Esthetics Experts Weigh in on Hair Removal for Men

chest-waxing[Image: Getty Images]Like slathering on hand lotion at bedtime and brandishing a mascara wand in the morning, submitting to professional hair removal is a fact of life for women. For many men, however, the idea of any ritual grooming practice beyond a shave and a haircut—especially one that requires a visit to their local esthetician—is a bitter pill to swallow. Secretly, however, these guys really want to banish those unsightly shoulder sprouts and back thickets, especially before beach weather returns.

Fortunately, the stigma that surrounds male hair removal is, suitably enough, going the way of the caveman. This is the perfect time for you to encourage the men who visit your spa for other services to jump aboard the waxing train. Remember, men tend to make the most loyal clients, so if you can overcome their initial reluctance they can be yours long term. These insights from industry experts just might help you seal the deal.

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Rachel Couvrey Brand manager GiGi: “Recommending a post-wax product to prevent ingrown hairs is a must. Most first-time waxers have probably yet to experience the agony of a bad ingrown hair. These unsightly and painful bumps can cause infection and scarring if not treated correctly, so don’t risk it. A simple post-treatment product that exfoliates and kills bacteria will ensure that skin remains smooth and hair grows back without incident, and an easy-to-use roll-on applicator will be very appealing to a man on the go.”

Normajean Fusco Owner/president Equibal Labs: “Talking to men during their haircuts or other services about additional menu offerings is a great way to remind them of the importance of hair removal, and booking their appointments before they leave is a great way to keep them coming back. Once men get used to the feeling of being hair-free, you really will have these clients for life!”

back-waxingLydia Jordane Founder LYCON: “It’s important to educate your male client as much as possible. Explain your waxing process—including which products you use to help reduce any pain—to relieve and calm him. Men are often very sensitive and have coarse hair, so use a wax targeted to pull off hair with comfort and ease, and apply a product afterward that targets ingrown hairs. Finally, remember that one of the best ways to reach the male client is through your current female clientele. Promotions such as ‘refer a male client and receive a discounted wax service’ encourage women to spread the word!”

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Lydia Sarfati Founder and CEO Repêchage: “Entice men to come in with a promotional program in which a free waxing service is offered with any haircut or massage. Also, add masculine decor in neutral colors, or grays and blues to hair removal service areas, and place magazines geared toward men in the waiting room. Finally, the service names on your spa menu should have a masculine slant as well: sometimes, simply saying ‘manscaping’ or ‘male grooming’ instead of ‘waxing’ can help.”

Lynn Maestro National sales & communcations director Perron Rigot, Inc.: “First and foremost, estheticians have to address the issue of pain. Women subject themselves to discomfort on a regular basis, but men don’t like it! Less painful options such as stripless or hard wax have opened big doors, and if spa and salon owners can market their offerings around those types of wax, that’s huge. Also, make the service a full experience: Put male clients at ease and explain everything you’re doing. Th en they’ll want to come back and spend time in your treatment room.”

Karyna Mesla National trainer Silhouet-Tone: “The most important consideration when offering male waxing services is the products used and retailed pre, during and post treatment. Compared with women, men tend to have thicker, rougher and oilier skin and hair, so these need to be treated accordingly. And, although wax choices are endless—hard, soft, cream, honey, azulene and so on— specific consideration should be placed on which one will get a better grip on short, thick, stubborn hair.”

Quick Facts 

  • European Wax Center, a waxing franchise with 740 locations across the U.S., provided 7.7 million waxing services in 2015 alone. (Source: IBISWorld)
  • Uni K Wax, whose 34 franchise locations throughout New York, New Jersey and Florida almost doubled company sales from 2014 to 2015, reports that 20 percent of its customers are male. Of this group, 48 percent opt for waxing services on the back and shoulders, and 19 percent receive “bikini” services. (Source:
  • Almost 24 million people in the U.S. received at least one professional waxing service in a six month period in 2016. Of these, about 7.9 million had the service four times or more. (Source:, based on U.S. Census data and Simmons National Consumer Survey)

–by Linda Kossoff


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