I was recently asked this very question by a friend and I immediately dismissed it. Is chest hair attractive?
I thought it would be too broad of a generalization to give an all-encompassing yes or no answer.
However, as a modern manscaper, I felt it was my duty to probe further and actually do some solid research into what may be a growing trend.
So I scoured Reddit, Quora and pretty much every other mainstream chit-chat forum you can think of searching for the answer.
I’m pleased to say that after hours and hours of sifting through some of the most surprisingly heated discussions I’ve ever come across, I’ve been able to filter out five arguments for both sides of the debate.
Excited? Yes. Yes you are.
I’d like to share them with you today. First in a nutshell and then in more detail.
It’s important to first note the most common viewpoint I found. Although there were those that thought chest hair was attractive, the vast majority of women who thought so didn’t want a large amount and wanted at least an attempt at keeping it tamed and groomed.
“Think Hugh Jackman and not Robin Williams” is a statement I heard several times. So, is chest hair attractive?
Chest hair is attractive to some women because it’s stereotypically masculine, fun to play with, suggests a “casual” personality type and makes men look more mature. They also may just hate the feeling of stubble.
Chest hair is unattractive to some women because they perceive it as being unhygienic. It also hides muscle definition, may suggest a disorganized personality type and could be out of line with socio-cultural norms. Also, they may just not like the feel or texture of any chest hair at all.
5 Reasons Why Chest Hair Is Attractive To Some Women
Reason 1: It’s stereotypically masculine
I’d never read Hugh Jackman’s name so many times in a relatively short period of time. He does seem to be the pinnacle of chest hair.
Not one hair too much, too little or out of place.
“Chest hair is just so manly”. However, there are plenty of men who have never had any hair at all.
Why is it considered a “masculine trait”?
It begs the question of whether there is actually any real evolutionary reason or whether it’s simply a Western stereotype spread by mainstream media.
It may be because it indicates higher testosterone levels, a heightened “fight or flight” response and therefore a better ability to survive and protect.
Chest hair has also been a significant component of the look opted for by stereotypically macho movie characters such as the old James Bonds. It’s hard to deny the impact of Western media on global culture.
Who wouldn’t want their man looking like one of those guys?
Reason 2: It’s fun to play with
I never really understood this one. Chest hair just feels like hair to me.
But it came up. Often.
Chest hair is generally thicker than head hair, although it’s thickness can definitely vary among men.
Running fingers through a man’s chest hair is definitely the most divisive reason on the list. Some women seem to hate it. But a lot seem to absolutely love it.
Now, the reason is most likely the texture of the hair itself. The hairs are generally thicker and curlier and running fingers through it does make for an interesting tactile sensation – more so than other parts of the body.
Reason 3: They prefer “laid-back” and “casual” men
Another interesting viewpoint I picked up on was that some women prefer a man with a laid-back view of his appearance. In other words, a man not “overly groomed”.
Now as a modern manscaper I gasped in disbelief, as being ultra-conscious of body hair is what drives me to write about it day in and day out.
But I see their point. There are women who prefer a man to be comfortable with their natural appearance and therefore don’t make the extra effort to trim their excesses.
On the contrary, they embrace their excess or just don’t care about their excess.
It is the era of the modern metrosexual. Perfectly clean-shaven and thoroughly waxed men grace our screens and billboards like never before.
It does make sense therefore that the casual hairy male, the outsider, the lone ranger would perhaps have a magnetism about them for that very reason.
Having said this, the proportion of these women who wouldn’t want any chest grooming effort to be made whatsoever is definitely a minority.
Most fur-loving females do seem to want some grooming. Just not so much as to be considered “well-groomed”.
Reason 4: It makes them appear more mature
The development of chest hair is one of the defining features of puberty that arises due to a rise in testosterone.
It is socio-culturally seen as something you “grow into”. You aren’t born with it. You “develop” it.
Because of this, either subconsciously or consciously it does appear to be intricately tied with the notion of maturity and experience.
Some women, therefore, prefer a man to have some chest hair because they see it is a defining feature of being a grown-up.
This logic could in itself be considered flawed because as mentioned above there are plenty of “masculine” adult men who don’t really have any natural chest hair at all.
But it is an argument that I picked up on.
It isn’t really any secret that most women want a mature man. But the perception of “maturity” can take loads of different forms.
Some of them could be subconscious – this potentially being one of them.
Haven’t said Hugh Jackman’s name in a while.
Reason 5 – Stubble is irritating to some women
Now this one is again pretty darn subjective.
But some women seemed to say that the feel of stubble on a man’s chest was too “prickly”, “rough” or “unnatural”.
Even if they don’t particularly like the feel of chest hair, they prefer it to the sand-papery texture of clean-shaven skin.
Again, a happy medium of trimmed hair does seem to be the solution. It definitely feels less prickly and also doesn’t feel as out-of-control as long, curling, Amazonian chest hair.
5 Reasons Why Chest Hair Is Not Attractive To Some Women
Reason 1: They consider it to be unhygienic
This came up several times and it came as no surprise. It really does appear to be the numero uno argument of anti-chest hair activists.
It’s important to note that removing chest hair doesn’t make you sweat less. It has no impact on that at all as sweat is produced by glands under the skin.
However, having a little layer of skin provides more surface area for odor-causing bacteria to cling to. This is the problem.
A problem many women would rather not have to deal with. A problem that’s easy to correct with the right tools.
But having said this, it really shouldn’t be considered too different to head hair which can also, of course, cling on to sweat. Why is that considered less of an issue?
Ultimately hygiene is different to grooming. Taking steps to ensure good hygiene and regular washing should counteract any unpleasantness caused by simply having chest hair.
It’s just that having trimmed and groomed chest hair makes good hygiene a lot easier to achieve.
Reason 2: It hides muscle definition
Picture half the Mona Lisa being covered by a cloud of smoke all the time. What an absolute travesty.
That’s what some women feel about chest hair. An unnecessary obstruction.
Now, this is particularly the case when the chest hair actually covers up some actual real-life muscle definition in the pectorals.
It’s true. Shaving or trimming definitely does make the pecs more prominent with more sharply defined contours.
You don’t see bodybuilders that lather themselves up in oils rocking the Sean Connery chest rug right? It’s because they know how to get those pecs to really pop.
One of those ways is to remove any asymmetries or irregularities such as hair, leaving nothing but muscle on show.
Now, this does work the other way as well. There are plenty of men who don’t have pecs in abundance or a particularly firm physique.
Chest hair to them is both a useful layer of visual protection – defending themselves against what they may perceive as judgemental glances towards their less-than-toned chest.
There is likely a significant correlation between the amount of muscle definition in a man’s chest and the unacceptability of his growing chest hair to cover it up.
Common sense, right?
Reason 3: It suggests disorganisation
An unruly, chaotic layer of chest hair could be said to speak volumes of a man.
It could make one wonder what else is chaotic in a man’s life. His finances. His wardrobe. His kitchen. It seems unfair but at the same time somewhat logical.
If you can’t look after that which is attached to your own skin, how could you expect yourself to look after even your immediate surroundings?
By the way, this isn’t my opinion. I want to re-iterate I’m simply parroting what I read several times in forums online.
It also could exude an “I just don’t care” persona. While this could be seen as attractive to some women, others might actually want a man who actually takes pride in looking after himself and his belongings.
Why? Well, one reason might be because they might extend that personality trait to presume they’d be able to look after their significant other as well.
Reason 4: It feels weird to them
To some people, running their fingers through chest hair isn’t exactly the earth-altering sensual experience I described above.
To them, it actually sends a swift chill down the spine that’s hard to forget.
I wouldn’t be able to tell you the reason chest and back hair feels weird to them whereas head hair doesn’t. Perhaps it’s the texture, or perhaps it’s the distribution.
Either way, this is one reason that needs to be taken into consideration. Some women just don’t like the feel of it.
But it isn’t as simple as that. There are those who don’t like the feeling of chest hair if it’s too long, or too curly, or too thick but don’t mind it otherwise.
The feel of chest hair is probably the most subjective aspect of attitude towards chest hair with the most varying and multi-faceted opinions.
Reason 5: It’s out of sync with cultural norms
Yes, modern Western media is peppered with men who flaunt a stylish mane of chest hair (although usually a pretty well-groomed one at least).
And yes, they do get some pretty significant acclaim for their chest follicles.
But a growing trend in the thoroughly shaved or waxed male appearing on our screens does inevitably does spill out into everyday culture.
There’s no denying how the media, be it advertising or television, can define what we perceive as attractive.
This trend is likely to continue, and with it, a growing female perception of less chest hair being more attractive in a male.
By now you’re probably realizing that whatever you do with your chest hair, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to please absolutely everyone.
So is chest hair attractive or is it not?
There is no right or wrong answer. For example, some people love the feel of it and some people hate it. Some think it as “laid back” or “casual” whereas others think of it as “disorganized” or “chaotic”.
Now as far as I see it there are 3 ways to tackle this frustrating difference of opinion:
1. If there’s a particular woman you are looking to impress, just ask them. For example, if your significant other prefers fully waxed or shaved, it would make sense to just do that. Alternatively, if they prefer trimmed, you can just do that.
2. You could just do what you prefer. Life might be too short to worry about impressing people all the time. If you prefer growing out a serious chest fro, why not? It’s not illegal. Or if you yourself want to rock a more groomed look, go for that.
3. My personal favorite. Hedge your bets. Go down the middle. The most common viewpoint I came across was yes to chest hair but not too much. Trim and groom your chest hair – it’s probably a safe bet, right?
The decision is yours. There you have it. I hope you found that valuable.
What are your thoughts? Is chest hair attractive?