Drop the Razors, Guys! Chest Hair Is Back


hairy chests Queen Freddy Mercury“Hairy-chest-exposing-god Freddie Mercury is seen here performing next to Queen guitarist Brian May at Wembley Stadium. A biopic about the legendary band comes out November 2018. Phil Dent/Redferns/Getty Images

If you’ve seen the first full trailer for the upcoming Queen film "Bohemian Rhapsody," you’ve seen the future of fashion. No, we don’t mean full-body Lycra, though don’t let us stop you if that’s your look. We’re talking about Freddie Mercury’s (played in the movie by Rami Malek) chest hair. We see it a lot — peeking out of his tank top at Live Aid and on full display during shirtless guitar solos. Say it isn’t so — is chest hair making a comeback?

Maybe so. The, ahem, hairy trend has been on the rise in recent years. It could be because of the "lumbersexual" look; if you’re going to go for a full beard and a plaid shirt with a pair of leather work boots, a waxed chest seems a bit fussy, no? And there’s no mistaking that this is also crossing over from gay culture, which has long had bears and guys like Freddie Mercury proudly rocking chest hair.

Trendy name or not, we’re seeing more hair on all kinds of men, from fancy mustaches to sculpted beards. There are salons that cater to men and their hair, meaning that what used to be thought of as scruffiness is now a retro kind of style. Being clean-shaven, on your face or your chest, is no longer the only mark of a well-groomed man. A hairy chest also telegraphs a kind of manliness, like Sean Connery as James Bond.

If you’re self-conscious about the amount of hair you have on your chest, or if you’re going to ease into this look after a smooth-chested stretch, you can aim for "tidy" before you go full-on furry. (Be prepared for the fact that hair itches like crazy as it grows in.) Use a clipping tool with a guard to keep the hair short and a razor to clean up the edges.

There are a few everyday guidelines to keep in mind, like keeping your shirt buttoned up at work and undoing a single button when meeting friends at the bar. It’s cool to give your razor a break, but it’s not yet appropriate to unbutton your shirt to the navel and bedeck yourself in gold medallions. Give it time though. As they say, fashion trends always come full circle.

Now That’s Cool

Want to rock your hair-free chest? There’s a trend for that too. The New York Times says it’s the twink look, and it’s making its way along the gender spectrum. The look is lithe, smooth and often on the small end of the bell curve, height-wise. Really, if there’s a look you like and makes you feel great, there’s no wrong way to make it work — even if it hasn’t been given a name by the fashion world yet.

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