Looking at our primate cousins, it’s clear that we’ve evolved a long way, but perhaps not quite as far as some of us would like in the body hair department. Manscaping is about personal (and sometimes partner) preference, but let’s not pretend that celebrity culture, social media and the changing rooms at the gym aren’t a bigger influence on our body topiary. Watching an episode of Love Island is enough to make most of us question our personal grooming (and national education system).
Nothing says testosterone like a big hairy chest or back rug, but some of us don’t put the hours in at the gym only to obscure our six-pack (okay, one-pack) in a fuzz forest. Waxing is painful, expensive, requires a professional and leads to nuisances like ingrown hairs and bumps.
With a body hair trimmer, you can control your ideal hair length, do all the embarrassing bits in the privacy of our own bathroom and it’s less likely to cause skin irritations. A multi-groomer also means you can streamline your bathroom clutter and have one device to cover all your needs. Remember to shop around: like oak furniture and DFS sofas, body trimmers are always on discount somewhere, only a fool would pay full price.
Body Hair Trimming Tips
You may be wondering why you can’t just use your beard trimmer for your body hair needs. Well, you can, but you may find suffer a couple of nicks and cuts in the process. This is because beard trimmers are designed only to cut the hair on your face, which is far coarser and often thicker than you find elsewhere on the body.
Due to the tough hair on the face, beard trimmers often require contact between the sharp edge of the blade and your skin, which would be harmful for more sensitive areas of your body (we’re thinking downstairs here). A good body trimmer will allow you to get as close as 0.5mm without any direct contact with the sharp stuff though, due to more delicate blade guards which means as pain-free all over shave.
The main piece of advice for trimming your body hair is obviously this: do it carefully. But in terms of using your new trimmer, the technique should be similar to what you’re used to above the shoulders. Aim for long, smooth motions – try not to jab at the target area with short bursts, because that can cause irritation. Generally you’ll want to shave in one direction to avoid upsetting the skin underneath, although if you want a super close shave then attack from all angles – just be methodical when you do so. Skin that looks as though you’ve gone toe-to-toe with Wolverine is not attractive, no matter how hard you think you look.
The Best Body Hair Trimmers
Braun Cruzer6 Body Trimmer
The classic body trimmer from Braun is hard to beat because it covers all bases. It can handle wet or dry use and has three different comb lengths (the shortest is 0.6mm). There’s also an attachment for sensitive bits, and some users report that it’s so gentle they’ve never used it. It has a charging cradle – so no need for an adaptor for the razor socket – and a handy hook to store it in the shower cubicle. It switches easily between trimming and shaving if you’re taking it all off. This is our top pick for intimate shaving.
Panasonic ER-GB80 Wet & Dry Beard, Hair and Body Trimmer
Some trimmers on the market feel like flimsy affairs; this solid but lightweight number feels like it’s built to last and the grooves on the back of the handle give it good grip. The cutting is sharp and doesn’t drag, it’s easy to clean and charges quickly. It has half millimetre settings for extra specific results. The only snag? They do recommend oiling it before and after each use which seems a bit tedious, but we can live with it if it increases its overall performance and lifespan.
Philips Series 500 Showerproof Body Groomer
This model is less of an all-rounder and more specifically for body use. Its USP is the extra-long back attachment for hard to reach areas. It doesn’t contour as well, so it’s better – and very quick – for larger surface areas like the chest and less suitable around the groin. The shortest comb for this Philips model is 3mm, for slightly longer stubble.
Wahl SPL 4-in-1 Multi-groomer
The specific ‘body groomer’ from the makers of multi-grooming kits seems to be preferred by those who like a very smooth finish (read: its multiple settings aren’t that functional), so we’ve chosen the 4-in-1 multi-groomer as a better option and because the blue finish looks nicer. The T blade attachment makes short work of the torso and back. It’s a dry only model, so don’t take it into the shower.
Remington BHT250 Delicates
Designed for undercarriage maintenance and swim short lines, this trimmer has rounded, comfort tip blades to avoid the kind of mishap that sees you sheepishly booking an Uber to A&E. With a 0.2mm setting, it can go super close without the irritation of a full shave. You don’t need to oil these blades, just rinse with water which is a plus, but it doesn’t have a battery indicator, which is kind of annoying.
BaByliss For Men 7056CU Cordless Rechargeable 8 in 1 All Over Grooming Kit
For a basic set, this is pretty good value, even if it does come with an oversize charging dock/comb storage. The blades are all steel, and the shortest length is 1mm, making it ideal for trimming but less effective at shaping. It’s also better at smaller areas (in and around your boxers and armpits) so avoid if want it for upper body maintenance.
Philips Series 1000 Body Groomer
With its red and black finish, this is a smart-looking trimmer. It uses batteries, so it’s ideal for travel, gym kits and wet or dry grooming. Designed to catch hairs that grow in different directions, it’ll help you show off the spoils of those chest exercises and has skin protector guards so it won’t nick your crown jewels. It also has a very attractive price.