Most men have a shaving horror story.
Blame underwear ads, adult entertainment or reruns of Baywatch (Zac Efron version included) — anything that routinely shoves a near-hairless torso in our face — but the fact is from the moment gay guys start growing hair anywhere other than our heads, we’re looking for quick and easy ways to maintain it, groom it, style it or get rid of it altogether.
And chances are most of us have gone to great lengths to get the job done.
I’ll take one for the team and embarrass myself. The first time I tried to trim “down there” was a total disaster. Why did I think it was a good idea to use a 99-cent disposable razor on my most delicate parts? Why did I think it was a good idea to try and do a rush job of it in the shower 25 minutes before a date — like I was mopping up a spill in the kitchen. The end result was … not cute. I acted like a perfect gentleman on that date, mostly because there was no way in hell he was seeing the mess I’d made of myself.
Part of the problem with body shaving and trimming is that mishaps are not one of those things you’re taught growing up. Adults teach you how to boil an egg or shave your face — they don’t shoehorn groin-grooming tips into the birds and the bees speech, let alone a bees and bees speech.
But it’s completely possible to manscape your entire body without paying a visit to the first aid aisle at your local pharmacy. The first step is to invest in an electric razor that’s designed specifically to trim your body hair. Forget disposable razors — anything they hand you for free when checking into a motel does not need to be removing hair from the family jewels. Cremes, gels, hair removal treatments — sure, they can serve their purpose, but for the most reliable, safest and least likely to leave a rash or a scar when removing body hair, you need an electric trimmer or razor.
Panasonic’s men’s cordless electric wet/dry body groomer is designed to get to all of the areas other than your face that sprout fur — that means your legs and your chest, but also your underarms and, yes, even your groin. This electric groomer uses an ultra-thin, skin-protective blade system and specially designed attachments to safely trim down, and shave (without an attachment, the blade shaves as close as 0.1mm) your most sensitive areas. Plus, it’s got a V-shaped trimmer head, so you can fit it into areas a regular razor just shouldn’t go. And with a waterproof, cordless design, you can suds-up for a solid all-over body grooming.
Now that we’ve addressed the need to buy a specific product to properly maintain your body hair, it’s time to tackle the top tips for safe grooming. Your body hair isn’t a weed you’re trying to wack — it’s growing out of your body, so let’s approach manscaping with some thought and care, shall we?
Tip 1: Trim your hair down first.
Miley Cyrus claims she “can’t be tamed,” but your hair can, and should, before you take a razor to it. If the hair on your body is approaching anything bush-like, trim it back with your handy electric trimmer before you go further into shaving mode. Things are less likely to get caught and your chance of ingrown hairs and skin irritation decreases drastically.
Tip 2: Start small.
Just because you want to get rid of some carpet doesn’t mean you need to strip it all the way down to the foundation. If you’ll forgive the HGTV catchphrase, “Think about it.” Hair grows back, but it takes time. So when you’re first manscaping, start with the trimmer attachment that will remove the least amount of hair from your body. (Panasonic’s has a 6mm attachment, 3mm attachment and 2mm groin attachment.) You can always go back for a second pass with a closer trim, but you can’t put hair back once it’s gone.
Tip 3: Shave in the direction your hair grows, not against the grain.
Think about what happens when your Amazon Pride delivery shows up. If you’re anything like me, you rip at the package feverishly to get to what’s inside — and you probably cause a mess. If you took the extra five seconds to tear along the envelope’s perforated lines, you’d have a much nicer looking package (wink). So take care to follow the direction your hair is already giving you. And avoiding tugging your hairs in directions they aren’t used to going. Your body will thank you.
Tip 4: Moisturize after.
If you have a tendency to get ingrown hairs or bumps, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Cortisone creme or another anti-inflammatory is especially good for extra sensitive skin. Aloe and other soothing lotions can also ease irritation. Remember, your face is used to being exposed to the elements, and to regular hair removal. The rest of your body … isn’t. Take extra care with these parts.
Body hair upkeep isn’t rocket science, but it is a process that deserves a bit of TLC. You put money into gym memberships, massages, after-work happy hours and vacations, all in an effort to treat your body and reward it for a job well done. Spending a few extra dollars on a product that will treat your body with a little bit of respect is money well spent.