The right tools are essential when it comes to body grooming. But it’s important not to get carried away. There are so many devices available, but you only need one or two to get the job done. So, can you trim chest hair with clippers?
Yes, you can. Clippers work well when it comes to cutting through hair that’s coarse and thick, like chest hair. Although clippers are quite limited when it comes to fine detailing, chest hair generally doesn’t require this anyway. Most clippers do come with enough guide combs to allow for variation in length and a more nuanced look. Keeping the blades clean and the device charged will always enhance results further.
That’s the answer in a nutshell. Sure, it’s very possible.
But I wanted to delve deeper into why it’s possible, how it should be done, and when you should think about using a trimmer or body groomer instead.
Chest hair is in a prominent and often visible area of the body. If you’re going to groom it, it’s important to try and get it right, regardless of what device you’re using.
It isn’t the most exciting topic. But it’s an important question that’s asked very often and rarely answered adequately.
Let’s get to it.
The Crucial Difference Between Electric Trimmers And Clippers
There are many similarities and a few important differences.
They are similar in that they both consist of a body, blade, and often – multiple attachment guards or combs to vary the length.
You’ll also have a power cord exiting the other end (if they’re corded).
But clippers are designed to cut longer hairs. The blades are larger and wider. Plus, the teeth of the clipper guards are more widely spaced – perfect for cutting larger chunks of hair.
They’re used by barbers to cut the bulk of scalp hair before they go in for the finer details.
That sums up clippers quite nicely – they deal with bulk, and not the finer details. They aren’t great for outlining, edging, or shaping.
Trimmers usually come with a wider range of attachment combs, or a more precise adjustable comb. This gives you more intricate control over length.
Trimmer blades are narrower and better for getting into those hard-to-reach areas like under the chin. They’re often used for the face and body. Put simply, they’re great for honing in and getting some intricate stuff done.
Many of them also come with a detachable shaving head (foil or rotary). This gives you a cleaner finish in certain areas if that’s what you want.
Those are the key differences.
You may hear the term “body groomer” thrown around. It’s just another word for a trimmer that’s being marketed as being designed solely for the body. There isn’t a whole lot of difference between a “body groomer” and a regular trimmer.
Most body groomers do come with a shaving head as well. They aren’t bad devices but don’t get too excited about them.
3 Reasons Why You Can Trim Your Chest Hair With Clippers
Although it may not be everyone’s first choice, trimming your chest hair with clippers does make sense for a few reasons.
1. It’s quick and efficient
Chest hair is thick, coarse, testosterone-fuelled hair that is deserving of a powerful, effective device.
The wide blades and large comb guides of clippers are ideal for mowing through even the thickest of chest sweaters.
You won’t have any problem getting through the bulk of it.
Trimming is quite a high maintenance method of chest hair removal when compared to waxing, for instance. Time is, therefore, an incredibly important factor.
You’ll need to trim your chest hair quite frequently. The less time you need to spend on it, the better. It can be quite easy to let manscaping occupy large chunks of your time.
It doesn’t need to.
2. Chest hair doesn’t require much fine detailing
The chest is a large area covered with coarse, thick hair. To say that it doesn’t require all the fancy blade attachments and wide range of attachable combs would be a very valid argument.
Edging and outlining can be essential when shaping facial stubble or a beard. But does chest hair really need all that? Probably not.
There may be some areas of the chest you may want to trim down to stubble. For instance, the tricky areas immediately beneath the collarbone. But the naked blade of the clipper should be perfectly OK for this purpose.
Don’t become too overwhelmed if your device comes with a huge number of fancy parts.
For chest hair, you need a reasonably powerful motor, a blade, and a comb length of your choice. It doesn’t need to be complicated.
3. It does give you some variation of length
Once you become a bit more experienced with your clippers, you may want to start spicing things up a bit.
A nuanced appearance to chest hair can look quite impressive.
Sure, as I said above – it doesn’t need to be complicated. Whacking on a guide comb and trimming it all down would be absolutely fine.
But if you did want to take it a step further, you could always vary the length a little if you want to. Natural chest hair will always be very varied in length. Some hairs shorter, and some hairs longer – this is normal.
Trimming everything down to exactly the same length can actually look quite unnatural.
So, if you did vary the length a little using your attachable combs, you could actually produce a more subtle, nuanced, and impressive look.
Why You May Eventually Want To Use A Trimmer Or Groomer
For one, although clippers do give you some versatility with length, trimmers will give you more. They usually come with a wider range of available length settings, as well as a detachable shaving head sometimes.
So, if you wanted complete control over that chest hair, a trimmer may be your best bet.
As I said, there are areas of the chest that can be tricky to tackle with clippers. For example, under the collarbone (if you’re quite boney) or around the nipples.
The narrow blade of a trimmer would be more effective in these areas.
Another reason why you may eventually want to invest in a trimmer or groomer is the risk of overuse. Let me explain.
A lot of you may have asked this question because you want to “double-up”. You’re using clippers for another purpose and want to know if you can also use it on your chest.
That’s a completely reasonable question to ask, and the answer is yes.
But the risk of using the same device for multiple areas of the body is that you use it very frequently. Using something so frequently will inevitably shorten its lifespan.
You just have to balance the benefits of not having to buy a separate trimmer or groomer against the risk of your only device losing steam sooner than it would otherwise.
How To Trim Your Chest Hair With Clippers
There isn’t a whole lot to it. That’s the beauty of it. What I’m about to tell you is a step-by-step routine you can use to trim down your chest hair using clippers. It’s simple, quick, and effective.
1. Exfoliate the chest
As always, I recommend starting by using an exfoliating body scrub to physical rub that chest down. Do it in the shower – it really doesn’t take long.
It removes that layer of dirt, oil and dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin. T
his layer of filth tends to clog up or mattify the bases of the hairs. When trimming, this layer will obstruct the path of the blade.
An obstructed blade that isn’t able to glide freely across the chest will lead to irritation and uneven cuts.
So, before you trim anything, always consider this extra 30-second habit.
2. Trim it down
You’ll have to decide what length you want to trim down to. Clipper guides are often referred to as “numbers”.
You’ve probably heard your barber saying “number 2” or “number 3”. They’re referring to the length of their guide combs.
Although there can be variation between devices, in general, the following holds true.
A guide “number 1” equals 1/16 inch, which equals 1.6mm.
A “number 2” equals 1/8 inch, which equals 3.2mm.
A “number 3” equals 1/4 inch, which equals 6.3mm. It goes on.
Your guide combs should be marked with their lengths for practical reasons. It isn’t too complicated. Many popular clippers give you guide combs ranging from 1/16 inch to 1 inch.
I generally opt for either 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch. It’s short enough to keep very neat but long enough to not feel too sharp or itchy. When it’s too short it can start to stick through the shirt as well, embarrassingly.
Keeping it a little longer is one of my main tips for trimming chest hair without itching.
Once you’ve chosen your length, attach the guide comb and turn on the clipper. It’s time to trim it all down.
Like I said earlier if you wanted to vary the length of the hair, be tactical about how you do it.
Thicker areas of chest hair could be trimmed a little shorter than thinner areas. This actually gives a more even appearance overall.
As you’re trimming, keep the skin gently taut to help you catch the more difficult hairs.
Chest hair grows in all sorts of different directions. In order to get them all, be sure to vary the angle of the trimmer for it to be more effective.
For the difficult areas immediately beneath the collarbone, try neatening it up with the naked blade of the clipper. Guide combs are just too bulky to tackle those areas.
If you find that you aren’t really catching many hairs, it’s likely that the guide comb you’re using is too long.
3. Rinse well
The easiest thing to do is to hop back into the shower. I generally avoid using soaps immediately after trimming, because the skin is probably a little bit irritated.
Exfoliating can make the skin a bit angry in the short-term as well (although it’s great in the long-term).
4. Moisturize very well
The best remedy for irritated skin is moisturizing, and moisturizing well. Lather yourself in some good ole cream to soothe it down.
Skincare is an essential component of beard and body grooming. Try not to neglect it.
5. Admire your work
Unlike dyeing chest hair where the effects can take around 48 hours to really consolidate properly, the beauty of a trimmed chest is immediately obvious.
You can see that hair being chopped down and falling before your very eyes. It’ll look a lot more appealing, and feel a lot more comfortable. There aren’t many better feelings in a man’s grooming regimen, in my opinion.
After you try this, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by how much you can do with a simple pair of clippers.
Can You Shave Your Chest Hair With Clippers?
Technically, no you can’t. You can only shave using a shaving device. This will usually be in the form of an electric shaver (foil or rotary) or a manual razor.
To clarify, shaving refers to the act of cutting the hair very close to the skin. The naked blade of a clipper or trimmer can cut pretty close to the skin (usually around 0.4mm length), but not as close as a shaver.
So, if you wanted to shave your chest hair, you’d need an appropriate device. But some clippers may, in fact, come with a detachable shaving head.
Most, however, don’t. If this is something that might be important to you, take this into account.
The way to do it would be to trim down the chest hair as short as possible with your pair of clippers. Using the naked blade would be ideal. Then, go over your chest again with your shaving device.
Trimming it down will make it so much easier for the shaver or razor to do its work. Using the two together always leads to the best results.
Whether or not you should really be shaving your chest in the first place is a different argument. Personally, I never would. It’s itchy, stubbly, and never usually looks great.
I’ve compared waxing with shaving and trimming with shaving in separate articles. Shaving is never usually the way to go when it comes to chest hair.
2 Extra Tips For Trimming Your Chest Hair With Clippers
- Keep it clean. Most clippers come with a tiny little brush and some blade oil. Read the instructions and clean them frequently. Hairs that clog it up will eventually start to affect its performance.
- If it’s cordless, always charge it before using it. You’d be surprised by just how much more efficient a cutting device is when it’s properly charged. There’s less tugging, less pulling, and less irritation. Bear in mind that most clippers are corded in any case.
Using clippers to trim chest hair is always an option. It does the job, and it usually does it well.
If you still aren’t sure, there’s no harm in trying it out. The beauty of it is that if you don’t like the result, trust me, it’ll grow back.
Hopefully, you’ve received all of the information you needed on this topic. Thanks for sticking around until the end of the article.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.