The Lowdown On Body Hair
Chest hair can be a big decision for every well-groomed man.
Chest hair is a contentious issue in the world of male grooming. Some of us love our body beards while others loathe them. This divide is further separated by the fact that some women love hairy chests while others…well, loathe them.
For many men, their allegiance in this matter is preordained by nature. Those who can’t sprout a whisker between their nipples tend to lean towards the bare chest, whereas the Sasquatches among us prefer the wild side. But for those of us with options, the decision can require a great deal of thought…and perhaps shaving cream.
Pros And Cons
When assessing one’s body hair one must ask, what are the benefits of keeping a thick forest above your bellybutton? Chest hair can be interpreted as a sign of masculinity and virility. A hairy chest recalls images of gladiators, lumberjacks and Burt Reynolds.
If you feel an affinity with these archetypes or even share the same occupation, let your chest fill in. Similarly, if you feel you lack these qualities you may want to sprinkle some Rogaine beneath your shirt and hope for the best.
On the other hand, the benefits of a shaved or waxed chest are obvious as well: increased visibility. If you feel the hours at the gym are paying off and want to parade your newly discovered pectorals, waxing your chest will clear the view for your lady friend. A hairless chest is also a smooth and clean chest; something many women admire.
So if you’re an Olympic diver, an underwear model or just a show-off, grab a razor and hit the shower.
No matter which side of the fence you fall on there is a grooming etiquette to be followed. For those who let it grow there is a big difference between looking like Sean Connery as James Bond and Michael J. Fox as Teen Wolf. As well, a shaved chest is not a one time thing, but a life-long (or at least several months long) commitment.
Keep Up The Upkeep
Shaving your chest or, god forbid, waxing it, can be a painful, annoying and time-consuming procedure. However, if you dig the look, it is a necessary evil, one that must be repeated. It is not okay to shave your chest intermittently. Not only will you suffer from the itchiness of re-growing hair, but also a stubbly chest looks ridiculous and probably doesn’t feel too nice for the girlfriend.
Waxing can afford you longer breaks between de-hairing, but if you are going for the hairless look, find a salon and become a repeat customer.
Back Hair Is Not Chest Hair
Some guys are hairy, so hairy that if it weren’t for the nipples you’d confuse their front with their back. These guys like to pretend that all hair is sexy and the more the merrier. Wrong. Back hair is not chest hair, ditto shoulder hair and neck hair, and none of it is attractive. Stragglers need to be addressed, quickly and efficiently. It is true, some women love a hairy man, but you’ll be hard pressed to find one running her fingers through her boyfriend’s shoulder hair. Keep your rug localized to the area between your neck and your navel and you’ll be fine.
Know Your Audience
If you’ve started shaving your chest and you’re receiving nothing but complaints from your lovers and laughs from your friends, it was probably a dumb idea. Likewise, if you’ve let your garden grow and have started shedding like a sheep dog onto friends and strangers. Grab some garden shears and get your chest under control.
As much as grooming is about improving one’s confidence, it’s not going to work if you are the only one who is enjoying your new look. If you switched from shaggy to shaved, or vice-versa, ask your girlfriend and friends what they think and act accordingly.
Once you’ve found the look for you, get comfortable. If you can pull off the rugged look, undo an extra button on your shirt. Let it show. If you’re going with the smooth chest, hit the gym a little harder and make sure you’re looking good as well.
Either way as long as you keep yourself groomed and tidy there is no right or wrong.
GUY D. BREAU