Male Waxing..looking good for Valentines

Male waxing is on the up! Year on year, more men are getting to grips with their hair with professional help. Come Valentines Day, springtime, summer holidays, and party times, men want to look good, perform well at their sport, and love their body. And why not, they've usually earnt that feeling! It's like wearing a new suit, or going to the barbers,it gives you the trimmed, tidied suited and booted feel. Southampton's finest male waxer and body grooming expert Steve Reeve, explains why...

Why wax?
Waxing pulls out the hair at the root, rather than shaving, clippering, and depilatory creams, which instead cut the hair at the skin. A common analogy is pulling grass out at its roots, rather than mowing it. That means your smooth skin will last much longer - usually for a week or 2 on the first wax, rather than a day or so with shaving. Waxing also offers less or no itchiness and no hard rough stubble - hair re-growth is much softer and finer, sparser and weaker. This is because the hair follicle becomes distorted by waxing, which can reduce hair growth such that after regular waxing for a long period of time, some hairs may not grow back at all. With repeated waxing, smoothness can last for up to 2-3 weeks. It is common for athletes, cyclists and swimmers to wax for performance reasons, and for non athletes to wax for aesthetics, cleanliness, social or religious reasons. Ideal before beach holidays – but come at least 2 days before you fly so the skin can recover before exposure to sun!

Does it hurt being waxed?
Yes! Because hair is thicker at its root, waxing is like pulling an arrowhead the wrong way out of the skin. But the more often you get a wax treatment, the more accustomed you'll grow to the experience and the less it'll hurt. Some people take a paracetamol before being waxed. There are ways I reduce your pain – using best next generation waxes in the right areas, the right techniques, and a friendly manner to help you relax. I use two of the latest non-strip waxes invented by Perron Rigot, which provide the perfect removal of all hair types, even on sensitive areas. They share the unique ‘shrink wrapping’ abilities of older hot waxes but are lower in temperature, easier to apply and stay flexible as they cool. This makes them much more comfortable and an ideal choice for removing short, coarse and stubborn hairs anywhere on your body. Stretching the skin during application and removal of wax prevents excessive blood spotting, bruising and removing the upper layers of skin, which are all preventable side-effects. Immediately after waxing, I will apply gentle pressure to the area with my hands; this confuses the nerve endings and stops the pain. I use a skin soother and tonic after treatment to cool the skin and any burning sensation.

How important is hygiene?
Very important – to me and to you. Pulling hair out of your skin will leave empty hair follicles, which can be a haven for bacteria. For each client, I wear fresh nitrile gloves, and use skin cleansers on you before and after treatment, and follow universal Habia rules: clean wax and wax pots, avoid double-dipping, fresh couch roll and spatulas, correct disposal of waste, and disinfection or sterilisation of tweezers, clippers, scissors and all waxing equipment. I provide a free aftercare pack to help keep your skin clean, exfoliated and moisturised for the following day. I also provide an aftercare leaflet with advice about caring for your waxed skin.

What is warm waxing?
Warm waxing, or strip waxing, is used to remove hair from your back, chest, shoulders, stomach, abdomen, arms, underarms, buttocks and legs. Warm waxing is the most popular method as it removes hairs quickly and efficiently. It can be used as a film across large areas and is suitable for most hair types. The warm wax is applied to your body with a spatula, then a strip of cloth is smoothed down on top of the wax, then ripped off quickly, taking the hair with it. After the treatment a cleanser, and then soothing cooling antiseptic lotion is applied to calm the skin and fight any infection.

And what is hot waxing?
Hot waxing is also known as hard waxing, peelable waxing, film waxing and non-strip waxing. It is used to remove strong, coarse, and stubborn hairs, and also used on the more sensitive areas on your body, normally found around the underarms, back of the neck, face (ears, nostrils, eyebrows), genital area and crack. Hot wax is applied to your body with a spatula in an ice lolly shape, it is left to cool slightly so it contracts around the hair, then flicked and peeled off quickly by hand rather than with a strip of cloth, taking the hairs with it. The hot wax is ideal for sensitive areas as it doesn't stick to your skin. It is more expensive than warm waxing, and takes longer, but is less painful. It is very important that the skin in the area being waxed is kept taught to avoid any bruising. To help with this I will ask you to change positions during the treatment or to use your hands to pull down on your skin. After the treatment a cleanser, and then soothing cooling antiseptic lotion is applied to calm the skin and fight any infection.

Is waxing suitable for everyone?
Waxing is a very safe treatment, however all clients must be over 18 years of age and are required to complete a health consultation before waxing can take place. Contagious skin conditions will prevent us from waxing the affected area until the condition has completely cleared (for intimate waxing, this includes STIs and urinary tract infections). Clients taking Roaccutane must wait 6 months after finishing their medication before receiving a waxing treatment. I am unable to remove hair from skin that is sunburnt, chafed or broken, or from skin that has been treated with steroid creams, Retin-A, Differin or other retinoid acne medication within the last 3 months. Waxing is not suitable for people with lymph oedema in the treatment area, severe haemophilia, or those with diabetes that is not managed by diet, exercise or medication.

How should I prepare for my treatment?
Do not shave, clipper or use hair removal creams (e.g. Veet) on the area for at least 3 weeks prior to your appointment, as hair needs to be a minimum of ½ cm long in order to wax successfully. If you are already getting waxed on a regular basis, you will need to leave at least 4 weeks between treatments. If possible, please shower before your appointment and gently exfoliate the areas you are having waxed for a few days beforehand. This helps to remove excess dead skin cells and lifts the hair for better results. You may want to bring a clean, loose cotton t-shirt to wear after your treatment to avoid any friction and/or possible bacterial infection from dirty clothes.

Will there be any side-effects?
Skin redness and irritation immediately after waxing are common. This is resolved easily by applying a cold compress and/or tea-tree and lavender cream to the area. Reddish bumps or subcutaneous bleeding can occur when a person is extremely sensitive and also after Brazilian waxing. A cooling, light antiseptic, anti-bacterial cream will be massaged into the skin immediately before and after waxing to help prevent infection.

What about aftercare?
Certain activities can risk irritation and infection of newly waxed skin. Please avoid the following:
o    Scratching and touching the area
o    Sunbathing or sun beds for 48 hours
o    Having a sauna, steam or any heat treatment for 24 hours
o    Taking a hot bath or shower for 24 hours
o    Doing any exercise that encourages sweating for 24 hours
o    Applying any moisturisers or body lotions, perfumes, deodorants, shower gels etc, other than those recommended by your therapist, for 24 hours
o    Having sex for 24 hours after a Brazilian wax

Light exfoliation twice a week after waxing greatly reduces the occurrence of ingrown hairs. The first exfoliation should be done 24-48 hours after waxing.
Keeping the skin clean with a light antiseptic will reduce likelihood of infection.

I hope this helps introduce you to the facts about waxing - don't be shy, come on in! Call Southampton's finest male waxer, Steve Reeve, on 02380639913 or 07968065885 to book an appointment.