So, the trailer for Logan dropped last week. Yes, it looks sick. And yes, gritty, grown up Wolverine complete with gore and swearing is the natural progression for Marvel’s most hirsute protagonist. We’re all very excited, right? Hugh Jackman is just so fucking watchable as a badass anti-hero, with his gruff demeanour and leg-like arms.
But that wasn’t at the forefront of my mind during the trailer. Scraping against my memory like adamantium claws against my cerebral cortex was the image of Jackman’s first rendition of the big bad wolf. His arms were more like arms back then. He didn’t have a torso more vascular than Sylvester Stallone’s dick. AND HE HAD A FUCKING CHEST RUG. Not very wolf-like to shave that off, if you ask me.
But it got me thinking. Hair removal is fraught. Plucking, waxing and shaving all those random strands and patches ain’t easy. Especially when you don’t have razor sharp claws at your disposal and use whatever your mom or girlfriend leave lying around. So here’s a column on the right tools and technique, so you, too, can look a bit like Sly’s junk.
Best for: Tufts, thick patches, manscaping
For when you want to be slick and shiny for your beach holiday, trimming random patches of body hair is now totally acceptable. Especially if yours grows unevenly or in unsightly patches. But don’t fuck it up. There are some strict rules to which you must adhere.
Let’s talk about length. At all costs avoid the temptation to trim down to stubble on your body. It looks gross. It feels gross. Not that anyone will want to touch that dude who looks like a depilated seagull. Always trim to leave at least 2mm length, especially if you have thick hair, doubly so if it’s dark, triply so if you’re here for ball trimming. You can buy body-specific trimmers but none will do a better job than Gillette’s super-portable Fusion Proglide Styler.
Always moisturize after a trim. Like I said, slick and shiny.
Best for: Nasal & 'tache trimming, stray head hairs, armpits
It must be pretty stressful, masturbating when you’re Wolverine. Brings new meaning to a danger wank. Snipping around your ‘nads is similar. So don’t do it. Scissor cutting is for hair where you can see it. Rule one.
If you’re starting to see hairs around your nostrils and want rid, resist the temptation to pluck. You need these guys. They’re keeping out all the cancer fumes your government is promising to get a handle on in the near future. So just give these strands a trim. Small, delicate snips, please. You can also trim the tricky hairs at the very top of your ‘tache, while you’re at it. Any small hair scissors will do. I like Tweezerman because it says "man" in the name and therefore it is totally manly to painstakingly remove hair using your mom’s vanity mirror.
Best for: Anywhere
I refer you back to section one, clause one: avoid stubble on your body. Shaving will obviously lead to some at some point. But if you’re bent on decimating a certain group of rogue hairs – perhaps around your shoulders, or the nascent growth under your belly button – to impress your Tinder date and absolutely do not give a shit about tomorrow, then fuck it, shave away.
Treat it like you would your face: exfoliate the area, warm it, apply foam or cream. With your razor shave IN THE DIRECTION THE HAIR GROWS. Never against the grain, which will leave you looking back fondly at the time you had some unsightly hair there, instead of a nappy rash where your abs should be. You want to avoid pulling with your razor, so invest in a sharp tool. Oneblade’s premium razor will cut through hair at ease, plus it’s the best weapon out there for face shaving too.
It’s expensive - though the investment is worth it for the reusability of the blades - so opt for a regular razor if you got no dollar.
Best for: Eyebrows, random body hairs
It’s worth knowing this upfront: if you have thick hair, plucking hurts. If you have thick eyebrows, plucking will make you cry like you’re back at school and everyone still hates you. But it’s good to learn the technique if you tend to spot random strands sprouting up around the top of your arms, near the shoulders or wherever. And of course it’s the best way to lay waste to those bastard eyebrow strands that won’t stay put.
Like shaving, follow the hair’s natural growth. This helps reduce pain and the inconsolable crying that comes afterward. Again, buy Tweezerman tweezers ("man," remember, so the sobbing is fine).
Be a brave little soldier and pull the hair in a sharp motion directly away from its follicle WHICH HURTS LIKE FUCKING FUCK.
Best for: Eradicating body hair
Now, this is at the more extreme end of hair removal. Again, best kept for holidays or when you find yourself in a new relationship with someone way out of your league and want to do everything in your power to hide who you actually are until the last possible moment.
So let’s end that weird patch of fur on your back. When waxing, much of the technique is down to prep. Prep your skin, by having a hot shower, or back before hand and keeping it warm for the main event. Prep your hair, by exfoliating it during that wash and moisturizing afterward, and then drying it fully. These things will help the hair come out without giving you skin like Deadpool afterward. Use a wax that you heat up, which you can shape to the patch you want gone. And, well, you know the rest: rip it off and spend a week convalescing. There: you’re now Hugh-Jackman bald. You don’t have Wolverine’s healing powers, though. But Aloe Vera gel will help fix your skin.
Hit me with your grooming questions below so I don’t have to come up with column ideas for myself and can just answer them next week. – Alex Harris
Knock, knock. Who is it? Groom service.