Words by Janell M. Hickman
Since childhood, we’ve been taught that while boys should embrace being hard and hairy, the opposite sex are supposed to be smooth and soft.
Well thankfully, there’s a new shift in opinion where guys are finally embracing body grooming without being embarrassed. According to a recent Men’s Health study of the 4,044 men surveyed, 68 percent said they trim their armpit hair; 52 percent said they do it for aesthetics, and another 16 percent said they do it for athletic reasons.
Even though Summer has drawn to a close, excess armpit hair might mean you don’t feel as fresh as you’d like. Going bare (or keeping it tidy) doesn’t have to be a total pain—here are a few tricks straight from the pros to help you out.
Keep Some Scissors (or Clippers) Handy
Unlike the ladies, if you haven’t shaved in awhile (or ever) diving in with a razor or clipper is probably a bad idea. Plus, your beloved razor can get snagged or tangled in excess, matted hair. “The length of a man’s underarm hair is a very personal choice—unless your partner has a specific request!” shares celebrity groomer, Michelle Harvey, who works with Jordan Fisher, Clay Aiken, and James Van Der Beek. “My suggestion is to keep the hair under your arms neatly trimmed.”
Start with scissors or clippers to determine which hair length you want before breaking out the big guns. Most experts suggest cutting down to an inch or a little less—but keep at least three-fourths of an inch left to prevent prickly, scratchy hair. “For first time armpit shavers that want a clean shaven look, I recommend using a number four guard on your electric trimmer,” explains celebrity groomer Frankie Payne, who works with Justin Timberlake, Scott Eastwood, Matthew Fox, and Rami Malek. “See how it looks and feels—then slowly go shorter if it [still feels] too long,” he says.
Find Your Fit
For some, a quick trim might be enough. But for others who want to banish hair all together, look no further than the Bevel Shave Kit System. The single-blade razor is designed to minimize bumps and irritation for a closer shave. Other aspects like precision maneuvering and weighted shaft make grooming a breeze—and maybe something you’ll look forward too.
Word to the wise—take it slow! If you’re new to this, don’t rush. Remember, the concave shape of your underarm area is more prone to scrapes, scratches, and cuts similar to other sensitive or delicate areas (you know where we’re going with this!). Don’t forgot to take stock of key helpers in your kit, like Bevel’s Priming Oil [to prep the area] and Restoring Balm to soothe skin after you shave and protects against post-irritation.
Remember, One Direction is Just a Band
Armpit hair is pretty unruly when it wants to be meaning the likelihood of it growing nicely in one direction is highly unlikely. “The main idea, is you don’t want to see the hair when the arm is down,” explains celebrity groomer Paul Blanch, whose clients include Adam Lambert, Garrett Clayton, and Tom Felton.
For the closest shave, consider shaving up then down to catch any stray hairs. Avoid dragging your razor sideways to prevent painful irritation or ingrown hairs, plus always use a shaving cream like the one that comes in your Bevel Kit. Believe us, soap and water just won’t cut it. If you’re prone to ingrowns or clogged pores, try scrubbing with a loofah to “release” trapped hairs. Finally, an unscented shave balm can soothe sensitive skin and a pat (or two) of baby powder is a gentler alternative to anti-perspiration post-shave.