Whether you’re prepping for summer, trying something new, or working on adding to your regular regime, body grooming has multiple benefits. On the surface, body grooming seems easy – simply take body groomer and go to town. However, it isn’t always as straightforward as it sounds.

Whether you’re a pro or new to the male grooming game, you can probably use some help. Here are five tips to make body grooming for men a piece of cake.

1 – Start small and work your way up

If you haven’t groomed your body before, it’s best to start small and work your way up to full-body manscaping. This way you can practice and become familiar with the process.

Consider starting with trimming your underarm hair. It’s a spot that you can reach relatively easily, and any mistakes are likely to go unnoticed. Next time, try somewhere a little bit bigger until you get the hang of using a body trimmer.

Once you’re comfortable with trimming, move on to shaving or waxing. Not all men like to completely remove all of the hair from their bodies, but if you’d like to try it, start with a spot you can easily reach. A good place to start is your chest. Not only is it easily accessible, it’s relatively straight so you won’t have to deal with any awkward angles. Make sure you have enough of the product to complete the entire area – making a run to the store partway through won’t be fun!

Before you try waxing for the first time, perform a patch test. Choose a tiny patch of hair and wax it. Leave the spot for twenty-four hours to see how your skin reacts. It’s much better to have a reaction in a confined area than all over your body. Most brands of at-home wax have a starter pack for beginners – they have everything you need, plus instructions.

2 – Use the right tools for the job

No matter what you do, you need the right tools to do it properly.

Nothing makes body hair removal harder than using the wrong tools. While a manual razor may work for touching up your facial hair, it won’t be effective on your chest. While electric razors and trimmers are more expensive than disposable ones, they won’t break halfway through the hair removal process.

Choose a product that has the attachments you want, such as a shaper or epilator. Most men’s razors now come with several comb attachments in different lengths. If you aren’t sure how short you want the hair to be, choose the longest length. Once you’ve seen what it looks like you can shorten the hair with a different attachment.

Most men’s body grooming tools are now ergonomically designed. It’s important to find one that is comfortable to use since you’ll be holding onto it for a while. Any product that is too big or too small for your hands will quickly become difficult to use.

It may take some practice to figure out exactly which tools work the best for you. Try a few different attachments to see which ones achieve the results you’re looking for. There are a couple options to remove the hair from your back. For one, you can ask your significant other for help. Alternatively, find a razor that comes with an extended handle. This allows you to reach your back by yourself without contorting into all sorts of position.

3 – Avoid at-home recipes

Some products are fine to make at home, but when it comes to waxes, shaving creams, and depilatories, be sure to avoid do-it-yourself recipes at all costs. Not only do these products require a lot of ingredients that aren’t commonly found, but they are difficult to mix properly.

The best case scenario is that they just won’t work. In this case, all you’ve done is waste your time and money. The worst case scenario is you have a serious reaction to the mix.

If you want to make your own product because you want to use something natural, there are several commercial options for all-natural waxes and shaving creams. Also, since these products aren’t very expensive you wouldn’t save much money by making them at home.

The retail versions of the products used in salons are designed to be just as effective at a fraction of the cost.

4 – Keep a balance

To keep things consistent, make sure you take care of the front and back of your body. Often men think to trim their chest hair but forget about the hair on their backs. If you have more hair on one side of your body than the other, trim them down evenly.

The same goes for the top and bottom. Many men find they remember to clean up their top halves while forgetting about everything from the waist down. While grooming below the belt doesn’t mean you have to go completely bare, consider tidying up. Select a longer setting on your trimmer to avoid cropping the hair too short, and give your bottom half a quick once-over. This will keep everything even.

Also, remember to get the less-noticeable areas such as behind your ears, the nape of your neck, your shoulders, and your underarms. It’s likely that nobody would notice for the first couple weeks if you didn’t trim these areas. However, the hair in these areas will grow at the same rate as the hair that has been trimmed, and after a few weeks, they will appear much longer.

5 – Opt for a natural look

This means staying away from straight lines. Hair doesn’t naturally grow in a perfectly straight line. Leaving straight lines on any part of your body will look awkward, especially if you are only grooming one part of your body.

To avoid leaving tracks all over, use a product that has a selection of settings for length. Once you know how short you want the hair to be in a certain area, trim it using the correct setting. For the adjacent area, use the next shortest setting. This will allow the two sections to blend into each other, rather than have one come to an abrupt end.

Many thanks to Nicholas Woods from Ever-Unfolding.net for this guest post x