It’s almost a prerequisite: To get lucky in the sack, a man needs to take care of his first. And by that, we mean grooming your boys. They, too, need your attention. No longer a barbaric ordeal — that is, taking scissors to the scrotum or blindly shaving your bits with a razor and face shaving cream — the process of pubic manicuring has become dignified ever since the term “manscaping” was coined a few years ago.
“Ladies agonizingly wax and pluck around the bikini line to maintain a sense of dignity that men are slow to embrace reciprocating,” Kristan Serafino, a Hollywood hairstylist and beauty expert who’s worked with Ryan Reynolds and Matthew McConaughey, tells Mashable.
“You’re not auditioning for Magic Mike XXL so waxing around the boys is not necessary, but assuredly women will appreciate a little manscaping in that region. It may even entice your partner to wake the dragon!”
Today, the process has become much more civilized and there are products tailor-made for uncovering your nuggets that are as effective as they are gentle. We talked to grooming expert David Pirrotta and Serafino to help layout a couple of steps and products — along with what ingredients to avoid — to best handle your package with care.
1. What’s bad for the boys
Your friend might seem invincible, but he’s actually highly sensitive. Pirrotta suggests avoiding any products that could cause in-grown hairs: carcinogens, citrus, fragrances, mineral oil, or any cooling elements like eucalyptus. They cause bumps, red spots, and discomfort.
“Citrus acid or cooling agents on the balls?” Pirrotta says. “Just think about it.”
2. Start with exfoliation.
Like your face needs exfoliation before a shave, so do your sensitive bits. Exfoliators prevent in-grown hairs, which can become red and infected. After exfoliating, apply lukewarm water, preferably after a shower, to open up pores. Pirrotta suggests gentle exfoliators that contain jojoba beads or ground walnut. This one from Grown Alchemist is gentle, but strong enough to wash out dead skin cells while stimulating hair follicles. Grown Alchemist’s Purifying Body Exfoliant.
3. Trim it like a bonzai tree, or not
Some treat their bush like it’s piece of art. Others whack away without restraint. Those who are more inclined to do the latter can use a Wahl electric trimmer.
“It doesn’t matter how dense the forest, begin with a higher number guard on the clippers, then go over the area again with a lower number guard if necessary,” says Serafino.
“Don’t worry, there will be no risk of chopping the trunk as clippers won’t cut the skin. If you have mad skills and a steady hand, Tweezerman scissors can be used for more personalized touch. This process should be repeated every 2-3 weeks. Trust me, the cleaner the shrubs the more time she will spend in your garden!”
4. Pre-shave or bust
For those who like to take special care, Pirrotta suggests pre-shave oil.
“Pre-shave oil on your lower regions hydrates and lifts up the hair up further,” says Pirrotta. “This makes the hair ready to extract.”
5. Lather that ball cream
There are now several products that are made solely for shaving your nether regions.
6. Always use a sharp blade.
Unless you’re Superman, don’t take a chance with cutting your balls with a dull blade, says Pirrotta.
“It’s common for guys to want to reuse a blade, but for coarse, bushy hair, it’ll do more damage than good,” he says. Opt for brand new triple blade, he suggests. One from Harry’s is a good option, he says.
7. Your chest, your back, your clippers and these hacks
“You may feel like a contortionist clipping your back hair,” says Serafino. “It will take a fair amount of twists, bends and perfectly positioned mirrors to reach all areas.” She suggests asking a loved one to be your manscaping partner.
In situations when no one else is available, she advises patience — and the right tools.
For these situations, she suggest to ManGroomer Ultimate Pro Body
“[It will] groom tight to the skin quickly and easily, but certainly not as tight as a razor,” she says. “The clipper with adjustable guards gives you the choice how close to trim. The same application technique applies to trimming the chest, which is a far easier task.”
Approach shaving your chest and back no differently than shaving your face, she says.
“Just like shaving your face with a razor, you are removing over 70% skin and 30% hair with each stroke so I recommend using a pre-shave oil like Tico Shave Oil before touching a razor to your skin. Pre-shave oil acts as a barrier to the skin. Then finish the job by applying a moisturize Every Man Jack Body Lotion to keep the skin hydrated and prevent dryness.
8. In the nick of time
There may be cuts or nicks—especially on your first time. But don’t be alarmed, dudes.
“It’s absolutely normal,” Pirrotta says.
If and when such mishaps occur, he suggests Mayron’s Goods’ Nick Stuff which is made of calendula, shea butter, cocoa butter, aloe vera, and other soothing materials and paraben-free. It’s a great gauze and much better than using a Kleenex or tissue to stop the blood.
9. Stop that itch
It’s inevitable that it will be a little itchy down there when hair starts to regrow. To operate during the transition phase, Pirrotta suggests Junk Stuff that will soothe chafing, dryness, irritation from the pubic area to your balls. More than an anti-itching cream for your gonads, it also soothes eczema, bug bites and sunburns.