In the last 5 years, there has been a growing trend of men shaving their legs. From a traditionalist point of view, this may be taboo as men typically have only shaved their faces. It has been women who have kept their legs clean shaven. Sometimes, trends, outlooks, and traditions can change. That seems to be happening with men shaving their legs.
Bodybuilders have been a group that seems to have always been hair free everywhere. That is understandable because clean shaven legs would allow muscle tone and definition to stand out. This is a no-brainer for any serious bodybuilder especially during competition.
Olympic athletes like swimmers have also done this since the 1950’s. Although, this is done for more performance reasons and not so much for aesthetics. More hair equals more drag which can slow you down, and even a fraction of second can mean a silver medal instead of a gold. Some competition swimmers also wait until the night before a competition to shave because freshly shaved legs in the water gives a sensation of feeling exhilarating. This is likely due to the removal of the outer layer of the dermis that the razor takes off. This provides them with a mental jump start once their body hits the water, and during a competition, any advantage is worth taking.
But, are more men shaving their legs now? According to a Facebook poll by The Independent almost half of all men shave or trim their leg hair. Around 15% shave their legs regularly and 33% use a trimmer to keep their leg hair down. Today, more men are shaving their legs, but they are doing it for a variety of other reasons. Leg shaving is not just about sports and competitions anymore, and it is becoming more about body image.
I will go through some of the reasons why men do this, and I will look at some of the advantages and disadvantages if you are considering going down this path.
Why Do Men Shave Their Legs?
Today, more men shave their legs for aesthetics, and many men claim it feels better, especially during the warmer months. The trend of male grooming and manscaping has grown over the last decade, and more men are taking their grooming habits seriously. Tattoos have also become more popular, and if you are very hairy, your artwork may not stand out. Some guys shave down so that they can be inked and later decide to keep it that way.
If you are a guy who is considering shaving or trimming your legs, there are some things that you need to consider before doing it.
The Advantages Of Shaving Your Legs
1. It Can Help Show Off Your Leg Muscles
Men who hit the gym work hard to look good. During shorts season, your legs are in prime time, and if you want to show them off, a good trim or clean shave will help to do that.
2. It Feels Good To Have Shaved Legs
You can read any poll, Facebook Group, or forum that covers male grooming, and you can read the comments from men who shave their legs regularly. A common answer to why they do it is simply because they like the way it feels.
3. Leg Tattoos Are More Visible
If you have a nice calf tattoo that you want to show off, and your legs are hairy, then removing or at least trimming down your leg hair will help your ink standout.
Now, these are just a few advantages of doing it. Just because you don’t have athletic legs and tattoos does not mean that you shouldn’t get it done. If it makes you feel better, and if you feel you have a better body image, then that is your choice. Go for it!
The Disadvantages Of Shaving Your Legs
If you are a fan of wet shaving, you know that shaving your face can be a good experience, and it can be relaxing. However, keeping your legs shaved is a whole other level of maintenance. I’m talking about a lot more surface area, and this job is a lot more involved than a few minutes in front of the mirror before going to work. Granted, the amount of work it takes is determined from how you shave your legs. If you are looking to get a clean shave with your favorite DE razor, it’s gonna take you some time to finish. However, if you are just going to clean them up with a manscaping trimmer, the effort is a lot less. So, that is something to keep in mind.
2. It Can Be Painful
If you are an experienced wet shaver, and if you have quality gear, this may not be as big of an issue, but for men using cartridge razors and commercial shaving gel, this can be a serious concern. Shaving your legs is different from your face, and it may take some getting used to. Also, your legs are not used to being shaved, so you may be at risk for irritation, itching, and razor burn, especially your first few times. Now, a great DE razor and a high quality shaving soap will help reduce the risk of that, but for cartridge users who don’t have a quality razor, they may struggle a bit more starting out. Over time, these problems may go away, but it can certainly be something that can keep you from moving forward with a leg grooming routine.
3. It Can Get Expensive
Some men may want to get their legs shaved, but they may not want to do it themselves. There are salons that will do this, but that’s obviously going to come with a nice price tag. I checked with a handful of salons, and the going rate for a full leg waxing for men was around $100. This may be different based on the city you live in, but a quick search on Google should give you some salons with pricing. Also, if you are a cartridge razor user, you are going to run through a whole lot more of these razors every month especially if you keep your legs clean shaven. Those things are not cheap!
4. Your Spouse May Not Like It
There are a couple of things to consider when it comes to your spouse. First, do they like the look of it? If not, then that is something that you will have to deal with, and it likely won’t end well for you. If you have a Type A wife, you know what I am talking about. The second reason is scratchy legs. Guys know exactly what this is like when their lady hasn’t shaved in a few days, but how will she feel once your scratchy and itchy legs are rubbing against hers? Also, not going to go well for you.
Do Women Like Men With Shaved Legs?
According to a survey done by Women’s Health, 44% of women said “Too feminine, give me hair”, 34% said “It’s ok if it’s for sports”, and 22% said “I’m ok with shaving, so long as the guy has hot legs.” So basically, if you are Brad Pitt, Matthew McConaughey, or Michael Phelps, then go for it! In all seriousness though, other polls show that about half of all women are ok with shaved or trimmed legs on men, but half are not. Sometimes, those women surveyed put caveats on it like the Women’s Health poll did. If you are not really concerned with how women view your legs, then this is obviously not something to worry about. However, if you are a single guy trying to land a date, and she glances down at your shiny legs, there may be a chance that she is turned off by it. On the flip side, there may be a chance she likes it.
To sum it up, some women like it, some don’t, and some only like it under certain conditions.
So should you shave your legs? Well, if you want to, then you should, but consider the advantages and disadvantages that I discussed. The good news is that your decision is not permanent if you end up not liking it. Your leg hair will always grow back. Also, this is not something that you have to do year round. Some men only do it during the hottest months of the year, so if you are turned off by the maintenance of keeping your legs clean, then you can just do it during the times when you wear shorts the most.
About The Author:
James Woods is the founder and Senior Editor at Beardedblade which is a site dedicated to men’s lifestyle and grooming. James is an avid wet shaver, and he also has experience in the beard care industry.