Body hair is a pain.
It looks average – at best. It makes things stink. It tugs, it chafes, it hides all the (hopefully) hard work you put in at the gym.
Great news: you can sort it out.
Less great news: it’s not a one-stop shop.
Consider body hair the Goldilocks of grooming conundrums: not too much, and definitely – categorically – not too little.
“Girls don’t want to see hair coming up your neck, attached to your hairline,” says Carleigh Rayner, head therapist at Strip Waxing Boutiques. “It doesn’t need to be difficult.”
“Some of our clients have tried everything themselves at home: home wax strips, shaving at home…they just end up sticky, taking their own skin off, or really bruised.”
Oof. Gents, being hirsute it needn’t be so tricky. Allow us to present, your follicular cheat sheet.
First Up? Trim Down
The solution to the bulk of your deforestation is simple, cheap and painless: a proper good shear.
Since we’re trimming – not shaving – you’ll need some sort of hair clipper. And sure, those bulky, mains-powered all-in-one haircut kits will do just fine.
But, since we’re getting delicates involved here (!), might we heartily recommend a purpose-built weapon?
The Philips Bodygroom (£33.46) is a winning all-rounder: waterproof (shower grooming!), wireless (fancy!) and, crucially, an extra-long handle to reach your back (stop hassling the missus!)
“Even if you’re planning on getting a specific body part waxed, be sure to give everything a good clipper,” says Rayner. “Remember the big picture. You can’t have lines everywhere.”
“Gotta go,” says Rayner. She’s succinct – and she’s correct.
Doesn’t matter if you’ve got a moustache. Doesn’t matter if you’ve got a beard. Everyone can see the walrus-like growths poking out of your nostrils. Sort it.
Option one: for the non-committal, this Paul Anthony Trimmer is barely dearer than a fiver – and will have you neatened out in 60 seconds flat.
Option two? Hot wax. “It doesn’t hurt – if it’s done correctly,” says Rayner.
There needs to be two of ‘em. Whether you pluck or wax is up to you.
“I’m not a fan of the overly manicured eyebrows on men,” says Rayner. “You don’t want perfection.”
Consider trimming for length, too: brush your eyebrows upwards, and snip all excess length above the arch. Better? Better.
The Arms and Legs
All you’re likely to need here is a good trim. You’ll get less chafing and maybe-sort-of a little boost in aerodynamics. But remember, you’re going for neat and trimmed – not Chris Froome on the Alpe d’Huez.
Pit hair creeping under your tee is a sloppy look. A good clip down will help immensely here, particularly if your mid-gym pit-sweat is bordering on biohazard.
“If you’re especially hairy, just trim,” Rayner recommends. “It looks funny to have hairy arms and legs, and a clean-waxed chest.”
Getting the proper aesthetic balance is your call. If you’ve been hitting the gym, then you’ll certainly want to show off – just make sure your chest hair is in proportion with your belly, back and arms.
A back wax is invariably a must. “And the neck, if needed,” says Rayner. “Aftercare is very important, too. You can’t go and play football right after a wax.”
Hey, we never promised this would be sacrifice-free. Speaking of which…
The serious stuff.
“This area, believe it or not, is not the most painful,” says Rayner. Strip’s boutiques use a hot Australian wax that reduces pain by 70%. Rather considerate, we say.
“Getting the undercarriage sorted feels nice and clean – and allows you to leave the front natural. Backside, testicles – get rid of all that.”
Some of Rayner’s clients do opt for the full, female-style Brazillian wax. We, gently, urge you to leave something behind.
A one-way visit to the salon.
Rayner’s used to it. “Quite common. If you’re getting your back done, get your buttocks done too – you don’t want hair shorts.”
This goes hand in hand with the dreaded, but not-that-bad-in-reality male Brazilian.
Rayner shrugs. “Hey, in the movies, men never have hair there.”
The Relatively-Painless Nuclear Option: Laser
If all of this seems rather tiresome and impermanent, consider zapping away forever those hairs you won’t miss.
“Back, neck, feet – even hands are quite popular,” says Rayner. “Men can’t be bothered coming in for a wax: six to ten laser treatments, and you’re done for good.”
Brilliant. But do be sure to consider, before pulling the trigger – are you sure you won’t miss your foot hair?