During prehistoric times, chest hair served one major purpose, which was to protect the skin against parasites.
Chest hair also increased skin sensitivity making it easier to swat away insects that might have been poisonous before they got to the skin.
Then boom! Enter civilization and better shelters and bug sprays rendered these functions obsolete. During the 70s, chest hair picked up once more and then the hype died.
Today, it’s common for men to shave, trim and even wax their chests. The dating scene has not made it any easier either as more and more women continue to prefer clean-shaven men.
Whether you are shaving your chest to show off your pecs or maintain an overall well-groomed appearance, shaving your chest hair is not as bad as some people make it seem.
Obviously, shaving your chest hair is a great choice if you know how to do it right. Shaving the right way will leave your skin smooth and hairless, but if you don’t know what you are doing, it could end up being worse than before.
A badly shaved chest means bumps, razor burns, rashes, stray strands here and there, which leads to an overall unappealing appearance.
This guide is meant to answer the century-old question on whether men should shave their chest hair or not as well as offer guidance on how to do it properly.
Table Of Contents
Should You Shave Your Chest
When it comes to male grooming, one of the greatest debates revolves around whether men should shave their chest hair or not.
One thing you need to understand is that to shave or not shave your chest hair depends on your personal preferences. However, shaving has its benefits. For instance, sunscreen will absorb easier into your skin when you are clean-shaven.
There are so many men who prefer a clean shaved torso, while others prefer a more natural appearance.
The same goes for women. Some women will prefer a gentleman who has a smooth and hairless chest, while others are into a more rugged look.
What does this mean? Before you pick that razor and start trimming or shaving, you need to ensure that you are acting under your own free will and not doing it because others are.
If you prefer a rugged look, go for it. If you want to be all smooth and silky, it’s still up to you. While using the best back shaver to shave your back is highly recommended, the decision to shave your chest needs a little more deliberation.
If you hit the gym a few times a week and happen to be in the best shape, then I would prefer that you shave your chest, at least to show off your pecs and abs. On the other hand, if you pack extra fat on your belly and chest, leaving your chest hair intact works to hide these imperfections.
However, at the end of the day, regardless of your body shape and size, you need to understand that a huge number of women don’t like a man who looks like he has got a carpet on his chest.
If you don’t want to shave off the entire thing, at least trim the hair a little to create a more appealing appearance.
Benefits of Shaving It
Whether you are looking to unleash your inner Terry Crews or have just had enough of chest hair, here are a few benefits of maintaining a clean-shaven chest.
This is perhaps the most important reason why you need to consider shaving or trimming your chest hair.
If you have very thick chest hair, the chances are that you are harboring all manner of unsavory things like dried sweat and dead skin. Yuck! Shaving your chest hair, therefore, means less filth in the end.
Makes You Look Younger
Who doesn’t want to look younger than their age? For some men, this means getting the latest sports car, but for others, it means a smooth hairless chest.
While chest hair, when well-kept, can give off an attractive Don Draper-esque vibe, if you are going for a more modern look, then you are better off manscaping.
Show Off Your Pecs and Abs
As mentioned earlier, if you are in great shape, it’s no use hiding all that under a carpet of unsavory chest hair.
If you have ever noticed, it’s very hard to find a bodybuilder with chest hair, so why would you hide your pecs and abs if you have been putting in the work to look good.
Show Off Tattoos
Besides, perks, if you happen to be inked, then chest hair could hide all that. Considering that large tattoos are not cheap, it doesn’t make sense hiding that work of art under a carpet of hair.
How Does It Work
Shaving your chest can be equated to buying a new car. It is not an easy decision to make, considering that your identity and personality are a stake. If you also go ahead with it, then you are looking at a long-term commitment.
If you do decide that you want to get rid of your chest hair, then the most important thing you need to consider is whether you want to shave it all off or trim just a little.
Full chest hair shaving works best for men who are in good shape. If you are not, you might end up accentuating your flab and in the worst-case scenario, you might appear like you have man boobs.
This is why it is recommended that you get used to living with your chest hair or give it just a basic trim every once in a while rather than a full shave.
The most effective way of trimming your chest hair is to use a short guard trimmer going over the chest and belly until you achieve your desired length.
Pros and Cons
Whether to shave your chest hair or not is dependent on your personal preferences. However, it also depends on how those around you, like love interests, feel about you having chest hair.
With that in mind, here are the pros and cons of shaving your chest that you need to be aware of before you even pick up a razor.
- Shaving your chest hair makes you look well-groomed.
- It is also sanitary, especially if you happen to have thicker hair that could harbor dirt, sweat, and dead skin.
- Shaving makes it easy to show off your body if you are in great shape. It is also a great way of showing off any tattoos you may have.
- Shaving your chest hair also makes you look younger.
- Chest hair, especially if it’s thick, could end up clogging the pores on your chest.
- If you have no idea what you are doing, you might end up with razor burns, bumps, rashes, and ingrown hairs.
- Shaving chest hair only adds to the grooming that you have to do.
One thing about grooming is that you need to put in the effort and do some upkeep to keep the ladies happy. It’s the same way with chest hairs, although there are women who prefer rugged men.
However, there are so many reasons for manscaping that have nothing to do with women. What it all comes down to is that you can either shave off the entire thing or trim a few inches off.
Whether to trim or shave is a matter of personal preference and how fit you are. If you have a chiseled chest, then you are better off shaving the entire thing.
The first type of chest shaving is a clean shave. This means getting rid of everything to have a smooth chest.
When it comes to clean shaving, it will work for your beard and back hair, but with chest hair, it’s a completely different story.
While some women prefer a clean-shaven chest, before you do it, you need to know what you will be getting yourself into.
Clean shaving your chest hair is probably the worst thing you will do and I will tell you why. Clean shaving your hair works, but it is high maintenance in the end.
Also, if you have a beard, you know just how bad a scruff is. Now imagine that on your chest. It’s like having a 5 o’clock shadow beard on your chest.
It will be itchy and you will end up being miserable. You can deal with the itchiness by shaving all the time, but then that does more harm to your skin than good.
If you do decide to fully shave your chest, you need to consider getting a quality razor. The world’s best razor for head shaving would work on your chest as well.
Trimming is the best alternative to shaving and something that you need to really consider when it comes to maintaining your chest hair. Unlike shaving, trimming gives you smooth results without scraping away the top layer of the skin.
It is similar to shaving but way easier to maintain. It is also easier on your skin. When it comes to trimming, you are better off doing it dry.
While trimming should be done in the shower, your chest hair is different and tends to be a lot difficult to manage when wet. This is because the wet hairs stick to your chest and therefore, there is a high chance that you will miss some.
There are so many ways of removing chest hair. Some are straightforward and require little skills, while others are more complex. All in all, at the end of the day, you need to know what you are doing and have the right tools.
Shaving is fast, simple, and cheap and it’s probably the easiest way of getting rid of chest hair.
However, just like it is when you shave your beard, shaving carries its own risks like razor burn, cuts, and ingrown hairs. In addition, you also need to ensure that you have steady hands to do a good job and avoid any accidents.
If you want to show off your body, then go with a fully shaven chest. The first thing you need to do is to trim the hair to a shorter length.
Using a razor plus shaving cream, shave the rest of the hair off. With shaving, you have to do it at least every week to keep the chest as smooth as possible.
One thing to note when it comes to shaving chest hair is that if you happen to have a lot of hair on other parts of the body like the arms, then you need to shave or trim them so that your bare chest doesn’t look so out of place.
A clean-shaven chest doesn’t also pair well with a beard, so you will need to shave off your facial hair as well.
If you have watched The 40-Year-Old Virgin, then you must be cringing at the thought of having your chest hair waxed. While waxing comes with some level of pain, it’s the kind of pain that you can stand.
A majority of men who choose to wax their chests end up finding out that waxing is more effective than shaving. The good news is that the pain that comes from waxing only lasts for a couple of seconds.
This is way better compared to the itching that you are forced to endure daily if you chose to go the shaving route.
The other reason why waxing works way better than shaving is that the results last longer. Waxing involves the use of hot wax that is poured on your body, then left to dry before being ripped off.
What this means is that hair is ripped out from the roots, which is way better than shaving that only slices hair at skin level.
A good waxing can last you for about six weeks before hair starts growing again. Shaving, on the other hand, requires you to continue shaving your chest every week to keep the hairs off.
Even when this is the case, there are probably more men who prefer shaving to waxing, so it’s just a matter of preference and what level of discomfort or pain you are willing to endure.
If you are choosing between waxing and shaving, the issue of cost comes to mind. Shaving is cheaper than waxing and it’s something that you can do at home. Waxing while you can still do it on your own is better done by a professional, which ends up costing more.
If you don’t want to endure the pain of waxing, however, but still need longer-lasting results, you might want to consider using depilatories.
Depilatories come in the form of creams and remove hair by breaking down the keratin in hair follicles. Depilatories are painless and one of the easiest hair removal methods.
However, with all hair removal creams, you have to deal with the odor, but this is something that a good shower will fix. Additionally, you can use men’s body spray every day when you use depilatories.
You also need to be careful when using depilatories because if left on the skin longer than is recommended, you might experience chemical burns.
Just like body lotion shouldn’t feel greasy, chest hair shouldn’t feel like a carpet on your chest. Trimming involves removing just a few inches of chest hair and not the entire thing. As such, you will need a good quality hair clipper to do so.
Begin with the grain with your clippers on the longest guard setting. This ensures that you don’t shave the hair shorter than you would want it to be.
Hair clippers normally come with several guard settings, whereby the setting with the highest number is the longest one.
Most people recommend shaving in the direction the hair grows, but when it comes to chest hair trimming, going against or across the grain is equally effective.
Move the clippers slowly down the chest in straight lines starting with the top of the chest and going all the way down the chest length. Make sure that you don’t go over the nipples.
Repeat this along with the different parts of the chest until you have trimmed all the hairs. Be also very careful and move slowly when you are trimming along the collarbone since the rounded surface makes it harder to trim if you move the clippers too quickly.
After that, shave with a shorter guard. If your chest hair is still longer than what you were aiming for, trim with the next longest guard setting and so forth until you reach your desired length.
Doing this makes it easy for the next time you trim because you will know exactly which guard setting to use. Once you are done, trim the difficult spots with scissors.
Use a comb to straighten the hairs before cutting them with a pair of scissors to be of the same length as the rest of the hair on your chest.
To maintain the same length, you need to trim the hairs at least once a week. Depending on your genetic makeup, hair may grow back faster or slower. If it grows faster, you may need to trim at least twice a week.
How to Shave Your Chest
If you have decided that you want to get rid of your chest hair, here is a step by step guide that you should follow.
Step 1 – Start with a trim
Before you begin shaving away, the first thing you need to do is to trim the hairs with a body hair trimmer. The reason why you need to trim is to avoid spending too much time shaving, especially if you have thicker hair, which could end up causing more pain and irritation.
Step 2 – Take a shower
Once you have trimmed the hairs, the next thing you need to do is to hop into the bathroom for a quick shower and get your set of shaving products ready. Hot water softens chest hairs and also opens up your pores. Toner makes your skin soft as well, so you can use it. This will result in a close shave that is less painful.
Step 3 – Use quality shaving products
When you are shaving your chest, it’s very important that you use high-quality shaving products. Such include shaving gel that provides better razor glide or shaving cream.
Shaving gel and cream lubricate the skin enough to allow the razor to glide smoothly and gently along the skin. If you are worried about cuts and grazes, then you can use clear shaving gel so that you are seeing exactly what you are doing. You might also want to moisturize the skin with a pre-shave oil beforehand.
Step 4 – Start shaving
Now that you have everything prepared, it’s time to start shaving. The first thing you need to remember when you shave is that you need to use a sharp razor.
A safety or cartridge razor will do the job as such razors allow you to closely shave while minimizing the amount of irritation that you will experience once you are done.
When you are shaving, pull the skin taut to ensure that you don’t cut yourself.
Ensure that you are using a durable shaving bowl so that you can continually rinse the razor as you continue shaving to ensure that hair doesn’t stick to the blades too much, forcing you to use more strokes.
Speaking of shaving strokes, ensure that you shave with short as well as even strokes. When you are shaving your chest also, you need not worry about the direction.
While shaving against the grain is recommended, it’s not always the case when it comes to shaving chest hair.
This is because chest hairs grow in different angles and directions, which means that there is no such thing as going against or with the grain.
Finally, you need to be very careful when you are shaving around the nipples as they can be sensitive and prone to cuts.
Step 5 – Rinse off and pat dry
Once you are satisfied with the results, you can go ahead and rinse your chest. When you are rinsing, use cold water so as to tighten the skin and close the pores. This helps prevent irritation that may occur afterward.
Ensure that you don’t rub the skin after you have shaved because this increases irritation. Rather use a clean towel to pat the skin dry. Also, consider using an aftershave balm to prevent ingrown hairs and irritation.
Do’s and Don’ts
- If you are shaving your chest to get it on with a lady, do make sure that you shave a few hours before. Shaving days before will result in a stubble that may not be comfortable for either you or her.
- When it comes to chest hair, not all women are bothered by it. Just make sure that it’s not too much that it spills out of the top button of your shirt.
- If you don’t want to keep shaving your chest hair every now and then, consider using depilatories or waxing.
- Do use a sharp razor and shaving cream or gel to prevent irritation and ingrown hairs.
- Do ensure that you shave every week to keep the skin as smooth as possible.
- Don’t ever shave your chest hair when dry because this only contributes to irritation.
Should I shave my chest and stomach?
When it comes to shaving your chest and stomach, the decision is entirely on you. For a majority of men, a majority of our grooming habits are driven by what the women in our lives think.
With that in mind, you need to know that there are women who prefer a clean-shaven chest while others want the all-natural experience. If your woman falls in the first category, then by all means, go ahead and shave your chest.
If your woman doesn’t mind chest hair, ensure that it’s not too thick that you end up looking like a teen wolf. If they want your chest all-natural, trim to the desired length at least.
This decision is also influenced by your body type and how fit you are. If you are putting in the effort in the gym and have a body to show for it, then there is no reason why you should hide that under a mountain of hair.
If you have added a few pounds, however, you are better off sticking with chest and stomach hair as shaving can end up accentuating your flows and making you look like you have man boobs.
If you also have tattoos, then you may want to shave your stomach and chest so that they are visible. All in all, it all comes down to you and what you prefer.
Will my chest hair grow back thicker if I shave it?
While a lot of people believe that shaving causes hair to grow back thicker, this is nothing but a myth. Shaving does not in any way cause hair strands to grow back thicker.
Likewise, shaving as a method of hair removal doesn’t create greater hair growth as most people assume. As such, shaving your chest will not transform you into a mammoth when the hair starts growing back.
Do ladies like chest hair?
As mentioned earlier, almost every grooming task a man does is geared towards pleasing women. As such, this is one of the most common questions when it comes to male grooming.
Chest hair in prehistoric times was used for protection against cold and harmful insects. With better shelters and products such as bug spray all that was rendered useless.
Men nowadays keep chest hair for masculinity purposes. But the question is whether ladies are into men who have a bush on their chest.
The answer is yes and no. Just like some women like beards while others prefer a clean-shaven face, it’s the same when it comes to chest hair.
In a survey conducted that involved 105 women, 73% of them said that they prefer chest hair while 27% prefer a hairless man. However, even when a majority seems to dig chest hair, most of them prefer just a little hair rather than you looking like a hairy mammoth.