Whether you're shaping a unibrow, stripping off back hair or shaving down chest hair, you've officially entered the world of manscaping.
While shaving is (mostly) painless and inexpensive, the results are short term. Waxing is gaining in popularity because it lasts longer.
For men who are considering it, here a few tips for waxing the right way:
Before you wax:
See a professional. If you do it yourself, you could end up with poor results and, more importantly, you could injure yourself. Don't be afraid to ask how long the person has been waxing. Do you really want someone with little experience putting hot wax on you?
Ask to test the wax on a small patch of hair to see how your skin will react.
Don't shave. If you are going to wax, wait at least two to three weeks so you have enough hair. Hair should be about a quarter of an inch long for best results.
Exfoliating before shaving or waxing will give you a much smoother result with fewer ingrown hairs. The hair will come out easier if you exfoliate at least one day before, and all the dead skin will be removed, clearing the way to better grab the hair. If shaving, make sure to use a thick shaving cream or gel to lessen the chance of bumps.
Avoid drinking caffeine. It can heighten sensitivity to pain by making you more alert. Taking over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol or Advil 30 minutes before your appointment can help ease the pain.
Will it hurt? That depends on your level of sensitivity and how course your hair is. Waxing pulls hair out from the root, so it won't be comfortable. But it's usually not as bad as most men imagine. Waxing the chest area is more painful than the back, said Angelica Ramirez of Angelica Beauty and Waxing. She suggests a roll-on wax for the back because it covers more skin and you don't have to use as many strips.
Wear loose clothing. After waxing, your skin will be very sensitive. You don't want tight clothes rubbing against it.
Wait at least 24 hours after your waxing before going to work out. Your pores are open after waxing and can be prone to infection; not to mention the skin sensitivity can make working out uncomfortable.
After 48 hours, exfoliate if your skin isn't too irritated, to avoid ingrown hairs and keep the skin soft. Apply a lotion or cream with calming ingredients such as aloe vera or chamomile.
Avoid sun exposure for at least 24 hours; after waxing, your skin is more prone to sunburn. And use sunscreen when you venture outside.
Source: Angelica Beauty and Waxing (angelicabeautyandwaxing.com)