We’ve analysed Google data to uncover the male grooming questions that most people search for – and, as experts in all things razors, blades, and shaving, we’ve got the answers as well...
Just how bored did you get during lockdowns? Did you create yourself a nice little monkey tail beard? Did you shave your legs, jump on the exercise bike and pretend you were cycling through France? Did you go full-on cucumbers on eyes?
There was certainly more of a focus on personal well being because of the pandemic, with people getting more time to look after themselves. And that’s exactly what lots of menfolk are doing, with spa brand Champneys finding that over half (54%) of men wanted to take better care of themselves, prioritising skincare, pampering and nutrition.
But here’s the thing: men often aren’t the best at opening up and discussing life’s more sensitive topics, even if we are gradually getting more comfortable in our lovingly moisturised skins. So that leaves us turning to good ol’ Google, which answers some of life’s strangest questions, but can sometimes churn up some questionable info.
And when you’re looking for clues on how to shave ahem...downstairs, you really want reliable guidance.
So it’s Wilkinson Sword to the rescue! Our experts are here to help answer the awkward grooming questions that you might be too nervous to ask friends or family. We’ve been helping the nation shave for over 250 years, so you can be sure we’ve heard it all before...
What are the most searched-for male grooming questions?
We’ve collected data revealing the male grooming questions with the highest number of UK searches over the last year.
The data shows that, on average, someone asks Google why we have pubic hair every 24 minutes. Every 31 minutes, someone turns to Google for advice on shaving balls.
Plus, thousands are struggling with those pesky ingrown hairs: there are 160 UK searches each week for ‘How to get rid of ingrown pubic hair’.
More unusual questions include ‘How to soften pubic hair’ (2,400 searches a year) and ‘Does nose hair grow back’ (960 annual searches).
Top male-related grooming questions – answered
Why do we have pubic hair?
While going minimal downstairs is certainly in fashion, speaking from an evolutionary standpoint, pubic hair is very useful stuff. It offers protection from bacteria, stopping dirt and uninvited guests from entering our bodies, in much the same way that nose hair and eyelashes do.
It may also play a role in helping us humans find mating opportunities, since it traps pheromones released by the nearby apocrine sweat glands. Think of it like your own personal aftershave stash.
And on the subject of sex, pubic hair provides a cushion against friction worked up during sex or other forms of exercise. So you may want to keep those pubes if you’re doing a lot of Tour de Francing in your living room.
How to shave balls
If you think you’re sexy enough without all those pheromones, you go ahead and shave your two constant companions. But tread carefully…
First off, get yourself the right tools. Don’t even think about using the same razor you use on your face. Ideally, you want a reliable electric trimmer, or a specialised high-tech razor with shock absorption features like the Hydro 5 Skin Protection Advanced, as these can cut through the hair close to the skin without breaking the skin.
Before you dive in though, trim the area first, pulling longer hair away from your balls for better access. Then you’ll want to give those treasured family jewels a nice soak – not as a treat, but to soften the stubble and open your pores up.
Then your cojones will be ready for their close-up: pull the skin taut and shave slowly in the direction the hair grows in.
What is manscaping?
Have you heard whispers of this mysterious manscaping thing, and imagined Edward Scissorhands crafting your pubic hair into a flamingo or a squirrel?
Probably not. But you might have been a bit confused about what manscaping actually involves.
The simple answer is that it’s just keeping your body hair under control, making it less of a jungle and more of a well-manicured lawn, simply by trimming it every now and again. Your eyebrows, nose, ears, chest, back, armpits, legs and yes, your balls and bum might all need attention.
How to get rid of ingrown pubic hair
Ingrown hair is bad enough, but it can be especially sensitive downstairs.
Outbreaks usually look pretty angry, so, if you can, leave them well alone so they don’t go full Hulk. Of course, you shouldn’t even think about shaving there again until the area’s fully healed.
If you want to take some action in the meantime, there are a few things you can do:
- Soak the region in warm water once a day, or soothe it with a warm, damp towel
- Apply a solution of water and a few drops of tea tree oil
- See a doctor if the area is particularly painful, red or swollen
How to get rid of back hair
It might give you a slight edge on an Arctic expedition, but excessive back hair isn’t the most sought-after of looks. And it’s not the easiest to get rid of either.
If you’re lucky enough to have an extremely helpful friend or partner, asking them to shave your back at home can be an affordable and effective option. Make sure you’ve got a high quality electric trimmer, or a specialised razor with self-lubricating features, as well as plenty of shaving cream or foam.
How to grow chest hair
Nope, the answer isn’t whisky. Or spinach. Or a 5 am dip in the North Sea. In fact, there’s no real way to develop a Yeti-like chest, no matter what the old wives’ tales say.
Healthy skin and clear pores create an environment that encourages chest hair, but ultimately, different people have different hormone levels, which rule the growth of chest hair. So there’s no use comparing yourself to others.
You can get your chest to look very slightly more hairy by shaving it and letting it grow back. The hair won’t actually be any thicker, but that can be your little secret.
Is it normal for guys to shave their pubes?
Yeah, it’s the 21st century! You can do exactly what you want with your pubes. Plus, men shaving pubes is now much more out in the open than it ever was.
But just because your mate Dave swears by it doesn’t mean you need to rush home and denude your nuts. Like we say: your pubes, your choice.
Of course, if you do decide to take the plunge, make sure you do it properly. Shower first, then trim, before lathering some shaving cream on (if using a razor). Only then should you set about actually shaving, pulling the skin taut and making careful strokes in the direction the hair’s growing in.
Does shaving facial hair make it grow back thicker?
This one’s a bigger myth than the Loch Ness Monster.
Shaving doesn’t change the thickness, colour, number of follicles or growth rate of hair. It does give the hair a blunt tip, which can make it feel more coarse/appear darker as it grows out. Hair is also naturally thicker at the root than the tip, so re-emerging hair might look thicker.
The only thing that actually makes your facial hair thicker is time. So if you want a big bushy beard or a luxuriant moustache, patience is a virtue.
How to relieve itchy pubic hair
You don’t need us to tell you how sensitive your pubic area is. But maybe you didn’t know that it’s also itchier because it’s home to thicker hair, which makes you feel squirmier as it’s growing back.
So here are some quick tips to ease that ants-in-your-pants feeling:
- Apply a warm cloth to the area
- Use a hypoallergenic moisturiser to soothe your skin
- Bring the inflammation down using white tea bags
- Wear loose, breathable clothing, to minimise friction
How to trim chest hair and make it look natural
In short, you don’t want to get too carried away. Otherwise you’ll end up looking like an Action Man figure, particularly if you opt for the waxing route.
If you want to look more like an actual person, with a tamed chest rug going on, consider using a sturdy body hair trimmer. Choose an attachment or setting for longer hair at first, and try trimming a little to see how it looks, getting closer in if need be. Once you’ve found the right length, give the whole thing a once-over, remembering to moisturise afterwards to minimise the irritation.
And there you have it: a glorious, happy medium of chest hair, somewhere between gorilla and a Barbie doll.