There's no doubt that grooming is on the rise for Kiwi men. It's 2020, which means long gone are the days of men waxing at home with a budget box of strips which promise the world and leave you with an assortment of ingrown hairs.
As a collective, Kiwi blokes are now more open about the lengths they'll go to to keep their bodies groomed - and why shouldn't we be? The male grooming industry is booming - estimated to be worth US$29.14 billion by 2024. Slapping on a watermelon-scented face mask and hooning a quiet kombucha while watching Super Rugby has never been so compelling.
But it wasn't always that way. Growing up, the idea of beauty maintenance left me wildly perplexed and excluded. My youth consisted of being relegated to the waiting room, wondering what on earth my sister was doing at her bi-weekly beauty appointments. How much hair can one woman grow? Evidently, a healthy, normal amount. Every time my sister would walk out of her beautician's office, she'd be nothing if not ecstatic, even with a few red blotches splattered around her eyebrows. I've learnt over the last few years, her grooming moments were never a chore, but an act of self-love, a 30-minute escape from the real-world's BS.
The modern male has (finally) evolved - he's a self-conscious, self-loving entity, fuelled by social media and external influences that have led him to pluck his unibrow. So here we are team, I've taken up the responsibility of outlining several male grooming trends for the masculine market.
For those of us who chose to close-cut shave our faces on a daily/weekly basis; we're often confronted with inflamed shaving rashes and ingrown hairs. Consequently, shaving can become a daunting task. Instead, men are utilising the life-changing results of laser hair removal treatments, especially on the neckline where rashes and ingrowns are most prominent. Using medical-grade lasers and zapping the neckline over the course of several months eliminates hair growth indefinitely, minimising shaving spots and flare ups.
A self-conscious spot for some during the warmer months, a common hair patch is on the very top of the shoulders. If you love it, great. If you don't, you can opt for a hot wax. It's recommended to hot wax instead of shaving, which trims the hair at the stratum corneum - it's short-lived and often the cause of rashes. Waxing completely pulls the hair follicle out of the skin's epidermis. Your first wax can be sensitive as your skin needs to adjust to the stripping motion, but with regular waxes, over time your skin will adapt to the process and redness will be mitigated.
For some, a forest-like nose circumference can make a healthy stomach curdle. Hot wax is placed in the circumference of the nostril and stripped clean in milliseconds. We all know someone who needs to take their nose hairs to the cleaners.
Back, sack and crack
Our 'behind closed doors' areas. Preferences aside, it's great to know we have services at the ready to keep our personal areas as smooth as a dolphin. Maybe you're wanting to spice up Netflix and chill with a new down-under afro? I'd recommend speaking with a licensed beautician who will guide you on your manscaping journey - it's a very delicate, sensitive zone. Did you know 69 percent of men trim their pubes, with a further 17 percent of men going all the way bare?
"There's no stereotype amongst our manscaping customers, and it's not for their girlfriend, wife or partner" says Kelvin Ovington, co-founder of wax specialist OFF&ON who offer a 'Brozilian' waxing service.
"Some prefer the inside of their pants to not resemble Tom Hanks' head after 12 months castaway on a deserted island."
I can understand why people trim their eyebrow caterpillars; it reminds me of stripping toxic people out of your life. Also, as you get older your brows will likely get bigger. Don't leave it for that moment when your hairdresser offers to 'run the clippers over those things on your face'. It's really awkward.
I don't trust at-home laser hair removal handsets; they don't sit right with me. I feel like I'm stupid enough to point the laser in the wrong direction and blast my ear canal with a potentially damaging laser. I've been served advertisements for a variety of at-home hair removal handsets for your ears etc, on Instagram. So, I am just going to out-right say don't do it, I'd recommend trimming your visible ear hairs or book in for a professional wax.