Let’s start with a couple of disclaimers. Firstly, body hair might not be the most sought-after or stylish attribute, but it has been serving a life-saving, evolutionary purpose for a couple of millennia. Without seeking gratitude or recognition, it has been regulating our body temperature since time immemorial. And yet we all battle to shave, trim, wax and pluck it away for fear of seeming unseemly.
Which leads neatly to our second disclaimer. Although everyone has their own views on body hair, we at GJ passionately believe that any man, or woman for that matter, has the full right to do whatever they choose when it comes to grooming. Whether you be follicularly fortunate, or not so blessed with body hair, it ought never to be determined by others whether or not you reach for the razor.
That being said, as the heatwave sweeps the nation, there is a certain breed of man reluctant to whip off his shirt and enjoy the sunshine for fear of appearing unkempt. This uncertainty is not only affecting their enjoyment of the season, but also knocking their confidence. And we just can’t have that.
As such, here is your summer guide to what to pluck, prune and snip before you strip down this summer.
Getting it off your chest...
If you’re boasting a particularly full thicket of chest hair, take a moment to thank the likes of Tom Selleck and Sean Connery. Thanks to these hirsute action stars, chest hair is one area of manscaping that doesn’t require much attention. It’s perfectly acceptable to rock a rug, just as no-one will shrink away if you decide to go smooth.
Swagger & Jacks Mach3 Razor in Chrome
Czech & Speake Air-Safe Manicure Set
Marram Co Brass Safety Razor
Of course, if you’ve spent the winter months slaving away in the gym, you’ll likely want to pull back the curtains and flaunt your newly-pumped pecs. True, you’ll probably just be flexing in front of several indifferent, sandcastle-building families, but who are we to judge? If you’re looking to showcase your chest, try an electric razor — and don’t go completely smooth. You want to look like an action man, not an action figure.
Put your back into it...
Sadly, despite considerable advancements in the areas of tolerance and judgement, humanity still remain almost universally grossed-out by a hairy back. What’s worse is that those of us carrying a bit of extra fur back there can’t even see it ourselves, so our backs are never at the forefront of our minds.
If you do want to remove back hair there are some simple guidelines to follow. First off, leave it to the experts. Trimming, cutting or epilating blind can only end in A&E. Instead, wax. But know this, unlike the end result, the process is not a smooth one. And if you have never been waxed before, expect your back hairs to show again after a fortnight. As your salon trips become more regular, the effects will last longer.
Below the belt...
There’s no elegant way to put this, but everything below your swim short elastic is subjective. If you’re a fan of the wilder look, then leave well enough alone. But, if you’re feeling a little more self-conscious and want to give everything a tidy and trim, feel free to take a crack at it — so to speak…
Shaving these more sensitive areas can often be itchy, stubbly and deeply uncomfortable when the hair inevitably grows back. So, bear that in mind, but if you’re feeling brave, invest in an epilator. This way, any hair will grow back slower and softer. In terms of general ‘styling’, as we say, it’s up to you. But never go for full deforestation.
Only make the briefest of pit stops...
Leave your armpits be, as a general rule. However, if the heat is getting a bit too much for you, and most of your office shirts have already fallen victim to the dreaded sweat patch, it could be time for a neat trim. But still, be sparing. Scissors suffice here, so step away from your razor.
Tweezerman Hair Scissors
Philips Series 9000 Hair Clippers
Tweezerman Ultra Precision Nippers
Pluck up the courage to tweezer those random hairs...
We’ve all been there. Innocently minding our own business, singing in the shower, when we glance downwards and see a lone hair, protruding from an inexplicable place. Be it knuckle or nipple, these random wisps can take you by surprise. But, whatever you do, resist the temptation to immediately whip them off with a razor. Instead, take out your tweezers and pluck it straight from your skin. This way, it won’t grow back too quickly, if at all.
Looking to get your body beach-ready? Here’s how to eat yourself healthy this summer…