There are still some naysayers when it comes to chest hair grooming: There are those that say chest hair is making a comeback, for example. There are even those who would argue that a good chest rug is healthy—that we evolved with chest hair because it was our first line of defense against blood-sucking parasites getting to our skin. But the reality is that it’s becoming more and more common, and why not? We are descended, after all, from a long line of manscapers, and since it both helps us smell better in warm weather and makes us look more muscular (provided you have muscles there in the first place), paying attention to the torso and indulging in a little chest hair grooming doesn’t seem like the worst idea. Here’s how to do it properly:
Know Your Chest Hair Type
As we’ve explained previously when examining how to manscape every single body part, it’s vital that you start by considering what the hair on your chest is actually like. “The coarser and denser the hair is, the pricklier it’s going to feel when you trim it down with your clippers,” explains Melanie Mari, owner and trained manscaper at Bare Skin Studio. If you have very coarse hair and you’re just trimming, rather than going for a completely shaved chest, you need to leave the hair on your chest just long enough to lay down flat against the skin, otherwise it’s going to be unbearably prickly (and manscaping tips for dealing with that post-manscape prickle are a whole different story).
The Secret to Good Chest Hair Grooming is Blending
It should go without saying that manscaping just part of your body is going to look weird, especially if you’re a very hairy guy. To avoid having a gleaming, bare chest side by side with a mass of fuzz on the belly, Mari recommends using a #2 clipper on the chest and stomach, then tackling the happy trail with a #1 clipper. “Or, if you want to look extra clean [and you have soft, fairly sparse body hair], trim the chest and stomach hair using a #1 clipper,” she advises.
How to Rock the Fully Shaved Chest
If you decide to go completely smooth on the chest, dermatologist Anthony Rossi recommends approaching it the same way you would shaving your face: “Manscape in a hot, steamy shower to soften up the hairs. Trim or shave with the grain, never against—if you’re not sure which way to go, pull the razor in the same direction that your hair seems to be pointing. That will prevent creating sharp angles. Moisturize afterwards to condition the hairs and clear up any irritation.”
Consider the Chest Hair Grooming Alternatives
Even tackling that chest wig with a razor or trimmer is going to be an ordeal for extremely hairy dudes, so you may want to think about other options for a more pleasant experience. If you’re practically wearing a fur coat in the shower, Mari recommends avoiding manscaping altogether and waxing instead, the advantages being that it’s super smooth and will last longer than shaving. There is also the possibility of using hair removal creams, but if you go this route, exercise extreme caution and be sure to read the label carefully to ensure the product is designed for sensitive areas (like your nipples).
Talking of nipples: Be careful when you’re chest hair grooming, as not only are your nipples very sensitive, they also bleed a lot if you accidentally slice them. The good news is, they do grow back (or the tips will, at least)—you can find more about dealing with such incidents in our guide to treating every body grooming injury. In the meantime, feel confident in knowing you’ve got this chest hair grooming thing down, and have fun flashing those glistening pecs at the beach. Or the pool. Or the bus shelter. Shaved chests look good anywhere, right?