Like so many men, you are wondering whether you should be shaving your legs. Now one answer does not fit all. Obviously, many athletes shave their legs for performance/comfort purposes including bikers and swimmers. Bodybuilders also shave their legs as this will give the appearance of larger more defined muscular development and definition. For the average man though the decision to shave one’s legs should be made carefully. You should consider the following points when determining whether to shave your legs:
1. The Majority of Women Think it is Weird for a Man to Shave His Legs
I have spoken to many women personally regarding the subject as well as performed research online by scouring through women’s forums and blogs and it seems to be fairly unanimous that women do not like a man’s legs smoother than their own. This is not to say that there are not women out there that really do like the look and feel of a man with shaved legs. So if you have a significant other, feel free to ask them what they prefer and you may follow suit.
2. Significant Maintenance Required
Once you begin shaving your legs, there is consistent upkeep required to get them looking good and feeling smooth. All women no matter if they prefer shaved legs or not, unanimously agree little prickly hairs that form during the initial regrowth is not comfortable to rub up against and is not aesthetically pleasing either. So whether you decide to shave, wax, or use any other hair removal product you must remain consistent or you will be worse off than where you started.
3. Consider which hair removal method is best for you
- Shave with a razor: Shaving with a razor is one of the cheapest and least painful methods for hair removal, but the amount of maintenance is more extensive as one will have to shave every couple days to maintain smooth hairless legs. If you decide to use this method, you must consider whether to shave with either some form of a double edge razor such as a safety razor, a traditional cartridge razor, or electric razor. The electric razor is easy to use but does not provide as close a shave (Check out the best body hair trimmers here). A cartridge razor can provide a very close shave and I would recommend this razor type for beginners (either the Mach 3 or Fusion) or anyone of the best disposable razors. The double edge razor will provide you the closest shave and is more economical as the razor replacements are far cheaper than the cartridge razor replacements. But you do need to me more experienced with a double edge razor or you find yourself with a lot of nicks and cuts. If you are considering using a safety razor, be sure to check out my best safety razor article so you will be sure to get the right one for your budget.
- Waxing: This can be a very painful process but the professionals do have strategies to minimize the pain as much as possible. If you do choose to go with the waxing option I recommend you get it done by professionals and do not try to perform such a procedure at home. A half leg wax costs between $35 – $45 taking about 30 min. and a whole leg wax costs between $60 – $70 taking about 45 min. Even though this is somewhat of a time commitment, as you also have to factor in the time it takes to drive to the salon and back, you only have to perform the procedure every two weeks to once a month as the waxing pulls the entire hair follicle out causing the hair to take much more time to regrow.
- Dipilatory ( e.g. Nair or Bikini Bare): This method is fairly pain free (definitely less so than waxing)! The costs are significantly cheaper as the product costs between $4 – $12. The hair will begin to grow back within a day or two so consistent maintenance is still required, but the process only takes a couple of minutes. Be sure to check out the best hair removal for men article for the complete guide on the best products out there including depilatories.
- Laser treatment: Laser hair removal is a viable option, but as you probably already know, it is not an inexpensive procedure. On average, each session costs $235 and multiple sessions are required to obtain significant hair reduction. You will definitely want to do your homework if you’re considering this method.
4. Exceptions Should be Made for Extremely Hairy Legs
As a general rule, women don’t mind hair on men’s legs but there is a limit. If you are a man with extremely dark, thick, hairy legs you definitlely may want to consider taking some form of action. This sort of hair growth is not necessarily a dealbreaker for most women but it is not preferred. If your in this category, be pick up an electric trimmer to keep it tamed.
5. Trimming of the Hair is a Viable alternative Option
Especially for those men who have extremely hairy legs who may not want to go to the extreme of shaving one’s legs and commit to such maintenance, you can consider trimming the hair to a more manageable length and thickness. This will require the use of electric clippers. Simply attach one of the longer combs to the trimmer and simply run the trimmer up your legs against the grain. I have found trimming the hair to the length of around a half-inch sufficiently thins the hair to a respectable appearance but is not too short that the hair will feel rough or prickly. This process can be completed in a matter of a couple minutes and only needs to be performed every week or two for most cases. Many men have found this is a great alternative of the clean-shaven legs due to the lack of judgment from women and the minimal maintenance required. Check out this guide on the top body hair trimmers to get started.
As you can see the answer to: “should guys shave their legs?” is not so clear-cut. I hope this article was helpful in laying out the applicable considerations, options, and exceptions that one should contemplate when determining if shaving your legs is the right choice for you. Be sure to check out Should Guys Shave Their Armpits, Arm Hair, Chest Hair, and/or Back Hair article as well as the best nose hair trimmer article if you’ve got some pesky nose and ear hair you need to tame as well. Please let me know your thoughts, comments, or questions in the comment box below. I’m happy to help answer any follow up questions and always appreciate additional insights and perspectives on this topic.
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Ben Rose is the founder and senior editor at Prim&Prep, the definitive guide to male grooming. He is a wet shaving expert, body grooming aficionado, and skincare guru. His work has been featured on many other prominent men’s publications including AskMen, Men’s Health, and GQ.