Chest hair is a fascinatingly divisive subject. Some men are actively looking for tips on how to grow chest hair, while others can't stand it. That's true for men and women. Some ladies love the old Sean Connery look, and they don't think a man is a man unless they can see something poking out a guy's shirt. Others want that chiseled, smooth chest.
As for guys, we're just as divided. Some sport their lion's main with pride. Others are embarrassed to take their shirt off in the locker room. And for the naturally bare guys, you get the same split. If you've ever asked yourself, "Should I shave my chest hair?" you're in the right place. We're going to cover the entire conversation today. This article is the complete guide to chest hair growth.
Putting Hair on Your Chest
You've heard the old myths. Do that thing your dad says, and it'll put hair on your chest. That's not how all of this works, but some things really can promote the growth of chest hair. From the most classic myths to the most scientifically proven methods, we'll look at it all.
Old Myths To Growing Chest Hair
At some point, someone probably told you to do one or more of these things to grow a little chest hair. While they might not be medically true, they probably were part of the right of passage between boyhood and manhood. How many of these sound familiar? How many have you told to the next generation as you've aged?
Hard Work Will Put Hair On Your Chest
Hard work is probably the go-to. A paper route, working on the car, doing chores, or otherwise working hard was supposed to toughen you up and put a little hair on the chest. Was it all just an excuse to get you to do stuff, or was there any merit to it? It turns out that physical activity actually can have an impact on hormonal development. Those chores might not have directly grown your chest hair, but they might have helped the process along.
Hunting or Fishing Is Hard Work, Thus Helps You Grow Hair
While getting up early for a hunting trip can feel tied to hard work, this is a different myth altogether. There's an old philosophy that participating in traditionally masculine activities will make you more of a man. On the surface, we all know better these days, but there's a little bit of interesting psychology at play under the surface.
Ignoring what we know about physical activity and the generation of testosterone (which we'll discuss in a little bit), doing things that you believe to be manly actually can have a small impact on your physiology. It's kind of like the placebo effect. If you believe you're tough and manly, your body will produce the hormones it thinks you need to accomplish that task. Hunting and fishing have no direct link to chest hair, but your brain can make things true that otherwise wouldn't be. We thought that was interesting.
Eating Gross Food Will Put Hair On Your Chest
Did everyone have a dad who at some point pushed gross food on them? Is that a normal thing, or is this one of those eye-opening moments?
Let's be real. As an adult, you probably have a little bit of an instigating streak too. It's a lot of fun to get kids to try new stuff and experiment with food. Telling them that eating some crazy concoction will put hair on their chest is only one trick in the book, but it's a classic. Unlike hard work, there's no correlation at all here. Seriously, we tried to think of ways to stretch it. It doesn't work.
Eat More Spicy Food For Chest Hair
Spicy food is a little different from gross food. That's because spicy food does stimulate some hormonal responses in your body. It's not enough for a single chip in salsa to turn you into Chewbacca, but spicy food could have a minimal impact on things like body hair. Emphasis is on the word minimal.
And as an adult, trying to eat spicy stuff to put a little more hair on your chest is not a good idea. You're more likely to send yourself to the bathroom on repeat than see any new fur pop up under your shirt.
Black Coffee Makes You A Man
What is it with food and telling boys it'll grow hair on their chest? Well, black coffee is pure myth. Coffee can do many things with your body, but hair growth is not on that list. It's hard to find any compelling reason to push black coffee on someone. Maybe it's cheaper than creamy, sugary coffee?
In reality, as long as you aren't mixing weird hormonal cocktails into the beverage, the things you drink aren't impacting chest hair. Now that you know that, are you still going to use this one day? We're not here to judge anyone for having a little fun and messing with the next generation now and then.
Whatever You Don't Want to Eat
With coffee and spicy food, it's more of a joke. If you can handle that, you're manly enough for a hairy chest. With the food you don't want to eat, it's all about incentive (because, of course, boys want hair on their chest . . .). Some of the classics in this category are vegetables, bread crusts, and beans. Whatever food you wanted to avoid, that was going to be the one that transformed you into an adult.
Getting up Early
Indirectly, there's a little truth hidden in this old myth. Getting up early doesn't help you grow anything, but a good sleep schedule does. Getting the right amount of sleep regularly is essential to hormonal regulation and can promote body hair.
Ironically, getting up early can have the opposite effect. If you're cutting sleep to get up (which happens a lot across all ages), you're hurting that regular sleep, and the result can be reduced body hair growth. Human bodies are complicated, so this wouldn't happen with everyone, but it's a real possibility that getting up early can help avoid hair from growing on your chest.
So, this is a weird one. Science is pretty sure that giving kids responsibilities is good for development in a lot of ways, but it's hard to pin down exactly how and why. Considering that complicated interaction, it is possible that the responsibilities you resented as a kid did put some hair on your chest, but that's a very hard thing to prove.
So, maybe taking care of the pet or sibling made you hairier. Who knew that being a school leader could have these kinds of side-effects?
In all seriousness, telling a young boy this is a classic way to get past the objections and to the task at hand.
Growing Up (This One Is Kind Of True)
The last thing on the list is indispensable. Mostly, that's because this is true. Growing up causes you to finally start growing chest hair (well, at least most of you). The irony of it all is that it has nothing to do with how grown-up you feel. You can't force puberty to do its thing by acting a certain way (although behavior can affect these things). You just have to wait. The fascinating thing about all of this is that every myth has some correlation (although some are very convoluted) with how to grow chest hair. We'll discuss that half next.
Did we miss any classics? Did you fall for anything that isn't on the list? What are your all-time favorites? Least favorite?
Things That Put Hair on Your Chest
All joking aside, while some men are seeking chest hair removal options, other guys do want to have a hairier chest. For those of you sporting bearskin rugs on your chest, this probably sounds crazy, but it's a real thing. We're done with the myths. These are real ways to promote hair growth.
It's number one on the list. Having the right testosterone levels is the fundamental way to get hair growing on your chest. If you have too little, you'll keep that boyish charm forever. At the same, too much testosterone can be hard on hair follicles and inhibit growth too.
If you think you have a hormone problem, go see a doctor. That's the obvious part. If you don't think you're there yet, the key to healthy testosterone levels is the same as anything else in life: diet and exercise. A healthy diet promotes good hormone regulation. More importantly, being more physically active will help you boost your testosterone levels. It turns out that some of those old myths might have helped you after all. Anything that could lead to even a little more testosterone helped your chest produce that first hair.
You might be surprised to see this. First, let's get something straight. Shaving doesn't make hair grow back thicker. That's a myth. Despite that, proper grooming can help with hair growth. Perhaps you've heard the ladies talking about cutting their hair to help it grow? That's a real thing, and to a lesser extent, it can apply to your chest.
What you need to understand is that this is about more than just trimming or cutting chest hair. It's about skin health. When you have healthy skin, clear pores, and do all of the work, you create an environment that's great for growing chest hair. You still need testosterone, but grooming can go a long way.
Creams and Treatments
The thing about hair growth products is that some work, and some don't. You have to be willing to do the research. But, you can find something that works. Use it as directed, and it can get a little more hair on that chest of yours.
We're obligated to advise caution here. Not everyone selling cream is honest, and if the cream is made outside of the U.S., you can get all kinds of things in your treatment. Always know what's in the product before you use it. If you can't find real scientific research promoting the ingredients in your cream, maybe you shouldn't use it. The last thing you need is to rub some weird animal fluids on your chest for no reason at all.
Of course, the most important ingredient in growing chest hair is patience. Assuming you have perfect testosterone levels, groom like a pro, and use your special cream, it's going to take time. You shouldn't expect to see any gains in the first few months, but eventually, with diligence, chest hair can sprout.
Removing Chest Hair
If you're fashion-forward, you might value a smooth chest. At the very least, some of you have so much chest fur that it needs taming. These techniques can help you do just that.
Grooming Your Chest Hair
We're back to this again. While good grooming can promote healthy hair growth, it's also the obvious way to get things under control. The first lesson to learn is that shaving isn't usually the best way to go. Sure, it'll give you a smooth chest for a few hours, but then you'll end up prickly and miserable. And, it ruins intimate time. Instead of trying to be baby smooth, you can get a trimmer and just thin the weeds a bit. You'll still show off some of that sexy chest hair, but it'll look way better because it's under control.
Waxing Your Chest
If you're still not convinced, then there are good ways to prepare for your Mr. Universe contest and remove all of the hair. Waxing is easily one of the best methods. Yes, it's uncomfortable. Yes, it will leave you red for a little while immediately after, but it lasts for at least a month. It also keeps the hair from being razor-sharp when it grows back.
You can go with a pro to let them do the work, or you can do a home wax treatment. Your chest can handle a little struggle (although other parts of the body are best left to pros). Waxing is more expensive than shaving, but considering how rarely you need to do it, you aren't paying that much extra in the long run.
The creams that remove hair are a lot more reliable than the ones designed to grow it. There are plenty of depilatories to try, and the majority of them will be fine. The trick to hair removal cream is to always test it on a small spot first. A little bit of red, irritated, or burning flesh is fine. Going to the hospital with a blistered chest is miserable.
To be clear, bad reactions aren't the norm. They only happen if you have an allergy or intolerance, but you want to be sure about that before smear stuff all over your chest.
Assuming you find a cream you like, it usually lasts for weeks, and like waxing, it doesn't lead to prickly hair growth. A tube of cream might cost more than a razor, but the costs are about the same in the long run.
Laser Hair Removal
Your last mainstream option for killing chest hair is the most technological. Doctors can burn the hair follicles with lasers to permanently kill growth. That sounds more brutal than it is.
In reality, laser hair removal is the high-end approach to the industry. It's more expensive than anything else. It also doesn't work the same for everyone. Hair color, skin color, and a whole bunch of biological factors can make you a better or worse candidate for laser removal. If you are a good candidate, though, it really can be permanent.
Well, that about covers it. We've talked about how to grow chest hair, how to stop growing chest hair, and even reminisced about the old myths we were all told as kids. No matter where you fit on the chest hair spectrum, you should have the means to get what you want. And, unless you go the laser route, you know how to change your mind later. Like other body hair trends, we can't promise that chest hair trends will remain over time, but you can always return to this guide to make the change you want to see. So, until next time, enjoy your newfound knowledge, and don't be afraid to have a little fun with your at-home body groomer.