Complete Guide to Happy Trails
We’re glad you’re grooming. Untamed bush is pretty gross in the modern age — especially when you combine it with ball sweat. But, trimming your lower reaches every once in a while is a far cry from being a pro groomer. When you’re ready to expand your horizons, you need to learn about happy trails. Lucky for you, we just made this comprehensive guide.
What Is a Happy Trail?
Certainly, you know the basic definition: the hair that leads from the belly button to the pubes. That’s not the question we’re answering. In terms of style, sexiness, and fashion, what is the happy trail? It’s a key element to sex appeal for any man. Most of you underestimate how much a properly groomed happy trail can set a woman on fire (not literally). If you want to hit peak sexiness, you need to know how to manage the happy trail (also called the treasure trail).
How Do You Style the Happy Trail?
Not all trails grow in naturally. For many guys, the lower abdomen just turns into another patch of fur. You definitely want to get away from random tufts on your body and aim for something deliberate and manicured. There’s no universal style, so we’re going to discuss a few options.
It Starts with Fitness
Before you reach for the trimmer, you have to understand what makes a happy trail sexy. A properly groomed beard can add sex appeal to any man, no matter how he looks. The same isn’t true for the treasure trail. The whole point is that it can accentuate washboard abs and a tight body. If you don’t have the fitness, this grooming will do little more than keep lint out of your belly button (which is still important).
That said, maintaining tight lower abs is such a pain. Even fitness trainers eventually grow tired and let the lower abs get a little soft. That’s actually ok. You don’t have to have a full washboard for happy trail grooming to work. In fact, you can even have a little bit of a dad bod. What you have to avoid is a full-on overhanging pooch of a stomach. That’s just too much, and it should be your priority before you worry too much about this particular niche of grooming.
Make a . . . Trail
It’s right there in the name. We call it a happy trail for a reason. The idealized look is to have a thin trail of hair that connects two parts of your body. Your goal is to minimize hair that ruins the general shape and to keep furriness in check. As long as you keep those goals in mind, you’re off to a good start.
That said, there are two mainstream approaches to grooming the trial, and they tend to contradict. The more popular fashion is to aim for soft lines and a nondescript trail. It still looks deliberate, but it doesn’t have the pencil-etched precision that you might put into your beard. This is usually matched with a length gradient, so the hair gradually gets shorter as you go down the trail or to the sides.
The other, slightly less popular fashion is to go for the hard lines. Go ahead and create a clean, sharp trail that it purposefully designed to add an accent to your lower abdomen. In most cases, this style looks best when you have a full washboard below your chest. It also doesn’t look good if you’re doing sharp lines on the happy trail and not the rest of your body, which brings us to the next point.
Match the Drapes to the Carpet
We’re not talking about hair color (this time). The below-waist grooming should inform the happy trail management. If you keep things super close downstairs, then you shouldn’t have a long, curly happy trail. You need some consistency. More to that point, you want the length at the bottom of the happy trail to match the upper pubes. It looks weird to have unconnected, wildly different styles of body hair so close.
This can also help you choose your style with your trail. If you have pristine lines in your pubic hair pattern, then that could justify removing some softness from the trail. Likewise, you also need to match your chest hair. If you’re rocking a fairly burly upstairs, then you shouldn’t be going smooth and bare on the parts below. It’s all about balance.
A Little Technical Advice
Knowing how you want to style your happy trail is a great first step, but you still need to know how to actually accomplish your goals. Now, we’re going to learn a little about grooming technique to get you started.
Make a Plan
You need to firmly decide on the style of your trail before you reach for your trimmer. Winging this will always result in an awkward, amateur look. This is especially true if you’re on the hairy side of things. When you plan your happy trail, you can even outline the edges of the final trail. Eyeliner and similar products are great for this. They give you a visual aid, and they wash out easily when you shower.
Mow the Lawn
Once you have a road map, you need to grab The Lawn Mower™ 3.0. It’s the weapon of choice for this task, and you’re going to rely particularly heavy on the cutting guards. You’re going to start with the longest guard and try to match your outline. By doing this, you give yourself a little room for error. On the first pass, trim with the grain. Eventually, you're going to get some of this hair very short, but that comes after you’re sure you have a good shape.
As you progress, you’re going to use shorter and shorter guards to create the length gradient you want. It also helps a lot to use good trimming technique. Flicking with the wrist will help you keep a natural blend while you work.
Lastly, remember that you’re creating length gradients in two dimensions. You want to gradually shorten to pube length vertically, and you’re tapering down to bare skin horizontally. It might feel weird at first, but after you’ve been through the motions, you’ll see that it’s all pretty easy.
Next Comes the Shave
At this point, you should have a decent happy trail. The shave is just to fully clean up parts that you want to keep smooth. A safety razor and shaving gel are all you need for this step. Take your time; this is more awkward than you will expect if you haven’t done it before. Also, shave with the grain. Even if you’re tempted to get an ultra-close shave, it’s risky. You’re getting into sensitive skin territory, and razor bumps or redness will be clearly visible when you remove your shirt. All of this effort is for nothing if you turn into a red monster.
The happy trail is a special part of male grooming. It’s frequently visible, and it’s one of those things that can really crank up the dial on your sex appeal. What’s nice is that it isn’t labor-intensive. For all the advice you just read, the process only takes a few minutes, and happy trail maintenance fits nicely into your total male grooming routine.
Whether you’re maintaining the treasure trail or not, manscaping is easiest when you consolidate. Start every session on a Magic Mat™ shaving mat, and do all of your trimming at once. It makes clean up easier, and it saves a lot of time.
The opposite is true for shaving. While a consolidated shaving session could conceivably save time, it’s a bad idea. Blades can dull pretty quickly when you’re shaving a lot of surface area, and that’s bad on several fronts. Besides, all shaving comes with a risk of nicks, cuts, and irritation. You want to spread that out. If you do a full shaving session right before a date, you might not want to take your clothes off that night. You also might find yourself itching all over. Instead, make a daily manscaping routine and rotate which part of the body receives the razor. Also, this makes it easier to use a clean razor on each part and avoid cross-contamination.
Always Shower After Grooming
Sometimes, you’ll be in a hurry and combine your grooming and shower. We get it. In general, this is a bad practice. Shorter showers are better for your skin, and grooming keeps you in the water longer. That said, the most important thing is to wash with Crop Cleanser™ hair and body wash after you groom. It helps restore the skin and minimize irritation. That’s doubly important when you ignore our advice and shave too much in a single day.
Apply the Secret Formulas
A good shower is complemented with maintenance formulas. For a groomer, those formulas are Crop Preserver™ and Crop Reviver™. When you use each on a daily basis, you’ll have healthy and happy skin. Your balls will feel cool and free, and you’ll just be better off. Put them on after every shower, and you’re set.
Male grooming doesn’t have to be hard. Every time you nut up and try something new, you’ll expand your skills and the whole process becomes easier. Speaking of easier, you can consolidate all of your tools by getting everything you need are available at Manscaped.com.