Donna Kim-Brand

Summer Shaving Tips for Men

The reality is, shaving body hair is mostly a cultural phenomenon, male or female. Different countries, ethnic groups or age groups have a range of beliefs and customs surrounding protocols of shaving.  Bearing this in mind, we’ll look at current North American trends in shaving various body parts for both looking good and for an active summer. What used to be considered acceptable body grooming only for women has now become commonplace for men, be they metro-sexual urban chic , athletes or Household-Joe.


Let’s start extreme. You are a guy preparing for cycle racing, swimming competitions or a triathalon. You know that less hair means more sleekness and less resistance in the field, both in the pool and on the cycle. You might not have thought that shaving your legs also reduces the possibility of infection if, heaven forbid, you fall and get road rash abrasions. Less hair means and less oil and dirt grinding into a wound and more ease of cleansing. And, let’s face it, if you’re in great shape and want to flaunt your well-defined physique, why ruin it with hair?

You will likely shave at least from the knees down, and for aesthetic reasons during swimming, possibly up to the swim suit line.

You would be advised to use an electric trimmer (clippers) for the first cutting, with a larger blade surface to clear the masses of hair from the knees down. Sensitive areas on thighs and around bony ares such as knees and ankles are better served when you next work with a disposable twin bladed razor. Shave against the direction of the hair growth. There’s less chance you’ll knick yourself as long as you use plenty of soap or shaving cream to smooth the contact between your tough hair, virgin skin and a razor. Just be careful in the shower not to slip as you balance on one foot then the other- so you might consider sitting in the tub to do the deed. Rinse off with cool water to close your pores and use after-shave or lubricating lotion to moisturize after the trauma you’ve just put your skin through.

Shaving arms, it is recommended you only remove the top of arm hair, leaving hair in under arm areas. One theory says that by leaving that hair you can better maintain a feel for the water in swimming, and another practical view says the stubble will annoyingly prickle your torso.  While you are advised to keep armpit hair trimmed, full shaving is looked upon by some as demasculating (unless you’re a model.)

And shave your chest gingerly too, as despite your manly toughness this area of gentle skin is not likely to have encountered a blade very often. You’ll need help to shave your shoulder and back fur, which is considered the most unsightly of body hairs on men by women, for some reason.

You could try waxing (painful and adds up cost-wise but keeps hairiness down longer) or depilitory creams (messy and full of harsh chemicals) to remove your hair, but even in these cases you’ll have better results by clipping first.

For  more routine summer shaving, continue your hair styling & facial hair care routines as usual; or why not try out a new hair style (go uber short, shaved or let it grow longer) or take a long weekend and begin that moustache you’ve always dreamed of.

As for shaving ‘down there’, it’s a personal grooming choice that can keep you fresher but also cause problems if you knick your delicates.

All in all, there is no set approach to male body hair grooming – keeping it, shaping it or shaving it. Choose according to practical concerns and aesthetics of beauty, in your eyes or those you want to cast their eyes upon you. Than just go out there and have some summer fun! Just remember to keep lubricated with SPF and remain wary of exposure to too much damaging direct sun rays.

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