Trimmers don’t come cheap these days. Plus, some men don’t feel that the impeccably even cuts they produce look natural when grooming their chest. So, can you trim your chest hair with scissors?
Yes. It’s a cheap, yet effective method of trimming your chest hair. Although using an electric trimmer will save you a lot of time, there are men who don’t mind putting in the extra effort. They may prefer the natural look that scissors can produce, or they may simply not want to shell out the money for a trimmer.
Either way, it’s possible. But the correct technique could save you time and grief – more than you might have imagined.
This article is going to help you go from “winging it” to a chest hair scissoring beast. You’ll learn how to do it, how often you’ll need to do it, and more.
How To Trim Chest Hair With Scissors In 6 Steps
Here’s a brief, step-by-step routine to help those scissors take that chest hair to dizzying new heights. Strap in.
1. Shower and exfoliate
Clean hair is always easier to trim. It helps to detangle the chest hair and allows you to see hairs you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to get at.
Avoid using soaps or shampoos – clean water alone is fine at this point.
But an extra step you could take would be to use an exfoliating body scrub to rub your chest down. What this does is physically remove any dirt, oil, or dead skin cells that could be mattifying or clogging up the bases of the hairs.
Surprisingly, it actually minimizes tugging and pulling while you’re trimming. It’s something I recommend you do before you trim anything.
Once you’re down, hop out of the shower and towel-dry until your chest hair is damp and not soaking wet.
2. Comb it all down, then up
Although a comb isn’t essential, it might as well be. Being able to manipulate and constantly detangle the chest hair as you’re trimming is very useful.
Having the chest hair generally facing the same direction as you’re trimming will give you a much better idea of where you’re going with it.
But be mindful of the type of comb you choose. The cheap, plastic combs you buy for a couple of bucks often do more harm than good.
They’re usually designed for scalp hair and aren’t able to work through thick, coarse chest hair.
This, together with the fact that the plastic itself is too harsh on chest hair, will lead to tugging, pulling, and damage.
I usually recommend a wooden beard comb. Beard hair and chest hair are surprisingly similar to each other.
They’re both thick, testosterone-fuelled forms of hair and the comb you use needs to account for it. Here’s a great one you can check out on Amazon.
Once you’ve got yourself a reasonable comb, it’s time to prep your chest hair for the cut.
Start by combing all of your chest hair downward. This should flatten, straighten, and detangle most of it, as chest hair generally trends downward.
It’s a great way to actually see how much chest hair you’re actually working with.
Avoid tugging and pulling, and go slow.
Once you’ve done this, comb it all back upward. With the hair strands having just been separated, flattened, and untangled, this should be a lot easier to do.
Bear in mind that if your chest hair is already short, you won’t notice that much of a difference when you do this. But it’s still worth doing.
Use the comb to essentially “fluff” it all upward. It’ll look more untidy at this point, but it’s primed for trimming.
The chest hair will be sticking outward, and generally facing in the same direction. This makes it much easier for you to get your scissors under it and make the cuts.
3. Start trimming above the collarbone
It’s time to start using those scissors. You may already have a pair you’re desperate to use, and that’s fine.
But if it’s the same multi-purpose pair you use to cut duct tape and wrapping paper, it’s not a good idea.
For one, they don’t usually give you much control when trimming. Also, who knows what sort of germs they’ve accumulated over the years.
Using short-sheared, rust-proof, razor-sharp scissors designed for use on the beard will always be a better option. Here’s a very reasonably priced one for you to check out on Amazon.
Anyway, now that we’ve discussed the tool, let’s get to work.
A common mistake men make when first learning how to trim their chest hair with scissors is not having an organized approach.
I always start and finish trimming in the same locations. A great starting point is right at the top – above the collarbone.
I’ve always found this area particularly difficult to trim because of the awkward dip above the collarbone.
Stray hairs in that space immediately above the collarbone can look quite untidy. As a general rule, it’s best to be hairless there.
So, one option would be to trim it down as short as possible using the scissors.
You can use the comb to lift and hold the hairs while you trim them. But by doing this you probably won’t be able to trim it short enough.
Another option, and one I find easier, is to simply shave them off using a razor. Although this seems like “cheating”, it’s the most practical solution for the collarbone area.
You won’t have to do this on the rest of the chest – trust me. Trimming chest hair always beats shaving it.
4. Start trimming the chest – sides to center
Now that you’re done with the pesky collarbone, shift your attention onto the chest itself.
Although there are many chest hairstyles available to choose from, a simple, stylish, and popular one would be thinner on the sides and thicker in the middle.
One of the benefits of trimming chest hair with scissors is that it’s easier to get this graded increase in length as you go from the sides to the center.
Again, be methodical about it. Do one side of the chest first – let’s use the right side for this example.
Some men prefer to use the comb to lift and hold the chest hair in place while they trim with the scissors. You’ll probably have noticed this technique at the barbers. It does allow for more control, but it takes some practice to get used to it.
But other men prefer to free-hand it with no comb. It’s up to you. Either way, it’s best to continuously use the comb to fluff the chest hair upward now and again to stop it from tangling.
Now, the length you choose is also something to experiment with. Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as just setting the adjustable comb length on an electric trimmer and letting it do the work.
You’ll have to use your eye, and have an idea of how short you want to go.
Bear in mind that trimming to less than 1/4-inch generally causes that itchy chest stubble feeling. Have a look at a measuring tape to get an idea of how long that really is.
Start trimming the right upper corner of the chest, and work your way horizontally into the middle. It’s like you’re trimming in a row leading into the center.
But you’ll be going from shorter to longer as you get closer into the middle. This is what produces that nice, graded “thin sides and thick middle” look.
So, trim it shorter at the sides, and longer as you approach the middle. Using a comb to lift and hold the hair may make this easier to do.
Do this for the entire right side of the chest. You’re using the scissors to trim the chest hair, working in rows, going from top to bottom.
Then, do the exact same thing for the left side of the chest. Starting from the left upper corner of the chest, working in rows, from top to bottom.
Be extra careful around the nipples because you don’t want any accidental nicks or cuts. Trim gently around these areas but don’t ignore them.
Be wary of the fact that they’re there, but don’t let it alter your approach. You’re still going from short to long as you move toward the middle at this level.
Once you’ve worked your way down to the bottom of the chest on both sides, you’re done.
It actually doesn’t take as long as you might initially think. Many men are also often pleased with the result.
What you’re left with is a very natural appearance to your chest hair.
Take a step back and look for any asymmetry or stray hairs that you can easily use those glorious scissors to fix.
5. Rinse and dry
Rinse your chest with some lukewarm water, getting rid of any excess or loose hair. Towel-dry it and take another look.
Moisturize your chest well. Trimming chest hair will always cause a bit of irritation to the skin, although the beauty of using good-quality scissors is that this is usually minimal.
6. Fine-tune it over a couple of days
In the days following the trim, you’ll notice things you didn’t at first. Some asymmetry, some stray hairs, and other problems you’ll have to tend to.
That’s fine. Monitor it over the next few days. You can even ask people you trust for their reviews and opinions if you really want to. It’s a good way of improving your results with future attempts.
Is It Better Than Using An Electric Trimmer?
It depends on what you feel is most important.
Trimming your chest hair with scissors is good because it is low-cost, and can produce a very natural-looking result.
The main reason it produces a natural result is actually due to human imperfection. Natural chest hair consists of hairs of different lengths.
When you trim chest hair with scissors, it’s never going to be perfectly even. You probably couldn’t even do it if you tried.
Funnily enough, that actually makes it look more natural.
Electric trimmers produce perfectly even cuts, and some men prefer that. But if they don’t, scissors would be a very reasonable solution.
It’s important to get yourself a decent pair of scissors to trim with. But that’s always going to be cheaper than having to buy a pair of electric trimmers or clippers.
But a pair of scissors will always be cheaper.
The main downside of using scissors is time. It isn’t quick. You don’t have the benefit of an electric motor to power your trimming efforts.
You produce the power, and it can get a little tiring if you’ve got a lot of chest hair to deal with.
Plus, as you would with an electric trimmer, you’ll have to do this regularly to maintain the look.
The more regularly you do it, the neater it will look. But you can generally expect to be doing this every one to two weeks to have some degree of upkeep.
So, you’ll have to decide what you value more – time or cost. You’ll also have to decide whether you’d prefer the look that scissors produce.
Some testing wouldn’t be a bad idea here. If you don’t feel you can produce the look you want with scissors, a trimmer may be a more flexible option.
There you have it; an in-depth guide to trimming chest hair with scissors. It isn’t rocket science, but there’s definitely a method to it.
The beauty of using scissors to groom yourself is that it shows you’re willing to go the extra mile for a good result. It may take a little longer, but the results can definitely make up for that.
As you do it more and more, you’ll quickly notice your results improving over time. This added bit of motivation may lead you to having scissors as your universal grooming tool of choice.