Should Men Shave Their Legs? The Surprising Results of Our Poll
Recently, a Men’s Health editor noticed that more than one guy at the gym had shaved legs. Which made us wonder: Is this a trend? Are guys everywhere starting to do this now?
Obviously bikers and swimmers do it for very specific reasons: wound-healing and aerodynamics, respectively. But we wanted quantifiable results on whether average guys might be cleaning up down there.
So we surveyed our Facebook followers, asking them if they shaved their legs.
The results surprised us.
The majority of men are not completely shaving their legs, but more than 33 percent admitted that “I don’t shave clean, but I do use a trimmer to cut it down.” And 15 percent are shaving completely. So that adds up to nearly half of the men we surveyed doing something about their leg hair.
And what do the women think of the idea?
Our friends at Women’s Health asked their Facebook followers, “What do you think about guys shaving their legs?” The results:
Nearly 30 percent of women like “a man who trims leg hair down,” and 22 percent “love a man with clean shaven legs.” That means more than half of the women responding like it when a guy does a little legscaping.
If you’re not shaving your legs currently, or at least trimming, you might be surprised to know that you’re just barely in the majority, according to our poll. So in the event that you want to experiment, here’s our guide to everything you need to know before you take a razor to unchartered territory.
Why do guys do it?
Male image consultant Aaron Marino, based in Atlanta, explains the phenomenon like this: “Most guys are not interested in completely shaving their legs, but they will take the length and bulk down with a groomer attachment. Just so the leg hair isn’t crazy, bushy and long,” he said. “It becomes kind of a hair-management situation.”
He adds: “For me, it’s purely aesthetic. When I started working out, I shaved my arms so you could see more definition. In the fitness world, it’s not as taboo for men to remove body hair. So I kept doing it, and then started shaving my legs, too. I prefer the look, and I feel like it’s cleaner. Hair isn’t one of those things I need.”
How do they get rid of it?
There are salons all across the country that aren’t just for women anymore. In New York City, you can walk into the Dyanna Body Spa and get a full leg wax on both the left and the right for just $75.
Waxing lasts longer than shaving, and it’s more complete. Painful, yes, but still very complete. If your pain threshold is high and your wallet is full, this is a good way to go.
Then again, shaving your legs with an actual razor is something you can tackle at your own convenience. Get a good gel cream, a disposable razor, and have at it.
To avoid deep shin slices, keep the blade parallel to the floor. In other words, shave upward from your ankle to your thigh. Keep your knees straight while you’re at it, because razors don’t easily navigate around bony bent knees.
How will they look when I’m clean-shaven?
There are some parts of your body that no matter how hairless they are, they will never sparkle. Like, say, your balls. But your legs? Assuming you can complete the task without any major cuts and nicks, your skin should shine when you’re done.
Body oils can increase the shine factor, but any body lotion is good for locking in moisture. (We’ve got a few suggestions for The Best Moisturizers for Your Skin.)
What about depilatories?
No offense to the fine chemical engineers who make depilatory creams, but the men we talked to who tried them found them to be the least efficacious of the hair removal methods.
The science behind these products is a little mysterious, but they basically break down the bonds in the hair so it is weakened and can be wiped away. But the trouble is that the cream may work well on fine hair, but less so on coarse hair. So your results will be patchy, at best.
Plus, to be honest, they sting like a mother.
And according to the Nair for Men website, you have to wait 72 hours between uses. So if you have a last-minute date you’re prepping for, but you just depilatoried yesterday morning, by the time you get in the shower, and then carry the one, you’d have to wait until… you know what? Forget it. Just shave.
If I’m getting some calf ink, is this a good idea?
It’s not a good idea. It’s an excellent idea. Every tattoo artist we asked said that they always appreciate a nice, bare canvas.