Is now the time for waxing, guys?

With so many trends fighting for our attention these days, it’s hard to know what’s staying for good and what will be gone tomorrow. One thing I know for sure and have never questioned, is waxing. It’s not a fad and it’s here to stay.

Waxing has been used as a form of hair removal for thousands of years. The reason it has secured its permanent place in the beauty industry is simple – It’s safe, effective and attainable. Different hair removal techniques such as sugaring, IPL, laser hair removal etc. have become very popular in recent years as advertising and celebrity endorsements have caused consumers to have conflicting thoughts on what is best. Playing on consumers desire to have permanent lifelong results, a ‘natural’ alternative or simply to be a part of a new ‘trend.’

Sugaring is an ancient middle-eastern practice that uses an all-natural paste or gel made from food-derived ingredients like sugar, water and lemon juice to remove the hair. The toffee like substance is kneaded into the skin repeatedly, removing the hair as it goes. With a number of inferior waxes on the market causing reactions including redness, itchiness and bumps, it’s no wonder people started looking for an alternative remedy. But here’s the scoop; 1) Superior waxes don’t cause these kinds of irritations; 2) Natural, Vegan friendly, water soluble waxes are now available in the marketplace so there really is no need to switch to sugaring, simply to offer a natural alternative.

Another hair-removal method is IPL, also known as Intense Pulsed Light. This is a hair removal technique that uses a lightflash to penetrate the skin and kill the hair follicles. There are no current studies to prove that having this intense light penetrate your skin is damaging to our health. However, for a long time there was no proof that solariums were damaging either. Fast forward a few years and it’s an entirely different story! We are now educated on how dangerous solariums are, which has caused them to become illegal in many states. The unknown health risks are enough to raise a red flag, not to mention the burning and permanent scarring the treatment can cause if performed incorrectly or by a malfunctioning machine.

I have noticed a few celebrities endorsing IPL as their chosen method of hair removal, which of course causes consumers jump right on board! Celebrities are not trained or educated in the area and can be just as oblivious to the potential side effect as the rest of us. Not to mention, celebrities are the definition of ‘fad’ - in one minute, out the next.

One celebrity that has recognised the impact of a fad is Cameron Diaz. I recently read an article where Cameron talks about the permanent removal of pubic hair in particular. She states ‘Forever? I know you may think you’ll be wearing the same style of shoes forever and the same style of jeans forever, but you won’t. The idea that private intimate areas are preferable in a hairless state is a pretty recent phenomenon, and all fads change, people.’ Yes Cameron, I couldn’t have said it any better myself! Change your partner or change your mind as you get older, and you may wish you hadn't burnt your bridges. The Ned Kelly style beards certainly have come back in, and I dare say it, pale skin will too! It’s amazing what a strong marketing campaign or celebrity can make you do.

IPL in particular can cost an arm and a leg. Waxing is a more economical choice, especially when times are tight. It is, and always has been affordable, easy to maintain, and effective, especially when a professional is using the correct technique, with the right wax.

Waxing is often the bread and butter of any salon. Whether it’s a quick brow tidy, a back wax, or a Brazilian, there is something for everyone. My clients know it, and that’s why I'm in business! After recently coming back from overseas I have seen first hand that the waxing industry is booming and Salons offering IPL, Laser, etc. are finding it harder to stay afloat because of the restrictions now involved in performing these treatments, not to mention the huge expense of the equipment and the insurance involved. These salons spend thousands of dollars on equipment that in years to come may become consgined to the scrap heap - who knows what has happened to all of those solarium beds!? And therefore, the costs warrant significant advertising and marketing campaigns to get clients in through the door, which pushes treatment prices even higher.

Waxing is constantly evolving. The thing I love most about my business, and the waxing industry in general, is that we still evolve to suit the new age world around us. Today we have new and improved wax formulas that reduce irritation and allergies. Buying wax with high quality ingredients is certainly the right decision for my clients. If my clients favour natural products, I offer a natural and water soluble wax. This way I don't need any chemicals for the clean-up. These are also biodegradable so there are additional environmental benefits from this too.

Furthermore, the products have evolved for the different areas of the body, for male or female waxing, and the advertising and decor and set up of salons changes with this too. Training now also covers the male body, with its thicker skin, different hair growth patterns, and requirements in intimate areas.

Waxing has been a long long time coming to the male of the species, and this is in part due to the marketing of salons. Men are often not made welcome in such places, the general environment being as welcoming as the female equivalent of walking into a traditional male boozer. Moreover, advertising completely ignores the male, with no reference to treatments or product ranges designed for their bodies. This is furthered by the range of therapists who do not know how to treat the male body, through experience, desire or qualification - should the male feel able and brave enough to walk in through the door to ask.

The male's attitude to waxing is at last changing with big footballers and big skin brand products finally promoting the smooth or groomed male body. Men now think proudly, instead of shyly, about looking after their skin and actively feel able to talk about their appearance. now there is a demand for male waxing. So, where are the salons? They are appearing in forward thinking specialist barbers and may have a small side area in traditional beauty salons, but the arrival of the male salon should surely be with us soon. At my suite, I treat the male as my desired market - through my product range, through my experience and qualification, through the decor and ambience, my is time for guys to wax at the first and only salon dedicated to male well-being, hair removal and skin care in Southampton! Established for over 5 years, business is booming. Whether it is your first time to treat yourself, or you want to change from an existing grooming business to a dedicated male wellbeing suite, come and give us a call.

To summarise, waxing offers many benefits as a hair removal technique that is temporary, cost effective, and proven. Come and try it out at al Covo, guys! You are welcome and we specialise only in the male. You will see a male therapist, experienced for many years, a trainer of therapists in waxing of men, with a range of products dedicated to the male skin, and not a female or formidable embarassing entrance in sight! I offer a range of male body grooming options to suite your preferred look, feel.

Best wishes, Steve