So what exactly is manscaping? Well the online urban dictionary defines it as follows:
A fine art form exclusive to men; the continued upkeep of exceptional hygiene and strategic hair removal as they pertain to the male body.
Used in a sentence-
“He is so hairy…he needs some education on manscaping.”
Right, now that we’ve got that out of the way we can start getting a little bit more in depth. As has been the theme throughout the entire week on MyCityBynight, I will now attempt to provide you our beloved blog readers with an insight to this fairly metrosexual practice, at the expense of my own dignity.
Ever since the debut of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’’ in 2003 when the term metrosexual was first coined for a male that occassionally likes to shop and trim all excess hair from his body, guys in Cape Town and around the world have been feeling the after-effects of metrosexual mania. The topic that has caused the most confusion and feelings of self doubt in males, undoubtably has to be manscaping. Movies like the 40 year old virgin (think of the waxing scene) have made it crystal clear to me along with all other guys that women (most women) do not find this amount of body hair on any dude attractive. I tend to agree, it is however very important to recognise that there is a difference between good manscaping and bad manscaping.
Most experts in the field (I bet you didn’t even know such a field existed) tend to agree that if you have an Amazon forest of hair sprouting from your back or chest and are at all planning on taking your shirt off, ever, you should at least have the common decency to spare all of us from having to see your wookie suit and get trimming or waxing. The problem in my opinion really comes in when manscaping gets taken to the extreme in cases where some guys show up smoother “down there” than their dates. Unless you are a porn star, I tend to think that this is innappropriate and rather freaky.
· Affordable option(s) exist that can be purchased/stored without too many enquiring looks
· With a trimmer, you get a uniform, complementary length of body hair.
· Maintenance is relatively easy.
· Cleanup can be a mess since you need to trim your body hair while it’s dry.
· With scissors, you can end up with a choppy-looking man hair that’s comical instead of alluring.
· Maintenance requires frequent upkeep and attention (every 12-14 days, depending).
The razor is a very popular weapon of choice when removing male body hair, and justifiably so. For most guys, this grooming technique is familiar and a good solution. When shaving away body hair, not only do you get a super-clean, hygienic look, but you also get to do it when no-ones around and very discretely in the shower. Thus, it’s a well-rounded option for a lot of guys.
· It’s a simple, familiar process that doesn’t take too long.
· Leaves the skin feeling smooth and appealing to the touch.
· It can be done in the shower, so there’s relatively little cleanup involved.
· As you learned as a teenager: Once you start, you can’t stop.
· It can leave skin irritations such as razor burns, rashes and ingrown hairs. SCARY
· It requires continual upkeep (every two to three days) and can be itchy as it grows back.
Many well-known brands now have a men’s depilatory entry on the hair removal market, and many guys are taking stock in this technique for removing body hair. These creams (think Veet), which dissolve hair so that it can be wiped away, are a mid-market option: They cost a bit more than trimmers or razors, but lessen the amount of time involved in upkeep. While they might be better for those areas around your goods, if you choose this option, be wise and test the product on the inside of your elbow first, then wait 48 hours to be sure your skin has no adverse reactions.
· It’s pain-free (ideally), easy to use and affordable.
· It lasts longer than shaving and isn’t as cumbersome or painful as waxing.
· Hair grows back softer and less coarse than it does with shaving.
· It’s harsh and abrasive to the skin, so you have to time them perfectly.
· There’s a possibility you may have an allergic, itchy reaction to the cream.
· Unpleasant smells can be a residual side-effect.
Long thought of as a woman’s prerogative, waxing is fast making huge strides in gender equality. Men have caught on to the many benefits that waxing offers: smooth, longer-lasting results. In fact, it’s the last stop before permanent hair removal, so it does have its advantages. However, some bad does come with the good: Waxing can be painful, expensive and unsuitable for delicate regions (you know which ones). It’s a mixed bag of tricks, so approach this method with caution and an open mind.
· The results last two to four weeks, and continued waxing leads to diminished hair growth over time.
· Many waxing salons now cater specifically to men, providing expertise and discretion.
· Waxing can be done at home, which gives you more privacy and significant cost savings.
· It’s painful and expensive, while the outcome will be equal to that of cheaper, gentler options.
· Women dominate waxing salons; be ready to share your business (literally and figuratively).
· The skin down on your scrotum is very sensitive. Some waxing salons won’t agree to wax this area.
If you’re ready to say good-bye to the body hair for good, say hello to electrolysis. The only hair-removal option proven to be 100% permanent, electrolysis stands as the option for serious contenders. In only one visit you can eliminate wiry pubic hair forever. (Know that your visit, though, could last for hours and won’t be such an enjoyable experience.) Guys ready to play for keeps should definitely go a round with electrolysis.
· It’s a permanent option, so say farewell to your pubes for good.
· It only requires one treatment.
· It works well for removing any color of pubic hair, unlike laser removal.
· It’s an expensive option, so say farewell to your cash as well.
· Treatment time can last anywhere from 2 to 12 hours.
· It causes way more discomfort than laser hair removal, but not as much as waxing.
A newer, less painful alternative to electrolysis, laser hair removal provides another permanent solution. However, reports from those that have engaged in the process tend to agree that the cons of this method far outweigh the pros. Laser removal, though quick and relatively painless, requires multiple treatments and isn’t guaranteed to stop the growth of body hair permanently. Both of these details can lead to added expenses during and after the treatment phase. It’s not without its merits, though, so just be thoughtful in taking this approach to removing pubic hair.
· Treatment time only takes about two to three minutes, and that’s convenient.
· It’s generally painless, or at least offers much less discomfort than electrolysis or waxing.
· It works well for removing dark-colored pubic hair, which probably means the majority.
· Several treatments are required, and that gets expensive.
· Results aren’t always 100% permanent.
· It’s not effective on light-colored pubic hair, which eliminates it as a viable option for some (all you ginger ninjas).