Manscaping

Since we recently had a discussion about sculpting your beach body ( healthywealthytribe.com/get-your-beach-body-now ), I thought we’d talk about another component to this subject… Before I dip into this touchy article, let me tell you a quick story:

I’m climbing out of the shower the other day, and my five-year-old son looks me up and down.

After a moment, he says, “Dad, You know I saw this thing on TV… It removes your body hair permanently.”

Then looking straight into my eyes, he cocks his head and says, “You should get one.”

 
HA!

In my defense, it is winter, and I really don’t keep up with my body hair trimming in the “off” season. However, I am a fan of staying well groomed and trimmed (hair-wise).

First-things-first… Some of you might be asking, Why the heck does any man shave or trim their body hair? Well, the simple answer is, I shave my face and get my hair cut to appear presentable. I even trim my eyebrows, nose hairs, and ear hair just to look good for the rest of you! Sooooo… Why can’t I also shorten my arm pit hair to improve my good looks?

To me, it makes perfect sense to clean up my body by trimming and shaving in appropriate places. And, if you lift and have some muscle mass and definition, shaving and/or trimming will do wonders for your striations!

I called this article Manscaping, and it mostly applies to men… However, it obviously is true for women too. The main reason I don’t say “girls” is because you ladies pretty much have the hair shaving thing figured out and do it without thinking about it. The problem for men is mostly: Is it best to stay a hairy grizzly bear, a less hairy trimmed caveman, a very trimmed fella, or a porpoise.

One of the problems or issues that men might face with this subject are: Am I putting my masculinity in question by shaving my body hair? I personally don’t think so. I think it is perfectly acceptable to trim some areas, shave some areas, and leave others untouched. It is also my opinion that it is a cleaner and healthier look to have some hair clean-up. Of course, this is my own personal opinion, and everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Now that I’ve spent myself making excuses, let’s talk about what my preferred manscaping session and tools are.

Tools of the Trade

  • Norelco (Philips) Bodygroom;
  • Wahl beard trimmer;
  • Standard (facial) razor;
  • Shaving cream (this is for the standard razor).
  •  
    My Norelco Bodygroom has blade guards to allow trimming, as opposed to shaving. However, I simply prefer to use a Wahl with easily adjustable guard for the trimming. Mostly I use my standard razor for shaving my face and neck.

    When doing a body grooming session I like to shave my back, upper arms (biceps and triceps), shoulders, and thighs with the body groomer. Next, I switch to the Wahl beard trimmer and shorten the hair on my chest, abdominal area, arm pits, forearms, and calves. I also trim my private parts (no giggling). There is a saying, “shaving your parts will give you an extra (optical) inch.” I’m not sure if this is true or not, but I do like being cleaned up and trim down there.

    I normally will shave and trim my body about every two weeks during spring, summer, and fall.

    That said, Do you manscape? If you do manscape… What do you do? If you don’t manscape… What’s your opinion of it?

    Finally, I’d love to hear from the ladies about your thoughts… Do you dig a man who cleans up by trimming and shaving?

    I believe that’s enough personal revelations for today!

    See ya next time,
    Rip (no… I did not get this nickname from manscaping… Thank goodness!)

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    Take a Hot Bath

    Nothing feels better to me after a sick workout than to take a nice long soak in a hot bath. You guys know that I’m a huge fan of taking a Scottish Shower ( Cold Shower ). The benefits of the cold shower are awesome! Now let’s discuss the opposite… Taking a hot bath. I’m not talking any old bath, I’m talking about a steaming hot, barely able to stand it, hot, HOT bath.

    Disclaimer: Don’t get in a bath that is too hot… Don’t drown… Don’t stick electronic appliances in the bath tub with you… This article is PURELY MY OPINION and might not work for everyone… yada, yada, yada.

    One other disclaimer (of sorts)… If you are a hemophiliac and experiencing a bleed, I do not recommend soaking in a hot tub. Heat is not a good mixture with bleeding episodes. Always evaluate yourself before doing something like this.

     

    First things first… I like to shower before I get in the tub. Just a quick soap and shampoo to clean up. I do this because I’m only using the bath for relaxation and not cleaning. I prefer to soak in clean water.

    Before starting the tub, I light a scented candle or incense. This calming smell adds to the ambiance of the super soak! I also dim or turn off the lights to allow for a darkened room for my meditation; which we’ll discuss a little while down the post.

    I have a nice sound system in my master bathroom. I usually just put on a medium volume classic rock radio station. However, I also love soothing classical or meditation (type) music on a CD or iPod. Regardless of what you choose, make sure it’s something you can relax to.

    While the hot water is drawing, I pour in some Epsom salts. I find that this helps to soothe and calm me. Also, the salts do make my aching (from working out) muscles feel better.

    Next, I rub a mask onto my face. I know that some people like to create their own concoction out of bananas, oatmeal, and so on… But, I simply prefer to buy a mask for ease of use. I spread it on liberally avoiding my eyes.

    Once the tub is up some, I climb in ad chill out. Remember to use caution when climbing into a hot tub. Do the touch test first. My baths are normally so hot that I sort of need to ease into it, letting my body adapt in increments.

    The last step is to enjoy the relaxing scent, sound, and heat… I normally get into a bit of a trance and eventually (when my body is ready) I enter a meditation. This meditation is normally a simple state of mind. I free my thoughts and sink into this state for the remainder of my bath.

    Remember not to stay in the tub for too long. And, make sure that you rinse the mask before climbing out. Perhaps most important, blow out the candle!

    I find that it’s really nice to do this procedure just before bed. I can climb into bed and fall quickly asleep with a clear mind and sensational tingling on my skin.

    Do you ever take baths? If so, what’s your ritual?

    Enjoy!

    -Vaughn

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    Take a Cold Shower

    I take a Scottish Shower every day. You’re probably asking yourself, What the heck is a Scottish Shower? Well … That is a very good question. Essentially it is the act of finishing a hot water shower with a cold water shower. As you might guess the effect is IMMEDIATE and POWERFUL. Even in a tired state, I instantly wake and feel super energized. Many people believe that alternating between hot and cold improves blood circulation and that it can be beneficial with rheumatic disorders.

    As a matter of fact, many people believe that cold showers help in most or all of these areas:

  • Better circulation
  • Better looking hair
  • Rejuvenated and improved skin
  • Enhanced mental capabilities
  • Helps resist hay fever, allergies, colds, and coughs
  • Strengthens the nervous systems
  • Expels toxins and poisonous waste by contracting the muscles
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Improved mood
  • Dramatically increases sperm count and mobility
  • Relieves depression
  • Boosts testosterone
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    In addition to all of that, Japanese samurai warriors did a Shinto ritual called misogi harai. They would pour a bucket of cold water onto their heads. Samurais believed that “misogi” would purify them on a spiritual level. I dig Japanese history and I REALLY dig samurai warriors… So, I initially attempted this years ago to see what all of the spiritual hoopla was about.

    Before I enlighten you how I do this, and what you can do to mimic my insane actions, I must put in print…Yet Another Long-winded Disclaimer: I am afraid that before I talk about this enlightening subject, I must first warn you of the inherent danger associated with it… Cold showers can be dangerous, especially to folks with heart disease, high blood pressure, or a fever. As with most anything in life, you can be seriously injured, crippled or killed. (That sounds a bit tense for a cold shower, but I’m covering my proverbial butt!) The opinions, stories and ideas presented here are my own and do not constitute a recommendation of or endorsement for any particular or general use. You should seek a professional medical evaluation before turning your temperature dial down. If you choose to take cold showers, you do so at your own risk.

    Also, women should not take cold showers during the time of menstruation because it is recommended that they only experience gentleness during their menses. (I had to look this one up)

    Are we clear?

    Now that we have that out of the way… Let me tell you what I do, and you can formulate your own approach.

    I hop into a standard temperature shower. As a matter of fact, I probably take it a hair hotter than most folks. I get the soaping, scrubbing, and washing done. As I’m rinsing off the soap residue, I gradually turn the temperature down a little bit. I usually do this to prepare my body for the coming torture (note: it’s a good torture). Then… Without warning, I crank the knob all the way to cold. It takes a second or two for your creaky pipes to respond, so use that time to tighten your sphincter and prepare for the wonderful onslaught that is heading your direction. When the cold hits, sometimes I feel like screaming (depending on the day, and temperature), but I keep that feeling inside. Often, I will find myself making anguished faces and once or twice my eyes have even rolled up into my head. But, don’t let that scare you off. In all honesty, the Scottish Shower is pure bliss. After a minute or two of rinsing my whole body, I turn the water off. I Immediately get a towel and hug it like I haven’t seen it in years!

    If you struggle once the cold hits you, try my mental focus tip… Think about the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits that are a direct result of what you are putting yourself through.

    One more note… When you are away from home (staying at someone else’s house, a hotel, campground, or something else) be careful with the fast twist to cold. You never know when you’ll run into someone who has considerably colder water running through their pipes.

    Additional Notes and Thoughts
    Men: Don’t forget that you can use the “shrinkage” excuse immediately after getting out.

    Women: Don’t giggle at your scrawny man when he first pops out of a cold shower!

    Little known fact: Did you know that James Bond takes Scottish Showers? Well… He does. If that ain’t proof enough of the benefits, I dunno what is!!!

    Does anyone else out there perform misogi? Please comment and let me know if you do this, or are willing to try it. Heck, I’d even love to hear of you think I’m utterly bonkers!

    -Vaughn

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    Hygiene

    The term “hygiene” is derived from Hygeia, the Greek goddess of health, cleanliness and sanitation. It does not come from the other Greek word, Hydra, which is a 9-headed serpent whose breath was poisonous!

    Personal hygiene is often overlooked as a simple way to stay healthy. When you ask most people to list some easy ways to maintain health, they immediately shoot back with fitness or diet. The funny thing is, that hygiene and simply washing your hands has more than doubled our life expectancy over the last 100 years! That is considerably more than diet and/or fitness will do for you!!!

    On top of longevity, hygiene has been proven to prevent or control a ton of easily curable conditions including: dandruff, chronic halitosis (bad breath), ear wax, body odor, perspiration, head lice, urinary infection, pinworms, and athlete’s foot to name but a few!

    Staying Clean in General
    It might not surprise you to know that a daily shower will do wonders for your body odor and even add to your good looks. It’s no secret that good looking people groom more than non-lookers. Does this mean that you will become Brad Pitt by following some simple guidelines of cleanliness… Nay! However, you are almost certain to be more appealing to the opposite sex (or same, if you dig) if you routinely take good care of your hygiene and grooming.

    Hands
    UNICEF is on a mission to teach the world to wash their hands. Statistics put out by UNICEF show that simply washing your hands at certain times during the day (right before eating and just after using the toilet) can reduce diarrhea rates among children under five years old by almost 50 percent and respiratory infections by 23 percent.

    One of my pet peeves is people who use the bathroom and don’t wash afterward. I witness this on a regular basis at the restroom in my office.

    Because I work on a computer all day, I feel like my hands are exposed to tons of germs from the keyboard and mouse. This is particularly true when sharing office equipment with co-workers. I think it is a good idea to wash your hands once and a while when using a keyboard. Because I run to the restroom so often, I get in a good dosage of hand-washing throughout the day.

    When washing your hands, you should use hot water (as hot as you can safely stand) and make sure to scrub everywhere including your fingernails. Remember to use a paper towel to turn off the water (at work and public places) and to open the bathroom door.

    At the very least, make sure that you follow the UNICEF guidelines and wash your hands prior to any meal or snack and after using the bathroom.

    Hair
    It is said that you should wash your hair with shampoo at least once per week. I personally wash my hair every day. Perhaps I am overdoing it and drying my hair and scalp. I dunno what the proper timing on this is, but obviously when your hair is getting overly oily and dirty, it is time to do some scrubbing!

    I have dandruff (perhaps due to the fact that I wash my hair everyday!) and easily control it with specialized shampoo. I like to alternate between a dandruff shampoo (I dig on Selsun Blue) one day and then an ordinary shampoo (American Crew for this head) the next day. I find that dandruff shampoo alone can dry my hair out more than normal… Regardless of the shampoo day, I do use a conditioner; which goes a long way to help moisturize my locks.

    Skin
    Skin was mostly covered with the piece on showers above. I thought it deserved a section of its own however. Once again we are tasked with answering the age old question, how often should I shower? I think that this varies from person to person. Some people who perspire very little and do not build up noxious odors may not need to bathe as often as those of us in the less appealing side of things… However, I think it is common knowledge that you should take a bath or shower after a good solid workout. And, as was mentioned above, at least once per week.

    Don’t forget to put on clean clothes (you would be surprised at how many people overlook this rule) after you shower!

    Teeth and Gums
    Twice a day is generally recognized as the minimum times that you should brush your teeth. First thing in the morning and last thing at night. Many people throw in a brushing after each meal to boot. I have been blessed with a very tough enamel and have no cavities. For this reason, I find that twice a day is perfect for me. Also, I use a battery powered brush (Sonicare) and find it invigorating to say the least! Also, I have found that it does a better job of cleaning my teeth in a shorter period of time.

    Flossing is still held with high regard. As far as I know, dentists are still recommending this as a routine activity. I wouldn’t know, because I haven’t been to see a dentists in more than eight years (do as I say, not as I do). In addition to flossing, I use a water pic device and find that it does a very good job.

    Note: I would suggest that you go to a dentist more often than me!

    A Clean House
    On top of bodily hygiene, your house is a potential haven for all kinds of germs (and worse). You should regularly: vacuum, wash counters, clean sinks, and toilets and dust. Along with these cleaning chores, don’t forget to change your bedding sheets and clean or replace your furnace/AC filter(s).

    Those Around You
    You can pick your friends… And, you become much like the people you are surrounded by… Surround yourself with like-minded folk!

    Pets
    This subject is way too large for my tiny Blog… Suffice it to say that your pets should be clean too!

    Closure
    I know that I only touched on a minuscule piece of this huge topic… However, it is clearly (proven by thousands of doctors and scientists) a contributing factor to our health and longevity. I recommend that you evaluate your current hygiene procedures and see if you can’t improve upon some areas!

    Be safe, and stay clean,
    Vaughn

    Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

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