Shaving for men is just a fact of life. Recently there has been an increased trend for men to shave more than just their face. Body grooming for men is a fast growing industry, as us men folk start to take more care in our appearance. There are numerous shavers for men specialising in all areas of the body.
Like most things, such as skin care, this is something women have been going for ages, us men are now being to take an interest. I would say we have gone past the rise of the metro sexual as some call it, and body care and grooming for men is just the norm. There was a time only about 20 years ago that a lot of men did not use fragrances on a regular basis. Yet now most men could rattle of their favourite Aftershaves down the bar without a flicker of embarrassment. Magazines and billboards are full of rugged sportsmen like Rugby players, Soccer players advertising the latest skincare range for men.
Cyclists have been shaving their legs for ages, for safety and medical reasons. If you tear up the tarmac going down a steep hill, you don’t want hairs clogging up any cuts and brazes.
It is clear shaving for men is more than just a question of the face. For some of the more hirsute of us, a bit of personal topiary can be a personal preference or a “request” by our partner. Don’t get me wrong, not all hair is bad, and ultimately it is a personal choice, but a bit of trimming here and there and keeping the garden neat never goes a miss, and will always be appreciated by the other half.
So once you have made that decision to shave the question becomes what bits do you do? Where do you start? and, perhaps more crucially where do you stop?
This blog will be looking at all aspects of shaving for men, whether wax for men is the best solution, what sort of razors for men there are and different techniques and shavers for men that are available – from head to toe including that sensitive bit in the middle.
Twenty years ago images of the Tom Selleck in an open neck shirt, or Burt Reynolds revealing a manly hairy chest was all the rage. Men were men, and the idea of eaudu toilette, let alone moisturising was just not done. Shaving for Men was just about the face, and that was it. But now men taking care of themselves and their appearance is just a fact of life and a multi-billion dollar business. Body grooming is a big part of this, and manscaping is as acceptable as sharing a beer. It has moved on from the metro-sexual man, to just being what men do.
Take a look at male cover models, and images screaming down at you from bill boards. Plenty of six packs and big arms, but not a body hair in site.
So faced with these images of hairless Adonis looking back at us what should the hirsute man do? Manscaping is ultimately down to personal choice, even if that is influenced by the request of a partner. Even if you like a bit of hair on your body, it is still worth trimming and keeping the garden tidy. Generally the fashion at the moment, especially in women’s top ten lists of likes and dislikes in a man, the smooth, hairless back and chest is the essential look. If people are making jokes about your ape like appearance, then maybe it is time to man up, and explore the possibilities of manscaping.
What are the options available when it comes to controlling the body hair. There are three main options you can go for when it comes to tackling the thorny/furry issue of your man-hair. Shaving for Men, Wax for Men, Laser Treatment.
The modusoperandi of your hair removal is very much down to choice, hair coverage and ultimately what it is you are looking to achieve. If you have a hairy back, say, that you want to get rid for as long as possible, then wax for men, or laser treatment are your best options.
Wax for men is less permanent than laser treatment, and can result in a real smooth finish, although you’ll have to keep on top of it every 8-12 weeks, depending on hair growth. Waxing does hurt, but no more than a quick slap on sunburn, and the results are quick. There are lots of places that specialise in waxing for men – and it is worth checking these places out as they will be used to removing men’s hair, which tends to be thicker and stronger than ladies body hair. The more experienced the wax therapist, the less the pain and quicker the job.
Laser treatment is more expensive and requires a few treatments, but can result in permanent hair removal, so you need not worry about it ever again. If you are looking to get rid of your back hair once and for all, then this could be a good option. Laser treatment can be used all over the body should you want to be totally hair free all over.
Shaving for Men is the cheapest option, and also, inevitably requires more regular maintenance, which can be a hassle. You should trim down the main hair so it is more manageable (see my shaving the chest tips). The general tip if you are shaving yourself is if you can’t see where your shaving don’t do it – or get a willing partner to help (good luck).
For large areas (back and chest), whilst perfectably acceptable to shave, it is probably worth getting it waxed.
Whatever you decide, embrace the Shaving for Men philosophy and don’t be afraid to manscape. Word of warning, once you start …
Yes, it is that time of year again, where you can legitimately grow a moustache. So if you have been thinking about a designer beard, then now's the chance to try by growing a moustache and at the sametime raise money for the male cancer charity Everyman http://www.tacheback.com/
So join in the fun, try out some styles – all in the name of charity.
Shaving for men is a daily necessity for most men, but you must not see it as a a habitual grind. Shaving for Men should be seen as an opportunity for a bit of quality time for yourself, and the benefits of taking your time are many-fold. You will exfoliate the skin, allowing the skin to breathe and it will look brighter and fresher, making you look younger. It maybe that bad experience of wet shaving, as a result of doing it incorrectly, put a lot of men off the wet shave, but done correctly it will not cause razor-burn, or rashes, and will leave you with that soft smooth skin so favoured by women.
So how do you go about getting that smooth close shave? Well, as with most things, preparation is key. You need to make the beard softer and open the pores, and the best way to achieve this is with a hot shower, or applying hot water to the face. Traditional barbers use the hot towel treatment to get this effect, and there are some skin products that act as a hot towel treatment such as, a The Real Shaving Co. Pre Shave Hot Towel Mask. I find that you can either apply a very hot flannel to the face for a few minutes, or shave in the shower (if you have one of those fog-less mirrors).
Next you need to apply the shaving cream. Some people like to apply shaving oil prior to this, to help the lubrication of the skin, but with a good quality shaving cream you will not need to. You should use a brush, as although you can use your fingers to apply you’ll never get that luxuriant lather feel that you do with a brush. In addition the brush can help with a very gentle exfoliating quality, whilst also lifting the hairs and priming then for shaving. With a brush you only need to apply a small amount of cream, as a small amount will go a long way and lather up nicely. Use light circular movements to maximise the lather, and take your time and enjoy the process.
You need a new clean razor for men preferably with three or more blades or at least a razor where the blades are not dull, and remain sharp. Some razors for men have an indication strip on them to let you know when it is time to replace them. Check the direction of the grain of your beard by stroking your fingers across you face, just as you would with a piece of wood. Always, always shave WITH the grain, as it is when you shave against the grain that will cause razor burn and rashes. The razor blade needs to glide gently across the face, so don’t apply too much pressure on the razor. This will also minimise the chances of cuts and nicks. Use short gentle strokes, and keep the razor rinsed on a regular basis to avoid clogging. If you are shaving after a few days growth, then it is sometimes worth shaving twice. Once completed, splash the face with cold water to help close the pores. Pat dry with your towel, do not rub!
Post Shave When you shave you remove a lot of the moisture from the skin, so you need to moisturise. This also keeps the skin youthful looking.
Remember shaving for men is should be an enjoyable experience and done correctly will give a small smooth close finish that will be appreciated by others who get close to you.
How many times have you had to reuse a blade one more time than you would really like, and of course end up having a rough shaving for men experience. So a new company is proposing razors for men by subscription.
Subscriptions are very much part of life, from magazines, organic fruit and veg, DVDs and Video games by post. All because you forgot to get some razor blades on that last trip to the supermarket or drugstore. Well no more, joining the ever burgeoning list of subscprtion delivered household items is the razor for men. Thanks to Belgium company Raz*War you will never be short of blades again. You can subscribe to an annual plan, and then sit back and relax has you receive a regular supply of razor blades by post, meaning you will never be caught out short.
There are three subscription levels, to suit all shaving for men types, to the regular heavy shaver to the more casual shaver. The blades are delivered quarterly, right to your front door, and the start kit comes with razor (handle) and travel bag is included in the first shipment. Prices start at Euros 27.50 for 30 blades a year, up to Euros 75.00 for 90 blades a year, for the hardcore shavers out there.
Another advantage is that Raz*Wars want to take the fight to the big blade manufacturers. They dominate the market and you tend to be locked into one brand over the other, hence the monumental heavy weight marketing slug-fest Wilkinson and Gillette have. So far the only brand I know trying to challenge their dominance is King of Shaves, who have designed a new razor for men with the obligatory “ergonomic handle”.
Would you get your razors for men by subscription? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Why buy your razors for men from the local drug store or your supermarket – when you can have them delivered. Revolt against the big brand named razors – and get the convenience of having your replacement blades delivered direct.
Is this the future – viva la revolution at RAZ WARS
Picture the scene; you are on holiday by the pool or on the beach. It is a hot steamy day. Women barely wearing bikinis topping up their tans, some well defined guys playing beach volley ball. Into the scene walks a man wearing a T-shirt. He finds a place to settle down, and takes of his T-shirt to reveal a hot sweaty hairy back. What do think? Exactly, not a good look. Is that man you? Most women find a hairy back a bit of a turn off to say the least. You may have all the moves, but when you rip off your shirt in the heat of passion, a hairy back can throw a little cold water on the situation. True, this may not be the case for every woman, but I think it is fair to say that the majority of women consider the hairy back a turn off. Some hair on the chest, fine, but a walking hairy carpet, not so. I bet if you took an anecdotal survey in with the women in your office now, the results would bare me out.
So what are your options if you are of the hirsute type with a hairy back? The two main options are shaving for men, or wax for men. Shaving is the cheaper option, but can be fraught with difficulties and requires more regular maintenance to keep the back smooth, and to prevent itch. It can also make you look like you’ve just been given the cat ‘o nine tails on board The Bounty if you end up with too many cuts and nicks.
If you really want that smooth feeling then wax for men is the best option. More and more waxing salons and beauty spas cater for men, although it is always worth checking with them. In fact places such as The Refinery in London are solely for men.
This is going to hurt, but are you a man or a mouse. It shouldn’t be like the scene out of the “40 Year Old Virgin”, but the results far outweigh the pain. The pain is very much dependent on the length and strength of the hair, and the sensitivity of the skin. Some parts hardly hurt at all. Women have been waxing their legs for years, and they don’t put up a fuss. So bite down hard and take it like a man.
Some wax is gentler than others, so see if the wax salon offers different types of wax, and you may find some specially formulated for men. Also, the level of “discomfort” is very much dependent on the skill of the person doing the waxing. Some therapists do little strips at a time. Some layer the wax on large sections of the back before applying and removing the strips. Some therapists set to work at a fast rate, and before you know it it is all over and you are thinking was that it? After you have had the treatment a few times it gets easier and you’ll find a therapist that suits you. I would consider finding a place that offers the back wax for men as part of their menu of treatments. This mean they do lots of men, and have lots of experience dealing with waxing newbies. So lie there on your front, listen to the whale song and drop out in a zen like state while they get to work on some major waxing.
After the treatment they will probably apply a tea-tree oil or something similar and this can have a cooling and relaxing effect. You’ll feel smooth and even a little tingly, but you will look great for it. Give yourself a (gentle) pat on you back. It would have been worth it. You shouldn’t have a hot shower or bath over the next 24 hours, and avoid going out in the sun immediately, as the back is very sensitive.
You should maintain the treatment every 6-10 weeks depending on growth. If you are trying to save the pennies, then you could try some home treatments. There are plenty of home wax for men treatments to buy, and it is worth doing this when the hair is still fairly short, a few millimetres or enough for the hair to stick to the wax so it can be pulled out. It should be less painful. You will require a willing volunteer to do the waxing, and there are plenty of home waxing kits. You never know, your partner maybe more than willing to offer their services. On their part they get 2 advantages (1) they no longer have to go to bed with a yeti (2) they can inflict legitimate pain on you – which may be somewhat therapeutic for them. I would certainly visit the wax salon every few months to get it done really well.
Revealing a smooth, hairless back to a partner can be a special surprise, and while they may “love you the way you are” (yeah!) they are gonna love you even more now oh hairless one.
So go on, give it a go. No pain, no gain – and it will give you added confidence, especially I you have been self conscious about a hairy back, and leave you feeling smoother and happier.
Shaving for men is under going a revolution. The Beard is the new fashion accessory of choice for the man about town. So I’m going to talk about beards, despite my blogs being all about shaving. Now, if you are on the subway or train, or next time you take a walk around take a look at the number of guys supporting beards, or that unshaven look, Have we all suddenly just become lazy and can’t be bothered? No, beards are back, big time – and more importantly the designer stubble look. This is not laziness, in fact far from it, as some designer beards require a lot of care and attention, even to give the impression of that rugged unkempt look. Shaving for men is an artisan skill.
There are plenty of male models, actors, sport stars sporting that designer stubble come beard look. Brad Pitt, or Hugh Laurie from House, David Beckham the list goes on. Take a quick dip into the world of RnB and Hip Hop, and there are some major “designage” going on. Pieces of art requiring precision shaving work. There is a poster for Flo Rider, and he has a beard that probably requires a professional to keep so exact.
So how do you get that designer stubble look? It can be tricky to get right. It is not just a case of stopping shaving, no that would be too easy. It requires attention, and depending on the exactness may need daily attention or attention every few days. I am mainly going to concentrate on the stubble look, and leave the precision work to the fine barbers up and down the country.
Designer Stubble Look
Now the stubble work does give that virile, rugged look which seems to be coming back in to fashion. Maybe it is a back lash against the whole metro sexual, yet ironically enough it is a very metro sexual thing to do. Even in my office I can’t but help notice in the last 2 months the designer stubble/beard look has been displayed by at least 2 work colleagues.
It seems it is becoming acceptable in the workplace, even those places wear the suit is still the uniform of the work place. The designer stubble look can work with a suit, but get it wrong and you just look like a scruff. If you do dress in a formal or smart way, then your beard should reflect that and be kept more maintained than perhaps if you are just a jeans and sneakers guy.
So where to start? My first tip is to go away, take a holiday. Eh? I hear you say. The thing is you need to grow the beard out a bit, stop shaving for a few days. This is the transitional in-between part. If you work in a smart environment you may just look like you have suddenly just become lazy, or have not being going home at nights!That is why using a holiday or a few days off work as a good excuse to start growing the foundations.
Clearly the length of time required will depend on the growth rate. Shaving for men is as individual as our faces.
Get some clippers, ideally some beard trimmers. There are trimmers and shavers for men on the market targeted specifically at maintaining the stubble look. I picked up a pair for around £10 ($15), that are just small size clippers labelled at Stubble Controllers. They are just small clippers.
Assuming you now have a few days growth you may begin to feel a bit itchy. It probably means it is at about the right length to shave down. You will also notice that you have a bit of a neck beard. The neck beard is the villain of the piece, and ultimately what gives the impression of scruffiness. We must eradicate the neck beard. You need to look under the jaw line. The main beard ideally should finish just under this. TheAdams apple should not be covered by the main beard. Now it is ok to have some very short stubble here, just not the thicker main stubble of the beard section. It helps to have a little shadow or initial appearance of day old stubble here, so that the line of where the beard finishes does not look too perfect.(Unless of course you are going for a definite beard over just a designer stubble look.) If you look at the billboard posters, tv, or advertisements in magazines the men with designer stubble, it is always slightly more fuller on the face and chin section, and the neck beard is minimal to non-existent. It is personal choice and overall look you are going for, but if you have a hairy chest you DO NOT WANT the beard just to be a continuation of your hairy chest. That is a major turn off.
Once you have established where you want the beard to finish just below the chin line, and the jaw bone at the sides, trim this down with the trimmer on zero setting. Now you should have a definite beard shape remaining, and not just a face full of unshaved hair.
Now take a look at above the beard, does the current growth begin to infringe on the cheeks. You don’t want to look like wolfman. Depending on how precise you want to be you want a nice line down from the bit where the side burns finish to where it meets the moustache part of the beard. This maybe very minimal so trim down on a zero setting, or with a razor the stubble you don’t want.
Now we have a nicely defined beard shape, but we want to give the impression of stubble. So now take the trimmer and set it for grade 1 or 1.5 – again this is very much personal choice. Just take the trimmer over the rest of the remaining beard, and you will have a nice uniform length, that at once looks rugged and stubbly, but at the same time not unkempt.
This is a great look, and if maintained, and kept smart works well for the smart set who like wearing suits etc. Depending on beard growth you can maintain this daily or every couple of days. Sometimes I just trim down the main beard daily, and the neck part every 2 days. The key is it should be longer than any shadow or stubble on the neck section.
I find it ideal to do this the day or night before if you want the more natural look, as it gives it 12 or 24 hours to grow in, and therefore blends the line of where the beard starts and finishes under the jaw line. But if you want a more precise look here then that is fine.
The overall impression you are trying to give is a bit of an oxymoron. When it comes to shaving for men, a well maintained designerstubble gives both the impression of rugged and at the same time, if done well, a man who takes a care in how it looks. It should look both casual, yet a conscious decision on your part to make a statement about your look. Hopefully those people we are trying to attract in life agree. Purely on anecdotal evidence, (i.e. a quick survey in my office), the women love the unshaven, stubbly look, while probably being totally unaware of the effort and attention we men have given this.
A good analogy is women who wear the natural look when it comes to make up. They wear make-up that gives the impression of a “natural look”, yet it still required application and attention to detail. So to, the designer stubble look.
There are lots of reasons you might want to shave your chest, better body definition, personal preference or a request of your partner, reducing the added heat chest hair can create, or just general comfort.
The old chest rug may not quite be assigned to the 70′s and the likes of hairy chest icons such as Burt Reynolds, Sean Connery and Tom “Magnum PI” Selleck, but nowadays it seems many prefer to go for the hairless chest look. So when it comes to shaving for men, where do we start? The various alternatives such as waxing, laser treatment etc, which can be expensive, shaving the chest is a cheaper option, but the draw back is it will require more regular maintenance.
So here are my tips on chest shaving for men.
Before you start consider the existing length of your chest hair. If it is quite long, or this is the first time, it is worth trimming down with a trimmer, probably with a guard on it, or it set to grade 1 or 2 depending on the fitness. You want to reduce the thickness and length, so it is in a fit shape to take a razor to it. You would not chop down a forest with a pen knife after all.
It is worth having a shower before you start the shaving part, as this cleans the skins, and enlarges the hair ready for shaving. It is worth doing this in a shower or bath, or even putting down some newspaper, as basically there is going to be hair everywhere. If you do shave your chest in the bath keep an eye on the plug hole as it can get clogged up quickly, so keep the water running on a regular basis so it doesn’t clog up.
Use a brand new razor for men, and be prepared to use more than one, depending on the quality of the blade. After all, there is a lot more surface area to cover than when shaving your face. Keeping the blade sharp is key to avoiding those nasty nicks and cuts
With the chest wet, with warm water (it is ideal if you do this in a running shower), start applying a good quality shaving cream. The best method is to whip up some quality shaving cream in a bowl with a brush, and apply to your chest.
Start by doing small sections at a a time. Don’t try to do long strokes from the neck line to the pubic area. As with the face, do not apply too much pressure with the blade. You want the blade to glide gently over the chest. A clogged blade will drag, and potentially nick, so de-clog on a regular basis by placing under hot running water. This is easier if you are in the shower.
Be very aware of the sensitive bits, such as the nipples, and shave very carefully around them. Take your time and concentrate, not too much pressure remember.
Wash down with cold water, if you can bare it, and pat dry. Make sure you don’t rub. Apply a light body moisturiser, preferably with a tea tree oil element, as this has antibacterial qualities.
So there you go, a smooth chest. Bear in mind, it will need maintenance, so it is worth considering a good exfoliator daily as this will clear away dead skin cells, and keep smooth. Next time you come to shave, the hairs won’t be so long, so if you keep on top of it you will not need to use a trimmer.
Shaving for men can have great effects. So take it easy and enjoy a smooth feel, and that more chiseled appearance , although it helps if you have a six pack to start, but that is why most male builders and models are smooth.