Dear Men: Here’s What Women Really Think About Your Body Hair
Yes, we live in a time in which gender norms are becoming taboo, but — let’s face it — they’re not extinct. For the most part, we still do the whole dog and pony show to attract a potential mate and for guys, that usually involves the maintenance of facial and body hair.
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But, like any primping ritual, it’s hard to know if the effort you’re putting in is worth it. So we decided to help the dudes out by asking several 20-something girls to tell us what they really think about eyebrow waxing, back hair, mustaches and more. Because isn’t it just better to just know?
1. Is it weird when guys shave their legs?
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Olivia: “Yes. I used to date a guy that did this, but it’s because he was a ‘triathlete.’ Bro, shaving the hair is going to what? Shave five seconds off your swim time? Not a fan.”
Katie: “Yes! Unless he’s a swimmer it’s too feminine.”
Vanessa: “Yes. I’m not really into guys shaving any part of their body (besides their face). It would seem like they are trying too hard and way too into their appearance.”
Haley: “If it’s not for a sport, then yes. It takes away his manliness.”
The verdict: Unless you’re a pro athlete, just don’t.
2. What about when they shave their arms?
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Carin: “It’s not as weird as shaving their legs. Men should have some hair though unless it’s just ridiculously dark and thick.”
Amanda: “No! Most baseball players do this, and we all know how they look.”
Jenna: “Yes!! It’s so unattractive when you’re lying in bed next to a guy and his second-day shaved arm rubs against yours. Ew!”
Vanessa: “I wouldn’t shave my arms so I definitely wouldn’t want my guy shaving his.”
The verdict: Depends on the girl. Some of us don’t mind, while others are so not down.
3. How do you feel about full-on beards?
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Olivia: “Once upon a time I made out with a full-on beard. I gave it the ol’ college try and lip locked with the guy several times since he was so cool, but I ultimately got tired of pulling beard hairs out of my mouth post-makeout. Plus, it made me wonder how untamed he was… well, down there. Bring on the scruff all day long because that 5 o’clock shadow is hot. But keep those trimmers handy boys.”
Katie: “Ew, no. Beards freak me out. It’s like making out with Santa. WTF! A little scruff (Bradley Cooper style) — yes, please if he looks sexy with it!”
Jenna: “100 percent yes! It has to be a well-manicured beard though: shaved neck, clean lines and trimmed short. My fiancé’s beard is the perfect length, but it easily can get out of control. I usually have to remind him that it’s time to trim it or else he starts to resemble Jesus.”
Vanessa: “I like a scruffy beard but not too long. I think my guy is sexiest with a little scruff, usually about five to seven days after he shaves. It gives him a little bit of an edge without being too much of a caveman.”
The verdict: Duck Dynasty-style beards are a total turnoff. David Beckham-style scruff, on the other hand, is a total turn on.
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4. Mustaches: Are they hot or not?
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Carin: “A mustache?! Um, no… not even for the month of November. Sketchy!”
Olivia: “One question… Are you a registered sex offender? If not, ditch the mustache.”
Vanessa: “Eh, some guys can pull them off but definitely not all. If a guy has a ton of confidence and it fits his ‘look’ I think it can be pretty cool. Otherwise, it just looks strange.”
Jenna: “Hate them! I’m sorry but no matter how hot you are you can’t rock a mustache. It will take any guy from a 10 to a 1.”
Haley: “They remind me of my Dad so I’d prefer my man not to have one.”
The verdict: Get rid of your mustache, like, now (unless you’re a hipster, born in the ’60s or a registered sex offender, that is).
5. To manscape or not to manscape… down there?
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Jenna: “Fully shaven is just weird, but he should definitely trim it up. Ball fros are a big no-no.”
Haley: “Just clean it up! Nobody wants to scrape one off the tongue, but if you’re smoother than me we have a problem!”
Olivia: “For God’s sake… Manscape! Manscape! Manscape! I’m not trying to come back up and cough up a hairball mid-hanky panky. I’m indifferent to the shave it all scenario. I don’t hate it, and I don’t love it. Kind of makes you look like a man child, but if it’s all or nothing, I’ll take nothing.”
Carin: “Manscape for sure. I’m not trying to get hair in my mouth when I’m doing him a favor. Not completely shaved but trimmed up pretty good.”
The verdict: Do it! Seriously, we’re begging you. Just don’t shave it all off — a trim is good.
6. Is it “girly” if a guy cleans up his eyebrows?
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Katie: “Not as long as they don’t look too manicured then there’s no problem with cleaning them up a little. My man thinks it’s too girly.”
Vanessa: “I’m definitely guilty of shaping my guy’s eyebrows. I pluck them every other month or so, mostly because it’s fun and he pretends to hate it even though I know he secretly loves his newly groomed brows. A guy going out of his way to get his eyebrows waxed is a little much for me, however.”
Carin: “Not girly! I secretly wish my boyfriend would let me clean his up a little.”
Haley: “I prefer they stay shaped up but not too perfect. I waxed my guy’s brows and at first he was embarrassed, but now he likes the natural result.”
The verdict: Not at all. Please keep it natural though. Your brows should never look more perfect than ours. Oh, and don’t be afraid to ask us for help.
7. How much chest hair is too much chest hair?
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Olivia: “A very hairy chest isn’t my thing. I like somewhere in between. If a guy wants to go bare, I’m cool with that too.”
Katie: “I like none! I make my man shave it.”
Amanda: “Chest hair is not for me. A shaved chest makes a guy look more manly, especially if he has a hot body.”
Jenna: “I like a hairy chest but nothing too out of control. Just like eyebrows and beards, chest hair should also be groomed. If he has patchy chest hair, he should go ahead and shave it. If he’s on the hairy side, he should definitely trim it up but not too short. I hate chest stubble. It’s too pokey!”
Haley: “Well, my guy has like five chest hairs so that’s good for me. Too much would be weird I think. Def don’t shave it though. It grows back weird and rough.”
The verdict: Depends on the girl. Super-duper hairy, however, isn’t hot. Before you shave it all off though, check in with your girl first (some like the shaved look, while others don’t).
8. Back hair: Is it a deal breaker?
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Vanessa: “Hmm, I’m torn on this one. Again, I’m not a huge fan of guys waxing or anything like that, but back hair just isn’t very sexy. I would stick with him either way though.”
Amanda: “No, but get rid of that shiz!”
Olivia: “Just get rid of it! I will use the clippers on you, but please get rid of it.”
Jenna: “If it’s just a little bit of back hair, it’s not a huge deal if he keeps it, but a smooth back is much nicer to look at.”
Haley: “If it’s a couple, I’d pluck them. But I do appreciate that my guy doesn’t have back hair.”
The verdict: No, but please let us help you get rid of it ASAP.
9. Would it be weird if a guy shaved his armpits?
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Amanda: “A trim is necessary!! Shaving the armpits for a guy though… not so much.”
Jenna: “Yes, it’s definitely weird if a guy shaves his armpits. Trimming is totally OK, and for some guys, it’s a must. If I can see your armpit hair without you raising your arms, then that’s a problem.”
Haley: “Yes, that is weird. My 3-year-old checks daily for his first armpit hair — it’s a sign you’re a real man!”
Vanessa: “Yes. I don’t ever want my armpit hair to be longer than my man’s, and if I skip a day of shaving I would start to feel pretty self-conscious about it.”
The verdict: Yes. Trims are totally cool (and encouraged) by us though.
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Originally published March 2014. Updated January 2017.