Manscaping Basics: Everything You Need to Know

Published October 13th, 2021 by Chris Riley
Fact Checked by
Erik Rivera

Do you manscape? If not, then it's time to learn the basics of manscaping. It is important to understand how manscaping and body hair removal can affect your confidence as many people are scared to show their body due to unwanted body hair. Manscaping is a term used for trimming or shaving hair on your body and can refer to grooming your nether regions, chest hair, or anywhere there is unwanted hair on your body. A lot of men are scared to manscape because they don't know where to start or what style they should choose. This article will answer all of those questions and more so that you can feel confident about starting manscaping today.

What is manscaping?

Manscaping, or men's hair removal, is the process of trimming and grooming body hair. It's a lot like women's waxing and shaving: it can be done at home with products you buy from the store, but people can also go to salons for this kind of treatment. The manscape industry has boomed in recent years because men are starting to care about their appearance. Many men manscape their pubic area, legs, chest, and arms. Although manscaping is often thought of as just for the groin area, manscaping can be done anywhere that you have unwanted hair.

Where can you manscape?

There are many places for unwanted hair that you can choose from to manscape. Some men just want to trim their pubic hair, while others may prefer a completely smooth look. These five places are the most common places men manscape and the techniques used:

Trimming pubic hair

This is also known as "manscaping down there" or pubic hair removal. You can manscape by simply trimming the hair to the desired length with scissors or an electric trimmer. If you want more of a "clean-cut" look, then use an electric shaver instead of scissors.

Beard trimming

This is manscaping for your face and neck area. After shaving your facial hair, manscape the hair on your neck and chest. It's important to manscape this area because men with long hair tend to look like they have a "double-chin."

Torso (Chest/Stomach/Back)

You can manscape these areas by shaving or choosing one of the other methods. Electric trimmers are usually used for shaving back hair. For manscaping the stomach area, you will need a trimmer with an adjustable guard so that it can be set to the desired length.

Underarms

Manscape your underarm hair by shaving or trimming down the hair to a reasonable length. Some men don't manscape this part of their body but if you do then you need the right tools for manscaping your armpits.

Legs

Trimming is usually done with an electric trimmer or beard trimmer. You can also manscape your legs by shaving them completely smooth. If you want to try something new then manscape just the hair on the front of your thighs and keep everything else natural.

What are the different styles for manscaping?

There are different options for you when choosing to manscape but the most common are fully shaved, leaving hair in certain spots, and trimming the hair down to the desired length.

Shaved is when you take all the hair off so only smooth skin is left. When you do this in your groin area it can be called briefs and is similar to a bikini wax. Leaving hair in certain spots is usually reserved for the trimming of your pubic hair on your groin area. Many men like to leave a patch of untrimmed or trimmed hair where it is naturally thick at the base of the penis. This style can be called lions mane. Trimming the hair to the desired length is also a popular style and can usually be done easiest with a guard on an electric trimmer.

What are the best methods for removing my unwanted hair?

Shaving

Shaving involves using a manual or electric razor to achieve your desired length. When you shave you cut the hair flush with the skin and the root stays in the hair follicle to regrow. This method is the most dangerous because you are potentially exposing very sensitive areas to a razor. To help avoid irritation and cuts, make sure to shave with the grain, meaning to shave the direction of hair growth and to keep your skin taut. 

Waxing or threading

Waxing removes hair by the root and can be done at home or by a professional. Waxing is the most painful method of manscaping because it involves ripping off your hair from the follicle. You will experience redness, swelling, and irritation after waxing so make sure to use moisturizing products such as aloe vera lotion afterward to help with any irritation. Threading is when a strand of cotton thread is used to remove hair by the root. This method usually manscapes your face and can be done at home or professionally in salons.

Electrolysis/Laser Removal

These methods are expensive, time-consuming, painful but also permanent so they should only be considered after shaving, waxing, and threading. Electrolysis involves inserting a needle into the hair follicle to remove it permanently. Laser manscaping is similar but instead of using needles laser light is used on the area with hair removal as an end result.

Hair removal creams, lotions, or serums

These are called hair depilatories, depilatory being another name for a cream or lotion that removes hair. Hair depilatories remove hair by dissolving the protein structure of hair with chemicals. Using a hair removal cream can be very painful and is not recommended for manscaping because it may cause irritation on sensitive skin.

What are the risks involved in manscaping?

Below are the most common risks when manscaping.

Skin irritation

This can occur when manscaping by shaving, waxing, or electrolysis. Make sure to moisturize after manscaping with products such as aloe vera lotions to avoid skin irritation. Folliculitis can happen, which is the inflammation of the hair follicle.

Bumps and ingrown hairs

Ingrown hairs, also called psuedofolliculitis, happens when the hair starts to grow again but in the wrong direction causing a bump. These can occur when manscaping by shaving especially if you do not manscape your groin area often. Make sure to exfoliate in the shower by using a body scrub or loofah before shaving because this will help remove dead skin cells that can clog pores and lead to ingrown hairs.

Burns

This is a risk for manscaping by waxing or electrolysis. Make sure to test a small area of manscaped skin before manscaping your entire groin area because you can get a burn from manscaping.

Infection

This is a risk for manscaping by shaving, waxing, electrolysis, and hair removal creams. Make sure to manscape in a clean area and always sterilize your tools such as electric razors or waxing pots before manscaping.

Rash

A rash can occur when manscaping by shaving or manscaping your groin area by any of the methods. This is a risk because manscaped skin can become irritated and inflamed. Make sure to manscape with clean tools and moisturize after manscaping.

Cuts

Anytime you shave with a razor you risk cutting yourself, both electric and manual. Cuts while shaving can occur on manscaped skin because it is more sensitive and can easily get caught in a razor. Make sure to shave with the grain of your hair to help avoid this problem.

If you manscape by any method make sure to use a moisturizer afterward because manscaped skin can become irritated and dry. You can manscape your groin area by any of the above methods but you should test a small area first to make sure manscaped skin does not get irritated.

Which style should I choose?

This will depend on your manscaping needs and personal preference. We recommend if you are unsure to try a small place in your sensitive areas first with whichever method you prefer. This way if you have an adverse reaction it will only affect a small portion of the sensitive skin.

Additional Statistics from around the Web

  • Our own Men's Health survey shows that 62% of men trim or shave below the belt. (menshealth.com)
  • That number climbs higher when you start talking about other areas like your chest (72%) and back (78%), according to a 2018 study by Chicago's Advanced Dermatology (menshealth.com)
  • A study published in 2016 in the American Journal of Men's Health found that 50.5% of the men it surveyed “reported regular pubic hair grooming.” (wsj.com)

Summary

Manscaping is a new term but it is increasingly popular among men. It involves trimming or shaving the hair off your body in places other than the top of your head. There are several methods of removing unwanted hair and they include using a razor, laser hair removal or electrolysis, hair removal creams, and waxing or threading. Which one is best for you is down to personal preference. We recommend that you first try a method on only a small portion of your skin to make sure there are no negative side effects. Also, be cognizant to moisturize your skin after removing hair. Skin that has been manscaped can get ingrown hairs, rash, and irritations if not properly cared for or if overly sensitive. Which style you choose is up to you, but we hope to have given you the proper information to make an informed decision.

References and Sources:

youtube.com

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

advdermatology.com

usa.philips.com

gillette.com

manscaped.sjv.io

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