Manscaping: Yes or No?

April Peveteaux

Flickr photo by Owen Blacker
As the clothes come off in spring, I've found myself face to back with man hair in the Sno Cone line. It made me wonder, does a real man shave it off? Not only in the areas tank tops highlight, but the whole manscaping package?

I asked two preeminent man-hair experts to weigh in for He Said/She Said. Riss and El Beardo of the pro-facial hair site, Build-A-Beard and founders of the Beard Ball, are clearly fans of the follicles. But when is it time to clean up the area?

How do you feel about manscaping?

She Said:

Gents, your beard (and all its hairy glory) belongs on your face. In excess, it does not belong on your chest, back, neck, or Southern regions.  Now a little hair in all these areas stated is ok. Manscaping is simply maintenance -- but do not, under any circumstances, transform yourself into a metrosexual. The Metrosexual movement allowed us women to realize that yes, there are straight men out there that enjoy shopping and grooming themselves, but really -- who wants to date them? It made us appreciate those who chose to keep their rugged appearances -- grow your beards or ‘staches, show a little chest hair, flex your muscles, and laugh at the thought of plucking your eyebrows. No woman wants to feel that she is making out with a prepubescent teenager who has a better manicure than her.

Hair is sexy -- beards are, as my friend Max so eloquently stated -- “catnip to women.” Growing out areas within reason (i.e. a natural look always trumps a grizzly bear), will attract suitors. Just remember, women do not like to feel that we have to travel through a forest of hairy follicles to get to your goods. A little modest trimming and sculpting is appreciated, but if a man can almost braid it, it’s probably time to shave it.

He Said:

Look, this is pretty easy for me. One of the main reasons why I stopped shaving my face -- and reserve trimming my corporate beard to a minimum (with a safe trimmer, not a buzzer or blade) -- is because of my unsteady hand. How then, could I possibly vote along the manscaping lines? I can’t, and won’t despite the encouragement of some of my closest friends. Getting a buzzer that close to my areolas, family jewels and special sauce, scares the bejesus out of me (FYI: I can’t draw a straight line or circle with either hand).

That said, and understanding my bias (plus the strict discouragement from my wife), I decided to tap the B-a-B community on Facebook and Twitter to mine for answers with a simple poll. What ensued was an unprecedented outpouring of responses from all corners of our communities. The poll itself showed a statistically significant tilt toward no mansacaping below the neck, but it was the community commentary that shows the true unity on the subject, among men of course.

Mr. Mark Jan Krayenhoff Van de Leur (the Brooklyn Beard Ball King himself) noted: “I don't shave a single hair on my body. All those guys who trim their pubes look like 12-year-old boys or plucked chickens *shudder*.”

Others called Manscaping "murder," and frankly it seemed that the community generally leaned to an “El Naturale” approach to just about every hair on a man’s body.

Of note, Chris Brusich was an exception, broadcasting “I shave mine into a handlebar just above my ‘member.’ Gives the ladies something to hold on to and it makes its own wax, if you know what I mean.” Well done Chris, you made the post, now everyone knows what you mean, and we may ask you to #proveit someday . . . maybe.

Dean Morris pondered perhaps the most important aspect of who came first the furry chicken or the bald egg(s). Asking why would a woman want to have sex with a boy vs. a man (pointing to the "fear of back hair" that conversely makes women attracted to bare chested, back and nether region metrosexuals)? Ending triumphantly with “I don't need to see every muscle defined by light on skin; I can figure it out myself.”

To sum up, you keep on scaping (everywhere) ladies, good on ya! And all you men that decide to go down the hairy bra route, send us some pics, we will (un)happily peruse and post as appropriate . . . which is to say always.


Have more fun with Riss and El Beardo at Build-A-Beard.

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