[By Douglas Ho]

This no-nonsense guide to male grooming will unveil all the ‘bare’ essentials about body hair for the modern male.

On a lazy Saturday afternoon as I laid on my couch mulling over the fact on how I could have lost Ryan Reynolds twice, first to Scar Jo and now to Blake Lively; my cellphone rang and my BFF, Laura was heard screeching at the other end.

“I think George is gay!” Laura proclaimed in her usual dramatic fashion.

“George who? Your latest date? Isn’t he supposed to be the perfect new age metrosexual hunk?” I retorted.

“He was! Right up to the moment I met him by the pool today!”

Before I could probe further, Laura volunteered the explanation.

“He was diving into the pool and there’s not a single strand of armpit hair in sight! And judging from that itsy bitsy speedo that left little to the imagination, I won’t be surprised if he’s Brazilian down south too!”

“Well, maybe he’s just really into Manscaping?” I remarked; a little pleased with my knowledge of new words from the urban dictionary. Laura must have been caught by surprise as there was a pause in our conversation; her monologue, to be exact.

Manscaping, a corny yet cool way to summarize hair removal and grooming for the modern caveman. So how much and how little of body hair is acceptable? When is it too much and when is it too little? It seems that a lot of guys have issues with shaving certain body parts, in fear that it decreases masculinity. However, shaving, trimming and to be well groomed is not only healthier but it also makes you feel better and become a more attractive individual. After an “in depth” discussion with my group of gal friends; let me walk you through the 101 of Manscaping.

Almost every guy friend of ours has no issue with hair on their head, mustache and beard. Granted that this is suited to individual taste and the fashion trend at the moment; it is suffice to say that we prefer it washed, neat and clean. Even if you are attempting the scruffy vagabond look, make it neatly scruffy. We all know that perfect head of out of bed hair takes much more than getting out of bed to achieve! There’s no excuse for a unibrow but there’s even less excuse for geisha’s brows! Keep the middle path clear and exercise restrain when tidying up the rest.

We are not so forgiving though when it comes to hair sprouting out from nose and ears. Yes; that’s as repulsive to us as that lady wearing a sleeveless top with bushy pits standing next to you in the MRT. It’s not attractive to anyone and it triggers the “old man” image. Always make it a point to keep small clippers and tweezers handy to clip away any pesky strands that’s hanging astray.

Now it’s a little tricky when it comes to body hair as this is a matter of personal preference and there’s also the difference in level of hirsutism between the different male ethnic groups to be considered. Let’s try to break this down a little.

Chest: Have it, flaunt it? However, if it’s just a scrawny tuff;  or worse, a few sparsely distributed single strands of chest hair, I would rather you take them all off.

Armpits: Unless you are a competitive swimmer or a male model; it’s hard not for us to think that you are batting for your own field when your armpits are clean as a baby’s bottom. With that said, I don’t think you should let it get too out of control with peekaboo tuffs, oversized sweat stains and undesirable body odor. Trimmed it down, perhaps 2 to 3 times a year, depends on how much you grow and how fast the regrowth.

Back & Shoulder: For most men, this is a prime example of, “See not, Care not”. When it’s at a place you can’t see, why bother? I’m telling you now that you should because back and shoulder hair is not exactly sexy! In a nationwide survey done in USA by Remington, a leader in men’s grooming and shaving tools; nearly three-quarters of the women (71 percent) prefer men at least trim their backs to avoid looking like Neanderthals, and 33 percent would prefer a complete shave. Three-quarters of the men, however, said they don’t.

“There is no such thing as werewolf chic! I simply bought US a laser hair removal program for his back for our wedding anniversary.” quipped Lucy.

“Laser and IPL hair removal are the most advanced, most effective, and the safest treatments for permanent hair reduction.” says Dr. Kenneth Lee of The Sloane Clinic. “With each session, you will notice 4’F’s – significantly fewer, finer and fairer (which will be less visually obvious) hair that grows at a much slower rate (farther intervals).

Groin: I won’t even pity paddle around this… I think those pubes should be trimmed and neat. Don’t let it go wild down south. You wouldn’t want what’s important to be dwarfed and lost in the Amazonian jungle. Treat that area like a frame, and the picture should fit in the frame. Remember all masterpieces come with frames and modern art without frames can be a tad difficult to appreciate.


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