Men's Chest Hair: Shave It or Groom It?
What to do with your chest hair?
We talk a lot about hair removal at West Coast Shaving. We encourage good grooming and traditional methods of reclaiming nearly lost arts. But what do we do about chest hair? It’s a bit of a gnarly subject (no pun intended).
A Brief Look at Chest Hair Trends
Just a quick look at Hollywood will show that this subject has experienced quite the pendulum swing over the decades. From the 1970s and 80s and into the 90s, the screen glorified a masculine pelt. Tom Selleck, with his facial and body hair, exuded a certain sex appeal. The “James Bonds” of the era (Roger Moore, Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan) were hirsute. Burt Reynolds, Robert Redford, and David Hasselhoff all sported abundant body hair.
But the early 2000s saw a trend toward smooth, hairless pecs with films like Magic Mike, and actors like Brad Pitt, Matthew Mcconaughey, Ryan Reynolds, and Ryan Gosling all finding opportunities to go smooth.
But trends and preferences continue to change. So, there is really no right answer to whether or not you should dare to bare your chest.
That said, what are your options for chest hair removal?
Shave Your Chest Hair?
While we are almost always a fan of the blade, we have to issue a warning with this one. Fully shaving your chest with a razor can be a perilous activity. The amount of time it takes in prep, shaving, and aftercare doesn’t buy you many days, and then the resulting stubble is less than appealing (think brillo pad!) for your partner.
If you really must have a baby-smooth chest, consider depilatory creams. These products can dissolve the hair at the root giving you a few weeks before it starts to be noticeable again. However, these chemicals can be irritating, so test a small area for your reaction. As a last resort, you could consider waxing (ouch!).
Be sure to consider the cons before tackling a smooth chest; it can come with a lot of pain, irritation, break-outs, and continuous maintenance and an uncomfortable growing out stage.
Groom Your Chest Hair?
We recommend grooming your chest hair. And we aren’t alone. A recent study by Statista.com shows that fully 88% of men aged 30-59 are grooming the hair on their chest at least monthly.
To manage your chest hair:
If you have a chest full of hair that pushes out your shirt and puffs above your collar, use a body trimmer to manage it. Always remember to start with a higher guard and lower it until you find the length you prefer. Even if you don’t have quite that abundance, a regimen of keeping the curlies from poking out of your shirt is a good rule.
If you have patchy hair growth on your chest, this might be a time to ply the razor very judiciously and sparingly. Maybe you have so little hair that a quick shave can clean it all up. Or it can help give a more uniform look. Or use the body trimmer to tame patches and ensure symmetry.
If you are trying to find the shape of body hair that you prefer, choose the “tiger line”. This is the center line of hair that often runs naturally from the triangle of hair on your pecs down the center of your body. Keeping this clean and trimmed is a sexy start.
Leave Your Chest Hair?
Lastly, you can always consider just leaving it. If you are happy with your current hair situation, then rock it confidently. There is no right or wrong when it comes to chest hair removal. Whether you are sporting a light dusting or a full pelt, there isn’t any reason you have to have it any other way. Embrace what works for you!