MW Grooming Special: Manscaping 101
This is a tricky conversation, but we are here to have it. For decades, men have had no idea how to handle their body hair. While some just let it be, others tried to decide between shaving and trimming and then, just settled for let-it-be. Other gentlemen gave in to what their partners wanted and obliged. For starters, it is important to remember that you manscape for your regular personal hygiene, and not as a quick prep to impress your date. Like with the hair on your head, it is important to prune the shrubbery everywhere else, wash and moisturise and make sure that you are germ-free. Hair, especially in the intimate areas, tends to accumulate dirt and lead to bacterial growth if not taken care of. Hence, manscaping regularly will keep you clean, healthy and well-groomed.
“78 per cent of men admit to a little manscaping but 50 per cent of people have admitted to injuring themselves when manscaping. The problem is that, if you do it wrong, you can cause infections and boils (called folliculitis or pseudofolliculitis) or get cuts that take time to heal and lead to skin irritation. So, it’s vital you do it right,” says dermatologist Dr Kiran Kaur Sethi.
So how does one do manscaping right?
“Firstly, decide if it’s for you. Visualize yourself with the end result and work backwards. Secondly, do your research on formulas that would suit you, and implements that you need. One size doesn’t fit all. Thirdly, don’t skimp. You get what you pay for. Fourthly, take it easy and go step by step,” advises Shankar Prasad, Founder and CEO of India’s first 100 per cent vegan beauty brand, Plum & Phy.
However, dermatologists agree that there is no ‘correct’ procedure. It all depends on an individual’s need and preference. If you’re going to shave, then surface preparation is a must. Make sure you use a good quality shaving gel or foam. If required wash down with a shower gel before you foam up. The softer the skin and hair, the better the results are going to be.
“When it comes to shaving or manscaping, remember the 80-20 rule: 80 per cent preparation, 20 per cent execution. All the advertisements show only the 20 per cent bit,” says Prasad.
How to do it right?
This is what Dr Sethi advises:
Make sure your skin is a little moist.
Use Cetaphil cleansing lotion – it moistens the hair and makes it easier to shave off.
Use razors with less blades – the more blades, the higher the likelihood you will hurt yourself.
Use a different razor for the groin than you use for the rest of your body.
Use disposable razors if you can to reduce the risk of infection.
Shave in the direction of the hair growth to prevent ingrown hairs.