Grooming & Style

Don't Fear the Odd Hair -- Tame It

There’s nothing quite like your girlfriend saying, “Hey, did you know you have hair growing out of your … ?” to deflate the ego. But even though she might think ear or cheekbone hair is weird (doesn’t that only happen to grandpas?), it’s not. Hello, you’re just a guy! According to Garrett Pike, a barber at Martial Vivot Salon Pour Hommes in New York City, clients are constantly asking him about hairy trouble spots. “Definitely don’t be embarrassed to talk about stray hairs with your barber,” he advises. It’s like the doctor; he’s heard it all. And what you may think is odd is actually quite normal.

But that doesn’t mean you have an excuse for not taking care of stray hairs. Here, our expert reveals the best ways to deal with common problem areas so you’ll never have a girl look at you like you’re a Neanderthal again.

Nose
Pike recommends skipping nose trimmers: “I usually do everything with the scissor just because it feels better.” Pick up a small pair of scissors with a curved tip, which will help you get into the nose better. “As long as you cut around the nostril, it looks good. A lot of people tend to go up pretty far, but what really matters is getting anything that’s hanging out.”

Toe and Finger Knuckles
Pike attacks his hand- and toe-fur with either scissors (the same ones for the nose), targeting the really long hairs, or with a hair clipper at the “1” setting. “That’s a pretty standard length, but you might want to take it shorter if you have black hair.” To do so, set the clipper to “000” or “0,” or use a beard trimmer.

Ears
According to Pike, asking your barber to take the hair out of your ears is a completely normal request. And it’s convenient: You’ll need to trim ear hair every four to six weeks, which is the average time between haircuts anyway. If you choose to take care of the strays at home, your tactic depends on how many you’ve got. Use tweezers if you have only a couple of hairs. Otherwise, a clipper that resembles a T (rather than a square) will do the job: “They have that extra corner on it to get into the weird areas of the ear.”

Cheeks
Shaving up to your eyes isn’t the answer, says Pike. On the other hand, tweezing hurts, especially if you have a lot of hair. If you’re looking for a pain-free approach, use a really tight trimmer.

Back of Neck
This is one of the harder areas to manage, simply because you can’t see it. The solution: Hold a mirror in one hand in front of you and stand with a mirror behind you. If you decide to use a trimmer, attack your neck before getting in the shower, since the machine won’t be completely efficient on slick hair. “If you’re going to use a razor, definitely do it wet after getting out of the shower,” says Pike. Trimming won’t get as close as a razor would, he adds, but it’ll do the job if you’re in a hurry.

Photo: @iStockphoto.com/peters99


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Caroline Kinneberg is a Paris-based journalist who has written about beauty and grooming for Nylon and BlackBook magazines.

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