Sometime in 2012—between the release of Magic Mike, the rise of One Direction, David Beckham’s underwear ads, and the Lochte/Phelps showdown at the Summer Olympics—men got the idea that they should have a bald bosom. Waxathons and razor burn ensued and grown men started walking around naked as newborns. We’re not saying there isn’t a certain appeal to going smooth (abs look harder, less lint gets trapped, no more tufts poking out of your collar) but you’re not a magazine ad—you’re a man. And evolution wanted you to have hair. Thankfully the pendulum’s swinging back in favor of the hirsute. (Especially if you’re a part of the beard boom, since a hairless torso doesn’t go with a scruffy face.) Like your brows, chest hair shouldn’t look groomed, but it should be short, tidy, and contained. If you’re hearing the word "carpet" or getting questions about vitamin D absorption, check yourself against some of our chesty hair idols like Henry Cavil, Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, or Bradley Cooper.
How to Reach Peak Pectoral Fuzz:
Use a trimmer designed for the body (like the Philips Norelco Bodygroom 7100) to take down hair that’s too thick or long to around a half inch. Don’t do this right out of the shower (you’ll miss the wet hairs sticking to your skin) and make sure to pull skin taut before buzzing. Move the clipper in the direction of the grain, and don’t skip any hair at your belt line.
What Six Real Live Women Say About Chest Hair:
Some really care, others are more forgiving. Lesson learned: just do what she wants.
“I like chest hair, it reminds me I’m not laying in bed with Justin Bieber. But if it’s all patchy or only hairy around the nipples, trim it down.” -Mary C.
“I'd much rather see a little (or a lot, whatever!) hair than feel a bunch of rough stubble.” -Ashley M.
“Personally, I need that shit to be pretty fucking trimmed. If your naked body was a rock tour, your chest hair should not be the headliner. Clip it, trim it, shave it—whatever you need to do to get it at a nice respectable level of 'background actor.' A good indicator is whether or not your shirt can lay flat to your body. If there's any level of hair-induced puffiness, it's time to charge the trimmer.” –Naomi P.
“In college, I dated a guy who shaved his chest. I was surprised at first, but it never really turned me off. He was confident, manly, and his bushy eyebrows mostly made up for the smoothly shaved chest. In the world of hair/no hair, there are way worse things than shaved chests.” –Megan D.
“A little trimming is fine. Be a man, for god's sake.”-Catherine D
“Depends on the guy: if he is rugged and outdoorsy, chest hair is a must. If he is a city dude with style, I can do without. When it comes to chest hair, it's all about your personality.” -Jennifer J.