In the disco era, there was no greater symbol of masculinity than a jungle of chest hair jail-breaking undone top buttons. Thankfully, that fashion went out with polyester pant suits and men today are increasingly keeping their grooming in check. Perhaps this is because of the strong correlation between success and appearance.
“Men are more aware of the role grooming plays with success in work, relationships and life in general, ” says Leycester Cory, co-founder at CBD men-only salon Guys Grooming.
“Perth has more men than women so competition for the fairer sex is greater than it used to be.
“The same applies for the job market, with every effort needed to give him the advantage.”
Male body-hair removal is now a mainstream practice. “Some men feel self-conscious when they have a lot of hair, especially back hair, ” says Carolyn Choy from Ultimate Aesthetics.
“Current magazines will show that almost all male models have no body hair but a little chest hair is acceptable.”
So what are the grooming options? What once was the domain of bodybuilders, models and adult actors is now a question every man must consider.
Men are great fans of low-maintenance grooming and IPL hair removal is the increasing front-runner for more permanent results. In 2012, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) found that the number of men seeking laser hair removal was second only to those seeking Botox.
“I would say 40-50 per cent of my hair-removal market is now male, ” says Jayson Oates of Academy Facial Plastics & Laser Specialist clinic in Subiaco.
“For a client with fair skin and dark hair it would take approximately 6-8 sessions spaced at 10-12 week intervals for them to achieve approximately an 80 per cent reduction.” The most common area for male IPL is the back, but the chest, underarms, face and legs are also popular, and IPL can be performed on all parts of the body.
Shaving with a razor or electric groomer is quick, easy and suitable for all areas of the body. However, growing the hair out again can be an itchy experience in certain areas. To minimise irritation, use an efficient razor and cleanse beforehand, using a soap-free facial wash and gentle exfoliant. Apply a pre-shave balm without rinsing and add shaving cream over the top, reducing the risk of razor burn and irritation. Finish with a spritz of toner, a post-shave balm and a moisturiser.
Waxing is traditional, reliable and affordable, lasting a lot longer than shaving at 6-8 weeks. “Visible areas like eyebrows, ears and nose are popular, as are backs, shoulders and chest waxes, ” Mr Cory says.
As with waxing services for women, many grooming services for men also offer pubic area waxing. “Our BSC or Manzillian — at $86 — is very popular as many places do not have the expertise to deliver this service professionally.
For a simple tidy look, consider
manscaping selective areas to sculpt beards and body hair to accentuate features or muscles and trim back the wilder growth. The electronics market has a plethora of body grooming shavers specifically designed for this. “In today’s fast-paced world, it is just as important for men to look and feel their best, ” says Anh Nyugen from Inspire Cosmetic Surgery clinics in Nedlands and Mt Lawley. “Guys are just as into grooming as women are these days — they just don’t talk about it as openly.”
© The West Australian
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