Throughout life, I’ve always had hair. If I could say so myself, I would deem my hair as “good hair.” My hair doesn’t curl up like naps seeking shelter in the kitchen or stick straight where it will poke your eyes out; instead my hair just delicately grows out peaceful, unbothered and not disturbing anyone. I like to pride myself on root realness, however, my roots seem to be all over place.
I used to resent my mother and father because both of them are hairy creatures. Growing up I would take the time and shave all my hair off but then that became too time consuming. Trying to schedule a day to sit around the tub, bask in the toxic aroma of products and shave just wasn’t getting it. With the cosmetic industry booming for men, I would even try instant hair removal products like Nair and was left with the sudden irritation reminding me that this wasn’t for me either.
A recent New York Times profiled a handful of Manhattan salons whose patrons and estheticians claim the practice is becoming more and more popular with men. In the article “Men Turn to Bikini Waxing,” the author highlights the influx of male clients and the amount of money businesses can profit.
I haven’t tried waxing anything but my eyebrows but I’m not opposed to it. I’m not sure what made me start wanting to shave but I have a slight inclination. Still, when dating, I used to get a mixture of compliments. Some people would admire my hair and comment on how sexy or ‘manly’ it was while others would loathe it. I will never forget the time my ex asked me to shave, which triggered me experimenting with different products and ways to keep my hair down to a minimal. So you could only imagine if I had root realness and “good hair” all over, the type of hair I was working with in my garden and backyard. Yes, it’s “good hair” back there too.
I remember the days walking around proclaiming like India Arie, that I’m not my hair. However, I started to get annoyed with it myself- especially down there. The more sexually active I became, the more I started to care about little things like pubic, back, butt and chest hair. To me I started to find those things unattractive. Of course the more I engaged, I started reading additional magazines and watching adult films (for supplemental purposes) learning about the term manscaping.
If you’ve never heard of the term, just consult your nearest men’s magazine or health site. Manscaping is the modern term used for the removal of body hair on men. However, this ritual is nothing new. The removal of body hair has a long history of being a cultural and religious custom to many ethnic groups.
I soon became fascinating with keeping a clean boxer-brief line down there. I started shaving the top where my pubic hair began to grow to give myself a nice little edge-up. Outside of that I would also ensure that my pubic hair was not too long. I would cut them down with scissors giving more definition to the garden. I would also trim the hair around my balls. Not to mention, the removal of hair gives you the illusion of added inches and who does not want that? Often (pending travel engagements with my friends) I would adventure to the backyard to make sure my hair was not wildly growing causing a battle of the coffee-colored tissue crumbs. Needless to say, now my new routine consists of me manscaping down below.
Grooming is very personal and has become an intimate detail men including myself have to decide on doing. The challenge is maintaining. Everyone is not going to agree on what’s appropriate or not. Nothing is wrong with a little unassertive trimming to keep your garden and backyard looking fresh and maintained. Hair can preserve lewd odors and end up in strange places outside of the rim of the toilet seat or cusp in your boxers. After the many out of town excursions to beaches with my friends coupled with me becoming sexually active, I’m a true believer in manscaping. There are still times that I wish I didn’t have any hair but I find a way to deal and work around what I was blessed/cursed with.