To trim or to wax? That is the question. Many men have asked it and few have received an adequate answer. Let’s clear it up right from the start. What’s actually better – trimming vs waxing chest hair?
Trimming chest hair beats waxing it in terms of ease, convenience, and cost. The recurring expense of waxing can add up, although it isn’t shockingly expensive. A key benefit of waxing, however, is that it is very low maintenance. Removing chest hair out at the root-level will always lead to long-lasting results. When it comes to comfort, the act of waxing is definitely not pleasant. But the itchy aftermath of trimming will lose hands-down against the irresistible smoothness of waxing.
If you’re looking for a more detailed, nuanced analysis, please read on. Although all of the above is true, it may not be as helpful as a simple, isolated paragraph.
After all, certain factors may be more important to you. Some men value cost, some men their looks, and others the maintenance requirements. Trimming wins some, and waxing wins others.
So, in order to help you make your decision, I’m going to dissect the two methods of chest hair removal to make it crystal clear.
I’ll pit trimming chest hair and waxing chest hair against each other and judge them in terms of comfort, ease, cost, looks, and maintenance.
I’ll pick a winner for each factor, and then tie it all up. After that, I’ll talk about current trends in chest hair removal, and whether you should allow that to influence your decision.
Trimming Vs Waxing Chest Hair: The Analysis
The two methods are extremely common but about as different to each other as you can get. Before we compare the two, it would be useful to briefly describe how they work.
Trimming the act of cutting chest hair with a pair of trimmers of clippers. For the purposes of this article, I’m specifically talking about electric trimming.
Yes, I know you can trim with scissors, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.
The electric trimming device will consist of a blade, head, body, and grip. Most trimming devices come with multiple attachments or another way of adjusting the trimming length.
That’s what gives it such versatility. But we’ll come onto that.
Trimmers can usually cut as short as 0.4mm, which is a point where the hair is barely visible. However, it does not remove the hair at the root-level.
Waxing refers to the process of applying wax onto the hair, allowing it to take hold of the hair, and then pulling off both the wax and the hair with cloth strips.
The wax used could be cold, or it could be hot. Pre-made strips are available at most drugstores for DIY waxers to buy.
Now that we’ve discussed what they are, let’s see how they stack up against each other.
This may well be at the top of your priorities list.
Just to clarify, I’m talking about both the comfort of the procedure itself, as well as how comfortable the aftermath is.
The act of trimming chest hair is far more comfortable than waxing. As you’re usually trimming down to more than a few millimeters from the chest, there is usually minimal skin irritation. Nicks and cuts are less frequent than with shaving.
Waxing is painful – there isn’t much I can say to sugarcoat that. It’s a gift and a curse.
Pulling hair out at the root-level is always going to be uncomfortable, but it’s also going to give you long-lasting results.
There are certain precautions you can take to try and make the process less painful. For instance, exfoliating the day before allows the strips to release easier.
Trimming down to an appropriate length before waxing would also make it more comfortable, as well as more effective. 1/4-inch is a good length to aim for. Long enough for the wax to grip onto, but short enough to not break mid-shaft.
Getting waxed professionally is also always going to be more comfortable than trying to DIY it or getting a disgruntled family member to do it.
But let’s talk about after the procedure. The long-lasting smoothness does compensate for the discomfort in a lot of men.
You don’t get chest stubble for a while, the itching will be minimal, and skin irritation is very temporary.
Overall, yes, the aftermath of waxing is comfortable.
But so is the aftermath of trimming. If you trim down to a length considered “chest stubble” (approximately < 5mm), yes, it’ll be quite itchy, prickly, and uncomfortable for a while.
But keep it just a couple of millimeters longer and you’ll most likely be fine. Keep it long enough not to give you that uncomfortable stubbled feeling, and short enough to keep it neat.
Having said that, if you’re a man that can’t bear the feeling of any chest hair whatsoever, the result of waxing is always going to feel more comfortable.
Winner – It’s a tie. This may surprise people. Waxing chest hair is a less comfortable procedure than trimming but produces more comfortable results for most people.
This refers to how easy it is to actually get the chest hair removed. While “comfort” refers to the actual sensation, “ease” refers to convenience and practicality.
Trimming chest hair isn’t very hard to do at all. All you need to do is attach the size guard, turn it on, and get to work. It’s quick and very DIY-friendly.
You don’t need anyone else to help you, which could potentially save you from multiple awkward discussions and requests.
Waxing, on the other hand, takes a bit more effort. It can take time, particularly if you’re doing it yourself.
You’ll most likely get quicker at it with practice. But still, it would almost always take longer than trimming it would.
You’ll have to factor in keeping a good stock of pre-made wax strips available at home. With a trimmer, you really don’t need anything else. You just need to remember to keep it charged (unless it’s corded).
If you’re getting your chest waxed professionally, you’ve got the added hassle of traveling to the salon and getting it done. It may not be a problem for you at all, but it’s just something to bear in mind.
Winner – Trimming. It’s simpler, quicker, and more DIY-friendly.
Although an electric trimmer does seem like a fairly expensive grooming investment to make, generally speaking, it’s a one-time purchase.
Yes, you may have to replace it a few years down the line. But look after it well and it should last you the long haul.
The cost of waxing does depend on how you approach it. If you’re going for a professional, the cost will quickly add up. A chest wax could cost you upwards of $40 at a waxing salon.
You could get a pack of pre-made wax strips from a drugstore for around $10, and that would last you a few sessions.
What you need to remember about waxing is that you won’t have to do it as frequently as trimming. You’ll probably have to repeat it every 6 weeks or so.
But due to the recurring nature of the payments, it’s hard to ignore the fact that trimming does come out cheaper in the long term.
Another thing to bear in mind is that prior to waxing you’ll need to trim it down to a reasonable length (usually around ¼-inch).
If you were going to wax DIY, it means you’d need to invest in a trimmer to do this in any case. Unless you were going to simply shave it with a razor beforehand and wait for it to grow to ¼-inch.
Winner – Trimming. It may be pricier upfront, but waxing is a recurring expense (both DIY and professional visits) that adds up quickly.
*Spoiler Alert* – this one is going to be a tie.
Why would I ruin the surprise? Well, this comparison is about as subjective as you can get.
Some men prefer the look of an immaculately hairless, freshly waxed chest. The sight of a single hair tarnishing their torso is simply unacceptable.
Waxing is the ideal solution – a simple, effective way to achieve this.
In contrast, there are men who prefer a natural outcome to their chest grooming efforts. They don’t want hairy, but they certainly don’t want hairless.
What they want is a comfortable, Goldilocks-style middle ground that’s just right. Trimming is a great option for them because it allows for such fine control over the length.
Varying the length in different areas is a great way to achieve a more natural look.
Trimming it short enough to look neat and tidy, yet long enough to look natural is very achievable.
I did a comparison of trimming vs shaving in a very similar fashion. When I compared the two in terms of looks I was quite comfortable choosing trimming as the winner. A shaved chest very rarely looks good.
But with trimming vs waxing chest hair, it wouldn’t be fair to choose a winner. Some men prefer a waxed look, and some men prefer a trimmed look.
Winner – It’s a tie.
Trimming requires a lot more maintenance than waxing.
One of the main reasons men choose to go through the discomfort of waxing is that they don’t have to do it often.
As I said, a waxing session would last you around 6 weeks.
Let’s say you trim your chest hair down to 1/4-inch. If you wanted to maintain that, you’d really have to trim at least once a week.
Of course, you don’t have to do it so regularly. A lot of men choose to let their chest hair grow a little more than that before trimming it.
How meticulous you want to be is down to personal preference.
But overall, you’ll find yourself having to reach for the trimmer more often than you’d have to think about your next waxing session.
Winner – Definitely waxing.
What’s The Current Trend?
Trimming is definitely more common, mainly due to its convenience and accessibility.
But chest waxing is becoming more popular and more “acceptable”. In fact, there are salons that market solely to men.
Of course, there is definitely cultural variation across the globe.
The Western media has certainly popularized “modern manscaping” to the point where a man walking into a waxing salon carries a lot less stigma. I for one, love this.
But it is difficult to deny that trimming is still a lot more common.
Should You Wax Or Trim Other Body Hair?
It’s hard to deny that in some areas, it probably isn’t worth going through the discomfort of waxing.
The chest is probably the most prominent hairy surface you’ve got, other than perhaps the beard. It’s right up front and in the middle, almost like a canvas.
If you were going to focus on grooming a single area of the body, the chest would be a good choice.
It makes sense to go through the effort of waxing your chest if that’s the look you want.
It most likely isn’t necessary to do so for areas that aren’t as visible or noticeable. For example pubic hair, armpits, and back hair.
Simply trimming, or shaving these areas would be fine, even if you are one to wax your chest hair.
But ultimately, it’s a personal choice. Some men are very anti-hair. They may go to painful lengths to achieve true hairlessness. Their commitment should be applauded.
There you have it. Two goliaths of chest hair grooming pitted against each other in spectacular fashion. Trimming vs waxing chest hair – what a battle. I’m a fan of them both, to be honest.
Hopefully, this article helped you decide which of these methods you’d prefer to go for.
If you aren’t sure, there’s not much harm in trying them both out.
See what you prefer, and even get some reviews from family and friends if you feel comfortable enough to do so.