Time to take a long hard look at the hair that shouldn’t be there. Time to get your body Instagram-ready for summer...

Body hair plays by its own rules. And, most of the time, it feels like it’s playing for the other side. But, as summer approaches, and it’s time to flash a little more flesh, it’s time to get the team onside, and trim, shave, pluck and wax our way to certain poolside glory.

But first, a word of caution. Just because that safety razor cleans up your face a treat, do not - repeat - do not make merry with it and give it access all areas. Oh no. Body grooming is about putting your aces in places, and having the right tool for the job. So let’s take a look around.

male portrait

Rule One

The key is moderation. You might think being shaved like an Olympic backstroke champion is a good look. Chances are it isn’t. So we’d always favour the less is more route. Ged rid of unsightly sproutings, sure, but simply trim and keep in check your chest, legs and lower regions. If you want our advice - and who wouldn’t?

Rule Two

Shear first, shave second. Don’t get agent orange out and lay waste all your shrubbery - because there’s no way back. Get a hair clipper, set it low, and give your chest a good clip. How does it look? You can always take more off. You can’t stick it back on. Trimmed chest hair can accentuate definition, too - so if you’ve been hitting the bench press, go for it. You’ve earned it.

Rule Three

If you want to go all the way, clipping helps prevent clogged blades, so it’s not time wasted. Then jump into the shower, use a good exfoliator, then take long, slow strokes of the blade. Go around – not directly over - your nipples. Use the fingertips of your other hand to cover them, just to be sure. nipples as you shave near them, just in case. Just, in every area, be consistent. Don’t shave your chest and leave your stomach. Body hair should always be in proportion, otherwise it looks unnatural.

Rule Four

Nose hair has to go. There is no argument here. Even if you’ve a flourishing moustache, that’s no excuse. Trimmers cost as little as a fiver, or ask your barber about hot wax. Honestly not as painful as it sounds. Little cotton buds (coated with warm wax) are placed inside, and tugged, ever so lovingly, out. Result. Same goes with ear hair too. And, yes, you’ll look insane for a minute, with cotton buds poking out of seemingly every orifice - but it’ll all be worth it.

Rule Five

Count your eyebrows. You should have two of them. Pluck or trim the monobrow away, but don’t go overboard on styling - over preened eyebrows can look feminising - but if that’s the look for you, great. Feel free to trim errant strands though. Brush brows towards hairline - any that are longer than the brow arch have to go. Too bushy? Trim from below, not above.

Rule Six

The Armpits are where things can get a little carried away. Hair is good. It’s there for a reason, but visible armpit hair when you wear a tee-shirt ain’t a great look. Get your trusty clippers out. Don’t shave - as this can really irritate skin once you slap on some deodorant. Tops of arms and shoulders can be sprouty too. Best tackle these with a warm blade in the shower.

Rule Seven

A back wax is invariably a must. The neck too. Sure you can reach your shoulders and tops of arms with a blade - but, assuming you’re not Stretch Armstrong, you’ll never get to your mid back. So, if you’ve not got a willing accomplice, leave this in the hands of the professionals. Just don’t play football afterwards - or any exercise, or tight clothing, for 24 hours.

...and finally

Getting the undercarriage hair-free can feel fresh and clean. But we suggest backside, testicles and inside the tops of your legs only. Take extra care. Pre-trim first, then use your non-dominant hand to pull your skin and splash with cold water. This smooths out the area and will make a slip less likely, leaving a trimmed and neat front garden. If you get a cut, clean it up immediately. It’s dark and moist down there - infections are possible if you’re not careful. And chuck the blade once you’re done.

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