5 Areas That Men Should (and Should Not) Shave

a muscular man posing

A well-shaven man | Source: iStock

Though this saying holds true: “It’s your life and you’ll shave what you want,” it doesn’t mean you should go ahead and shave every part of your body. Though there are the obvious parts to shave, like your face, recent grooming trends have made it so that anywhere you sprout hair is up for grabs with your razor. This begs the question: Is this really all necessary? After all, body hair is one of the defining features of manhood so why get rid of everything? There are some areas that are always OK to shave, there are others you should consider leaving alone and embracing what nature blessed you with. These are the 5 areas of the body that you should (and should not) shave.

SHOULD: Your face and neck

Again, while this is an obvious area, it bears mention. There’s no getting away without shaving and/or trimming your facial hair. It’s one of the perks of being a man. You’re sentenced to a life of mowing the lawn constantly; in fact, it’s estimated that a man spends around six months of his life shaving. Even if you rock a beard, at some point in time you may get sick of it or want a style change — that is unless you’re planning on rocking a beard circa Tom Hanks in Cast Away.

SHOULD NOT: Your eyebrows

tweezing his eyebrows

A man grooming his eyebrows | Source: iStock

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shape your eyebrows or pluck stray hairs, rather, taking a razor to your face instead of tweezing or visiting the waxer is a recipe for disaster. Not to mention the fact that if your eyebrow hair is dark and your skin is light, you can potentially be walking around with a 5 o’clock shadow in and around your eye area, which just looks strange. Pluck or visit a professional and put the razor down.

SHOULD: Your chest and back

This one is a toss up, considering it’s become a very popular area for men to manscape. We feel two ways about this one: First, as mentioned, there is nothing wrong with having chest and back hair — however, we do understand that having some extra fur, especially during the summer, can feel like another added layer of heat that can make you feel uncomfortable. Not to mention that a shaved or waxed chest easily shows off a six pack that may have been hiding under all that extra hair. Again, gentleman, this one is your call and either way, it’s totally acceptable. Though we definitely recommend opting for laser hair removal if you’re constantly shaving your chest and back.

SHOULD NOT: Your underarms

a man shaving under his arms

Shaving your underarms | Source: iStock

Shaving armpit hair is no longer just a woman’s cross to bear, even though women’s underarm hair has made a recent comeback. Men’s Health asked its male readers their thoughts on armpit manscaping in a survey, and interestingly, the majority of respondents said “yes,” men should absolutely shave their pits, or at least when the occasion calls for it.

Shaving or trimming one’s armpit hair is in line with the rising trend of male grooming and manscaping. “If you’re already doing some form of manscaping and you’ve got your shaver out, why not keep going?” says Craig Whitely, Hollywood’s male grooming expert to Men’s Health. Despite recent trends, maybe you don’t find it manly to trim or shave your pit hair, and may find it shocking to see a man lift his arms up and reveal an absence of arm pit hair.

While it’s strictly a personal choice, consider this: If you have giants tufts of hair peeking out and it looks like a jungle, you might want to consider at least trimming it. While we’re always for a good trim, anything beyond that we say, leave it alone, man.

SHOULD NOT: Your legs

The short answer is no, but men do it and sometimes there are valid reasons to do so. Obviously cyclists and swimmers do it for very specific reasons, including wound-healing and aerodynamics — hair tends to slow you down. Interestingly, Men’s Health also surveyed its Facebook followers on this shaving topic. The results were a little surprising: Although the majority, about 52% said they would never touch their leg hair, 33% admitted that “I don’t shave clean, but I do use a trimmer to cut it down,” and 15% said “It’s not weird. I shave my legs frequently.”

“Most guys are not interested in completely shaving their legs, but they will take the length and bulk down with a groomer attachment. Just so the leg hair isn’t crazy, bushy and long,” says Aaron Marino, a male image consultant to Men’s Health. “It becomes kind of a hair-management situation.”

The conclusion: Unless you’re a professional cyclist, we suggest leaving this one to the professionals. Or if you’re bear-like below the thighs, trim it instead of shaving it off completely.

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