Should men shave their legs?
The short answer is no, but men do it and sometimes there are valid reasons to do so. I’ve seen men with shaved legs before, mostly at the gym or the beach, when it’s just too hot to be covered in any body hair, and for those reasons, I completely understand. 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 surveyed its Facebook followers, asking if they’ve shaved their legs. 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.” There you have it gentlemen, about half of you touch your leg hair.
So, what do women think about men shaving their hair? Women’s Health conducted its own survey, asking “What do you think about guys shaving their legs?” About 49% of women responded “It’s weird. Guys shouldn’t shave their legs,” while about 30% said “I don’t like clean shaven, but I do appreciate a man who trims leg hair down,” and finally 22% said “It’s awesome. I love a man with clean shaven legs.” This means that about half of women do appreciate a little man-legscaping. It seems that it’s all a matter of personal preference, in the same way you choose to groom every other part of your body.
If you’re not currently shaving your legs and are possibly interested in experimenting, or at least trying to trim your leg hair, here’s a quick guide to venturing into the uncharted territory.
Aaron Marino, a male image consultant based in Atlanta, speaks about the legscaping phenomenon: “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,” he said. “It becomes kind of a hair-management situation.”
He adds: “For me, it’s purely aesthetic. When I started working out, I shaved my arms so you could see more definition. In the fitness world, it’s not as taboo for men to remove body hair. So I kept doing it, and then started shaving my legs, too. I prefer the look, and I feel like it’s cleaner. Hair isn’t one of those things I need.”
In terms of actually getting rid of your leg hair, you have three main options: waxing, which lasts longer than shaving and is more complete but is also incredibly painful and will run you around $60 to $70 or more; shaving, which is probably the most economical and convenient; and finally a depilatory cream. Tackling your leg hair with an actual razor is probably your best bet — all you need is a good gel cream, a disposable razor, and a little extra time. Just make sure that when you shave you keep the blade parallel to the floor and shave upwards from your ankle to your thigh (if you choose to go that high). Keep your knees straight while shaving because razors don’t navigate easily around a bony bent knee.
Welcome to our world, gentlemen.