All right, men, here’s the deal: Waxing is where it’s at. The global hair removal wax industry is expected to top US$18,814.3 million by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 9.4 percent from 2018 to 2026, according to a Transparency Market Research report. And while women make up the majority of the waxing population, the demand for men’s waxing services is increasing. So as this becomes trendier—whether it’s your girlfriend pushing you to get it done or it’s your own decision to get smooth—we answer all your potential questions in advance.
Here’s our quick guide to waxing for males (from the waist up, at least). As well, here are the most common men’s waxing FAQs.
Trust us, your significant other says thank you in advance.
Is it normal for men to wax?
Yep. In fact, male waxing is becoming more popular as we write this. Some men prefer waxing for the smooth esthetic. Others, like athletes—swimmers, bodybuilders, wrestlers—must be groomed for their sport. Others do so for vanity reasons. Or convenience. Because as one of our friends says, “My pesky ear hairs grow faster than the speed of sound.”
So rest assured, you’re in good company when you decide to book that wax (or your significant other does so for you).
What exactly is manscaping?
For the formal definition, Merriam-Webster states manscaping as “the trimming or shaving of a man’s body hair so as to enhance his appearance.”
But as Esquire remarks, there is no one true definition of this more-or-less informal term. (The magazine also declares manscaping as a rather “ridiculous” word [a notion we tend to agree with], but that the “concept of manscaping—as in, body grooming—is a perfectly reasonable one.” That latter statement is something we can all get on board with, yes?
What can I expect during a wax?
Your wax specialist applies either hard or soft wax to the treatment area. The esthetician then quickly removes hair, in the direction opposite the hair growth. Any remaining wax is wiped away. Voila. All smooth.
How bad does waxing hurt?
Well, there are probably more pleasurable things in life than waxing. But that scene from The 40-Year-Old Virgin? Definitely a little overkill. And, most people report that the more you wax, the less painful it becomes.
Why should men wax?
- Well, you’re smooth. So there’s that. But there are benefits of waxing for men aplenty beyond having silky skin:
- Your significant other won’t spend one more night with you until you’re smooth.
- Speaking of that significant other, your stubble hurts-slash-irritates. Truth.
- You don’t have to shave.
- And expanding on shaving—that takes time and serious commitment to being smooth. Waxing, on the other hand, allows you to get rid of unwanted hair in large areas and at once, making for a much quicker process.
- Piggybacking on the previous point, waxing is not only faster, it’s more precise. A smoother, cleaner look is minutes away.
- Slower regrowth. Wax regularly and your hair will grow back softer, finer and less coarse.
- Longer results. Depending on the area waxed, you’ll stay smooth anywhere from two to six weeks.
- Waxing exfoliates the skin, sloughing away the dead cells on the epidermis. So if you haven’t effectively scrubbed your face or body in a good long time, your wax will take care of it for you.
- Your buddies became part of the waxing movement and are pressuring you to follow suit.
Why wax at a salon rather than at home?
A reputable wax salon is a better option to remove unwanted hair. Wax specialists undergo lengthy training and employ proper techniques for a significantly less chance of waxing side effects like ingrown hairs or irritation. (Note you still may experience mild redness depending on skin sensitivity, but it should subside fairly quickly.)
Pre-Wax Prep Instructions
- Tip: Take an Ibuprofen before your wax if you’re nervous about the pain.
- Nix tanning: No one will wax sunburned skin. If they say they will, run out of that salon immediately.
- Skip any lotion, moisturizer, cream, etc. the day of your wax; they can impede with the wax process. Leave moisturizing to the day before—and if exfoliating’s part of your regular skincare maintenance routine, do so 24-48 hours prior.
Waxing Aftercare Instructions
- Don’t go in the sun or work out immediately after your wax. Sweating can cause clogged pores, i.e., acne, bacne, etc. Same goes for visiting steam rooms, saunas, tanning beds, etc. Skip them for the day.
- Cold showers only for a few days.
- No touching the newly waxed area. It can cause irritation and pimples.
Men’s Waxing Options (from the Waist Up)
- Arms (half/full)
- Back (full)
- Back (lower)
- Cheeks (face)
- Stomach (full)
- Stomach strip
Ok, men: You now have all the info you need. The ball’s in your court. Book that wax.