels? Do you have some tips for keeping things manicured below the belt while protecting future generations?
MG: This is a sensitive area (literally and figuratively!). Some men use a trimmer and some a razor. This is also a highly personal shave. You will develop your own technique that works best for you. Definitely don’t try this for the first time right before a big date. Here are the points to remember: Spend some time in a hot shower first. Let your skin warm up, soften, and become more pliant. Under no circumstances do you want dry or just barely wet. Then apply a great shaving cream. With small strokes, begin removing the hair, always washing the blade every two to three strokes. Lastly, once you get out of the shower, dry your skin and apply a soothing, milky aftershave like Grooming Lounge Best For Last Aftershave.
TM: Let’s talk about the set-up. What kinds of tools should every man have on hand?
It’s important to invest in a good trimmer and razor. Both the Bakblade “ Big Mouth” Back Shaver and the Professional Mangroomer have longer handles that help you get to those hard to reach spots. On the product side, always have a high-quality shave cream like Grooming Lounge Beard Destroyer Shave Cream or shave oil like Grooming Lounge Beard Master Shave Oil. Also be sure to have a great aftershave with a reputation for calming the skin and reducing unwanted ingrown hair and razor burn.
TM: Do you have any post-shave advice?
MG: If you do a good job prepping your skin as described above, are careful with the trimmer or razor, and apply great post-shave products, you will do a lot to avoid negative after-effects. Our go-to product is The Shavior — it helps prevent ingrown hairs in razor burns.
TM: Another great (and affordable) option is a post-shave lotion from Nivea:
TM: Some hairy situations are better left for the professionals. When is it better to just make a hair removal appointment and what can a man expect once he gets there?
MG: Obviously you need a professional for the back. Once this decision is made, find an aesthetician that does a lot of waxing work on men. Do your homework! You want lots of experience — a reputation for speed, accuracy, and technique. On the first couple of visits, a great aesthetician will ensure that you understand every step of the process. I also recommend using a professional for waxing eyebrows, nose, and ear hair. While you can do the face yourself, you’ll be amazed at how much better the outcome will be in the hands of a professional who is both exacting and aesthetically accurate.
TM: When you’re ready to get grooming, we’ve got a playlist for you:
Article originally published June 2, 2017. Last update April 9, 2018.