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A hairy predicament


Stitched Up

Benjamen Judd looks at how clothes can make or break the modern day man.

View more entries from Stitched Up

Hairless or not? That is the question.

Hairless or not? That is the question.

From your back, chest and beyond, how you trim your body hair speaks volumes.

Mark Twain said that clothes make the man but he should have added a footnote saying that how one looks naked is also a good indicator of the type of person they are. The way you cut the hair on your head can transform your look regardless of what you’re wearing, but what’s going on underneath can also be telling.

Whether you’re sporting a thick pelt on the front and back or an all-over five o’clock shadow, onlookers at the beach, in the locker room and, perhaps most importantly, the bedroom are going to judge you based on how you wear your hair. True, genetics may mean that you haven’t got a lot to begin with but it’s what you choose to do with it that matters.

Here’s what your follicular fashion choices say about you.

The face
If, like me, a clean shave leaves you looking like a particularly haggard teenager you might want to man things up with a bit of light stubble. Once considered unprofessional, most workplaces now allow it as long as you keep it tidy – which is best achieved by running a beard trimmer or pair of clippers over it every other morning after a hot shower.

If you feel like getting a little creative, the sustained efforts of Movember mean that moustaches no longer automatically equate to pervy uncle and can now be worn year-round. Beards are great, too, but generally look better on darker-haired guys and kept in check with the aforementioned beard trimmer.

What about soul patches, I hear you ask? When it comes to that little triangle below your bottom lip, I have two words of advice: hell no.

The body
Once the sole domain of swimmers and steroid aficionados, a completely hairless body has now been adopted by much of the male population. I’m all for personal choice, but it’s not mine. Though, having said that, when it comes to my back I’d pluck them out one by one if that’s what it took – my doormat already has a monthly date with supermarket wax strips.

Which brings me to my next point. If you’re going to spend that much time on yourself it’s best you wax. Perpetual stubble is off-putting and all that itching will make you look like you’ve got lice. Just make sure you exfoliate, as ingrown hairs are otherwise inevitable and a rash of them in one spot gives the impression of acne. Probably not what you’re going for if you’re vain enough to spend this much time primping and preening. If you just want to thin the thicket invest in a pair of clippers and go to town.

When it comes to legs, unless you’re a cyclist or drag queen you have no business shaving your pins. If you're not one of the two put down the Lady Bic and step away from the shower.

The rest
I’m just going to come right out and say it – no man should ever completely wax or shave his pubic area. Sure, a bit of trimming is always recommended, but why anyone wants to look like a prepubescent teen is beyond me.

Hairy at the back end? Well, I can see the benefit when it comes to humid summer days or cutting down on bathroom time, but less definitely isn’t more around the front.

There are two claims made by the pro-hairless: the first is that it is more hygienic. I don’t know about you, but I put that theory to bed with a bit of soap and water in the shower every morning. Besides, were we all such disgusting pigs before the trend was popularised in the 1990s?

Second is that it makes you look more impressive, size-wise. If you’re really struggling in this department, I’m sorry to say that looks can be deceiving and an inch of hair is probably not going to get you out of the woods.

52 comments so far

  • I'm an escort and as such I see a lot of men's nether regions.

    I implore all men. Please. Do. Not. Wax. Or. Shave. Down. There.

    It creates a sweaty, sticky little area what with the danlgy bits (that we women don't have).

    Simply trim, trim, trim ... but never remove entirely.

    Ms A
    Date and time
    February 03, 2012, 11:12AM
    • I used to think it was sexist, that a man would expect a woman to groom down there, but excuse himself from the need to do so. Upon reflection there is a difference. Men are hair-free where it counts, women are not. A man's hair does not get in the way of the sex act, so it is reasonable that a woman reciprocates and gets hers out the way also.

      Date and time
      February 03, 2012, 11:44AM
    • Harden up (no pun intended) Hairdownthere...just think of pubic hair as if it were a garnish on a delicious meal. Push it to the side and get on with enjoying the main course.

      Date and time
      February 04, 2012, 9:31AM
    • "A man's hair does not get in the way of the sex act, so it is reasonable that a woman reciprocates and gets hers out the way also."

      Excuse me? Is this yet another way to criticise the female body? A woman's hair get in the way? Not in my experience.

      Interested observer
      Date and time
      February 04, 2012, 1:53PM
    • @hairdownthere
      You haven't actually had sex with a woman, have you?

      Dirk Bottoms
      Date and time
      February 06, 2012, 8:56AM
    • @ Miss A. - I'm just curious to the guys you see who shave/wax. They mustn't shower regularly to have such sweaty/sticky bits. Personally, the women I have seen love a freshly waxed/shaven dangly bits. Don't you find yourself always pulling hairs out of your mouth???

      Date and time
      February 06, 2012, 12:11PM
    • Peter, if I were to be swallowing hair I'd be performing quite the Linda Lovelace.

      I find that most shaven men are sticky - not necessarily revoltingly sweaty but rather like when your bare leg gets stuck to the leather lounge watching the cricket in summer.

      Ms A
      Date and time
      February 07, 2012, 9:39AM
    • @Hairdownthere - if it gets in the way, you ain't doin' it right!!

      Date and time
      February 07, 2012, 9:45AM
  • I work out alot at the gym and my job involves spending alot of time outside. Hence, I don't like it much down there when I sweat alot. After having a near death experience with a razor down south, I have decided to never go there again. Nowadays, I have a, what I like to call, a waxologist, who takes care of things down south for me with hot wax. After 6 months, the growth begins to thin out. Its definitely a hygiene issue too. Just remember to exfoliate alot. Best to not have it all off...some style down there keeps it more interesting.

    Construction Worker
    Beverly Hills
    Date and time
    February 03, 2012, 11:42AM
    • Thank. You. Ms. A!
      There is nothing worse than a freshly-shaven man haven. It looks gross! Trim, but anything more likens your bits to a hairless baby bird (UNATTRACTIVE)

      Amen to Ms A!
      Date and time
      February 03, 2012, 12:06PM

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