Deciding what chest hair removal method to use is usually even more stressful than the act of removing it. This is usually because men aren’t really taught the ins and outs of hair removal as they grow up. So, which is better – trimming vs shaving chest hair?
Trimming chest hair is generally superior to shaving it when it comes to comfort, ease, cost, looks, and maintenance. It’s simple, quick, and very DIY-friendly. Irritation and pain are also minimal, both during the procedure itself and after it. The method has a lot going for it, and I’m about to tell you why like nobody has before.
A lack of understanding is what prevents men from taking that first step forward despite desperately wanting to get rid of their chest fur.
They may try one method, dislike the experience or the outcome, and are then reluctant to try anything else as a result.
I’m about to compare the two methods in more detail. I want you to have a full understanding of why I’ve chosen trimming as the winner. By the end of it, I want you to have a much clearer idea when making your decision.
Trimming Vs Shaving Chest Hair: Analysis
These are two easily accessible, extremely common methods of removal. Although people often make the mistake of using the two terms interchangeably, they are very different.
Trimming refers to cutting the chest hair with electric trimmers or clippers. The device will consist of a body, a head, a blade, and usually an adjustable length setting. The adjustable length may be enabled by attachment guards.
Trimming does give you intricate control over the length but doesn’t quite cut as close to the skin as shaving. Most trimmers go as short as 0.4mm.
Shaving is usually done with an electric shaver (foil or rotary) or a manual razor. The blade cuts very close to the skin, to the point where the hair is barely visible.
Let’s talk through how these two methods stack up by looking at our five factors.
By “comfort”, I’m talking about the comfort of the procedure itself, as well as the aftermath.
Trimming is generally more comfortable to perform. Certain factors do increase the comfort level incrementally.
Having clean, sharp blades as opposed to blunted ones is generally more comfortable.
Also, ensuring that the battery is charged will reduce tugging and pulling of the hair. Usually, the attachment guard does protect the skin from nicks and cuts.
Shaving is less comfortable because you’re cutting close to the skin. But if you lubricate well using shaving gel, and ensure the blades you’re using are fresh and clean, irritation should be minimized.
With regard to the aftermath, shaving falls short again. Trimming allows you to cut short, but you can still keep it long enough so that it doesn’t feel like chest stubble.
Chest stubble; those tiny, itchy, prickly hairs that form when a fully developed strand is cut within a few millimeters of the skin. When you shave, this stubble is inevitable. You’ll feel it within a few days.
After you shave, you’ll also most likely have some skin irritation as well. Potentially a couple of cuts to go with it.
Winner – Trimming
The answer to this depends on whether you use an electric shaver or a manual razor for your shaving.
Yes, using an electric shaver to shave your chest hair is pretty easy and practical. But using a manual razor isn’t, especially if you have a lot of chest hair.
In fact, if it’s long, you’ll probably have to trim it first anyway. So you’ve got double the workload.
Trimming is more straightforward. You set it to the length you want, and you trim down. If you want a more nuanced look, you can vary the length in different areas. This can make it look more natural and even.
You have complete control.
Also, when trimming, you don’t have to make it perfect. When you have some chest hair still visible, people aren’t going to notice a few untrimmed hairs.
But when you shave, having unshaved strands or tufts of hair is more noticeable. It all needs to go. It’s quite a big commitment.
Winner – Trimming
Again, this depends on what you use to shave. Electric shavers are expensive. In fact, they’re generally more expensive than body groomers and trimmers.
But manual razors are extremely cheap. A pack of disposable ones will cost you very little.
Sounds tempting, right?
But here’s the twist. If you do want to shave your chest hair with a manual razor, you’ll most likely need to trim it down to make it short enough first. So, you’ve then got to pay for a trimmer on top in any case.
That’s unless you choose to trim it down with scissors. But that’s way too time-consuming and impractical for me. Some men do have the patience to do it, however.
But overall, I still think that simply using an electric trimmer alone is more cost-effective than using an electric shaver or a manual razor plus a trimmer.
Winner – Trimming
This is what it’s all about, right? It’s undoubtedly important. But judging the winner here is more difficult. It’s quite subjective.
It depends on the look you’re going for. Here’s how they differ.
Men with an impressive torso may opt for shaving over trimming, simply because they want as clean a finish as possible. It’s no secret that a layer of hair does tend to mask muscle definition.
Shaving will give you a smoother finish, but it’s very temporary. After a few days, you’ll start to notice some chest stubble cropping up.
In general, it isn’t a good look. After a week, you may notice a few short strands sticking through your shirt.
Chest stubble is visible because a fully developed, healthy, thick hair has been cut at the level of the skin. Thick hair, no matter how short it is, is visible.
A bodybuilder that wants a clean finish may be perfectly OK with shaving every few days. But most people probably won’t be as bothered.
Trimming gives you very intricate control over hair length. You can choose to cut it short, but long enough to keep it looking natural.
You can even vary the length in certain areas to make it look even more natural. For example, trimming the thicker areas of chest hair one or two millimeters shorter.
Trimming it down instead of shaving also looks more “masculine”, although that term can mean different things to different people.
If you weren’t wanting to get rid of your chest hair completely and just wanted to neaten it up, trimming would be an excellent option.
If you do want a particularly close cut, you can always use the naked blade of the trimmer. You won’t be able to go as close as a shaver or razor, but still very close.
Because of just how much more control you have over the look with trimming, I’d say it comes out on top.
Winner – Trimming.
Can good results that only last a few days even be called “good results”? The main problem with shaving is that it may feel smooth for a couple of days, but things quickly turn sour.
Chest stubble starts to sprout, and it doesn’t feel or look good. If you want to go back to those glory days (a few days before), you’ll need to shave again.
There’s a school of thought that shaving actually makes hair grow back thicker. This is a controversial topic we won’t go into.
But it’s safe to say that you’ll find yourself shaving your chest very frequently in order to maintain results you actually like.
Trimming chest hair also requires maintenance, but not as much. Sure, if you’re trimming down to stubble and want to keep it that way, you’ll need to do it frequently.
This is similar to shaving.
But if you’re trimming down to a reasonable, neat, short length, you could go a couple of weeks or even a month before you feel the need to trim down again. The growth of a few millimeters won’t be as noticeable.
Winner – Trimming.
So, the battle between trimming vs shaving chest hair has been firmly won by trimming.
I personally prefer this method over any others. Shaving chest hair is always a temptation for men who feel it might be “easier” or “quicker”. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand why that’s not the case.
It takes more time, looks worse, is less comfortable, and contrary to popular belief – more expensive.
What About Current Social Trends?
Removing chest hair has always had a very divisive reputation. In fact, I’d say it was one of the most divisive topics in men’s grooming.
You may find that reactions from your family and friends range widely from wide-eyed adoration to nauseated and repulsed. I’ve experienced this myself.
People tend to have strong views about chest hair. Some find it awful, and some absolutely love it.
A general principle of men’s grooming is to avoid trying to please too many people. Focus on yourself, and what gives you the most confidence and comfort.
Right now, trimming does seem to be more common than shaving chest hair. Shaving it does seem to have garnered a pretty bad reputation, with men choosing wax for a smooth finish instead.
If you’re looking for a safe bet with other people’s reactions, I’d say trimming would win once again.
That’s because the main feature that may work against you is how obvious and unnatural the outcome is.
Trimming to a neat, short, length (not stubble) is always going to look less obvious and more natural than shaving it down to the skin. Because of this, you’ll draw less attention, but still look good.
Should You Trim Or Shave Other Body Hair?
The benefits and disadvantages of each would be the same whether you’re talking about chest hair, underarm hair, pubic hair, or back hair.
The one metric which may differ is looks. Looks are generally less important in areas that are less visible.
Chest hair is often the most visible body hair, as it’s front and center, and sticks out through the neck of a shirt.
Pubic hair, underarm hair, and back hair are less noticeable for obvious reasons. Because of this, you may not take looks into consideration when making your decision.
On the other hand, if you’re particularly concerned with people seeing your back hair, shaving may well be the right option.
There isn’t such a thing as “neat back hair” or “short back hair”. Most men and women are of the opinion that no back hair is always best.
So, trimming it down to make it look “neat” isn’t an option. Shaving would be what you would need to do.
If you’re interested in learning how to remove back hair by yourself, check out this article. It can be an embarrassing task to ask for assistance with, so learning how to do it DIY could save you from some awkwardness.
Hopefully, by now, you can see that although it’s a commonly asked question, there’s really one clear answer when it comes to trimming vs shaving chest hair.
Trimming is the undisputed winner. I wanted to make that clear from the beginning. Usually, you’d find an article going down the “it depends” route. I didn’t think that would be helpful here or in your best interests.
You should trim your chest hair, not shave it.
But if you try trimming and aren’t a fan of the results in some way, you could always give shaving a try. There isn’t a huge amount of harm than can be done. After all, you can rest assured that it will grow back.
Chest hair grooming isn’t a hugely popular blogging topic. You won’t find a whole load of information on it online.
I like to talk about it for that very reason. Because I know people are asking the questions and aren’t finding the answers.
Thanks for sticking around until the end.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.