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Men's Waxing is Big Business

By: Andy Rouillard
Posted: August 29, 2012, from the September 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Author Andy Rouillard performs an eyebrow wax on a male client.

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If this is your client’s first wax, take time to explain the procedure and answer any questions he may have before slapping on the goo. Remember that most new male clients are likely to feel nervous—especially if their only point of reference is the film The 40-Year-Old Virgin—so those few extra minutes can really make a difference to the client’s comfort, confidence and expectations.

  • Trim long hair with electric clippers or scissors before you start. You’ll be able to see the direction of growth much easier, and this will also prevent the hair from becoming matted in the wax. Approximately 1 cm long is ideal.
  • Tell the client what you’re doing every step of the way. You know when and why you need to cleanse the skin, how hot the wax feels, and why oil and after-wax lotion is applied, but most first-time waxees won’t know any of this, so don’t leave him guessing.
  • When it comes to hair, all men are not created equal. Consider having a flexible price that allows you to adapt it according to how hairy the client is and how long the treatment takes.
  • Finally, a plea on behalf of the brotherhood: Please be nice. Yes, we know that womankind have been waxing their legs without complaint for years, but girls get colds and boys get man flu. Men’s hair is generally denser and coarser than female counterparts and, whichever way you cut it, waxing hurts. A little “tea and sympathy” goes a long way toward making men feel at ease and persuading them to come back for more.

Marketing

Whether women or men are your target demographic, marketing is a must. Following are some marketing must-haves to appeal to male waxing clients.

  • Think about your male market in the widest possible terms: Ask yourself who might prefer to be hair-free for comfort, confidence, improved aesthetics or sports-related reasons, and then, go where the men are.
  • Advertise with and offer client incentives to local gyms and sports clubs, swimming pools, piercing and tattoo studios, wedding outfitters, barbers and hairdressers, sports retail outlets, health centers and dance studios.
  • A website is a must. Men will often perform a web search for services before making an initial inquiry. In this day and age, any skin care facility or professional that isn’t on the Web is pretty much invisible to the majority of potential male clients.
  • List your male grooming services separately from your female treatments. This simple distinction will make male clients feel more catered to and more welcome, as a result.
  • Consider adding treatment codes to your price list, like a carry-out menu. This allows male clients to book an appointment without the embarrassment of others overhearing what they are having done.
  • Don’t forget to advertise your men’s waxing services to female clients … the power of female persuasion is not to be underestimated.

After-care

Your usual home-care advice applies, and it is good practice to provide all clients with written instructions to take home and read. Following are some pointers to remember in regard to after-care for your male waxing clients.

  • The back and chest areas are particularly prone to infection and may experience acnelike breakouts in the days following treatment, especially with first-timers. Make your clients aware of this possibility, and retail an antibacterial cleanser or lotion to help prevent and treat any pimples.
  • Men generally perspire more than women. Freshly waxed follicles, sweat and friction from clothing are not a happy combination, so definitely recommend against gym, sport or other vigorous exercise for the 24 hours following the service.
  • A quick buff with an exfoliating mitt or body scrub twice a week will help prevent ingrown hair. For stubborn spots, a product containing salicylic acid is an excellent retail opportunity, and your clients can also use this to treat any razor bumps in the beard area.
  • Remember to book clients in advance for their next appointment in 4–6 weeks. Explain the importance of keeping to a regular schedule and, if you’ve done all you can to make this a first-class experience, he could become a waxing client for life.

The future of male waxing

With no sign of waxing waning in popularity, what does the future hold? One thing is certain: Male waxing is big business, and guys are currently traveling many miles to find a skin care professional who is willing and able to perform the service. Once they discover for themselves the benefits of having smooth, hair-free skin, men become very loyal clients and will return year-round for their monthly de-fuzzing.

For skin care professionals with an open mind, a steady hand and a healthy sense of humor, male waxing can be an extremely lucrative and rewarding profession, and is a valuable addition to many a treatment menu. Of course, you should never feel pressured into offering a particular service if you really don’t want to. However, it is worth asking: If your existing male clients, or the partners and friends of female clients, are currently going elsewhere to get their hair removal treatments—whether this be another spa or their own bathroom—are you missing a trick?