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Guy Smarts: How much chest hair should you expose?

When it comes to your chest hair, there's always a who, what, when, where, and why attached to it.

It's a moment that you probably know all too well: You've decided to hit the beach at high noon.

It's hot, sticky, and your t-shirt has somehow managed to plaster itself to your sweat-drenched skin. Needless to say, your upper body is in dire need of some airing out. The only thing stopping you? The carpet of hair sitting on your chest. You ask yourself the question: Should I wait until I'm back home to do some weed whacking—or do I embrace my body hair, Chewbacca chest and all?

When temperatures soar and humidity knows no end, it's a dilemma that plagues many guys who grow excessive amounts of body hair, especially on their chests. Trust us when we say there's nothing professional about showing up to the biggest business conference of the year with hair sprouting up above your collar, looking like you just bathed in your own sweat.

Good new is, you don't have to panic and go haywire with your razor just yet. When it comes to your chest hair, there's always a who, what, when, where, and why attached to it. We get it, body hair is a touchy subject. In fact, more men have concerns about their appearancethan you might think, a study published in the journal Body Image suggests.

That's why we've created this ultimate guide to flaunting your fur. When should your chest hair make its grand appearance and when should you keep it under wraps? Here, five everyday moments you should consider and exactly how you should handle each one.

CHEST HAIR AT THE BEACH: ON FULL DISPLAY

You're only human. If you have a blanket of hair lying underneath your shirt, spending the day outside in the dead of summer is going to get hot. In fact, we assume your chest and all of its hair is probably on Alec Baldwin levels of Schweddy and you’re likely eager to do some unbuttoning. If you’re headed to the beach or pool and temperatures are reaching the nineties, by all means, keep your comfort a priority and let your chest hair out to play.

Now, how comfortable you want to get with flaunting it is up to you. If you're okay with going shirtless, but would feel more confident getting your chest hair cleaned up for a day by the water, here is exactly how to snip, trim, and shave your body hair.

CHEST HAIR ON A DATE: CONFIDENCE IS KEY

Despite what you might think, some women actually dig a bit of fur. Case in point: When Australian researchers surveyed women about their body hair preferences on men, they found that women deemed men with "light" body hair—or guys with just a little bit of hair around their chest and belly button—as more attractive than guys with lots of body hair.

Why? A little bit of hair plays up your manliness, the researchers suggest, without making you look too aggressive. Of course, there are women who like the clean-shaven look, but there are also women who love lots of chest hair—so don't go hard with your razor if it just isn't your thing. How you groom your chest hair says a lot about how you carry yourself, and no matter what, confidence will always be attractive to women.

CHEST HAIR OUT AT THE BAR: ONE (BUTTON) AND DONE

Stick to one button undone. You'll come off as confident while playing it a bit more safe. If you're looking to meet a woman that night, exposing too much might be a bit off-putting—whether you have chest hair or not. You don't want to come off as if you're trying too hard and there's simply no reason to leave the entirety of your hairy torso on display when you're ordering her a Gin and Tonic. With just one button undone, there's enough peeking through to catch her eye, but you'll leave a bit more to her imagination.

If you're just out for a night with guys, no need to put as much thought into it. Sit back, enjoy your ice-cold Heineken and let loose.

CHEST HAIR AT THE GYM: LET YOUR SKIN BREATHE

You're bound to work up a sweat when you're running full speed on the treadmill or lifting heavy in the weight room. But shaving all off your chest hair off can be a hassle—not to mention, super uncomfortable once it starts to grow out.

And let's be real, meeting a lady at the gym has probably crossed your mind. (Granted, just know there is definitely a wrong way to meet women at the gym.) If you're not up for exposing your entire chest during your workout, try and find a middle ground with something like this Threadborne Siro Tank from Under Armour ($30). You'll show off minimal fuzz while letting your skin breathe at the same time.t

CHEST HAIR AT THE OFFICE: KEEP IT UNDER WRAPS

Even if you don’t mind having some hair peek out of your shirt, know that there is a time and a place for it. If you work a high profile marketing job—or heck, even if you work waiting tables—keep things secured under your shirt. Not only can it be distracting, but it can also come off as sloppy and unprofessional. Make the effort to look as polished as possible and keep things buttoned up.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR CHEST HAIR IN CHECK

If you're proud of your chest hair, but don't necessarily want to resemble Sasquatch, there are some steps you can take to keep things trimmed without going fully bare. Read up on our complete guide to manscaping your chest hair here.

To get you there, you'll need the right tools. This razor from Phillips ($60) comes equipped with a 3-D pivoting head to work around the contours of your body without leaving any nicks on your skin. Pair it with this moisturizing pre-shave oil from Jack Black ($32) so you can see exactly where and how you want to trim.

Source: Pulse Nig

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