Male Waxing at Home – Complete Guide
What Areas of the Male Body can be Waxed?
Almost all areas of the male body can be waxed, including your chest, back, arms, legs, intimate areas, brows and external ear and nose hair.
That said, it is probably not the best plan for you to tackle all of these at home.
For one thing, it is not easy to see or reach some areas of your body e.g. your back and so you either need to visit a salon or would need help at home.
For another, waxing your delicate areas down below can be very tricky and lead to nasty side effects if you don't know what you are doing.
My best advice is not to try to wax your own intimate areas at home, particularly if you are a waxing novice.
Waxing is not a suitable hair removal method for the male face or head (apart from brows) nor for hair inside your nose or ears.
Why is Waxing a Good Hair Removal Choice for Men?
One of the reasons waxing is a good method for male body hair removal is that large areas such as the back and chest can be covered quickly and efficiently.
This, coupled with the fact that the results last considerably longer than shaving (anything from 3 - 6 weeks), has lead to waxing becoming an increasingly popular choice.
If you take the brow, for example, most women will opt for the precision of tweezing the hairs one at a time.
However, in the case of a man with copious, bushy brows that perhaps meet in the middle (known as a monobrow), tweezing would likely be a time-consuming process.
Therefore waxing to remove most of the unwanted hair, followed by removal of the odd strays with tweezers is much more expeditious.
We have published a separate article all about eyebrow grooming for men with lots of advice and tips about how to get it right.
Another good thing about waxing is that hair regrowth tends to become lighter and finer over time, with regular treatments.
This is because the continual stress to the hair follicles as the hairs are repeatedly pulled out by the root, causes them to become weakened, along with the growing hair they contain.
How to Choose Which Wax to Use
As a man, your body hair is generally thicker and coarser than that of a woman, and so a good hot wax is what you should use.
There are two types of hot wax, soft (requires strips) or hard (does not require strips).
I would recommend you use soft wax at home, especially for large areas, as it adheres better to dense hair and it is a bit easier to use.
The wax is heated to melt it to the correct consistency and then it is spread thinly onto the skin and a waxing strip is smoothed over it. It is then removed straight away along with your hair.
Hard wax is heated in the same way, but spread a bit more thickly and no strips are used. It is left to cool slightly, and then pulled off in one piece.
The trick with hard wax is knowing when, exactly, it is ready for removal. If you take it off too soon, it will not remove the hair effectively, and if you wait too long, it will break or crumble rather than coming off in one piece.
For some product recommendations see best waxing products for men.
How to Wax at Home - Do's and Don'ts
Tips for Reducing Pain and Side Effects
Waxing will always involve a level of pain and almost always some side effects, ranging from slight redness and irritation to more severe pimples, ingrown hairs, bruising and sometimes pinpricks of bleeding.
These are usually transient, clearing up in a matter of hours or within a few days at most.
There are ways to minimize the likelihood of severe side effects and keep discomfort at acceptable levels.
Firstly, when waxing, make sure that your skin is held as taut as possible to avoid dragging and pulling on it which, as well as causing more pain, can lead to bruising.
Once you have removed the strip, applying pressure to the area for a minute or so can help reduce stinging.
Applying a cold compress to your newly waxed skin will cool and soothe it.
Exfoliating before and between waxing will keep your pores and hair follicles open and free from dead skin cells and help minimize ingrown hairs. Do leave your skin time to recover for a couple of days after waxing before exfoliating though.
Pick the right time to wax, when you are not going out and wear loose, natural clothing for as long as possible, which will stop you making the skin more irritated.
Avoid cosmetics and deodorants etc. until your skin is healed, just use a soothing lotion such as aloe or witch hazel after waxing.
Keeping your skin moisturized and hydrated is important so use a good body moisturizer regularly between waxing sessions.
When Waxing Should be Avoided
Waxing is not for everyone, and you must be very diligent in reading all the manufacturer's warnings and precautions before you start waxing at home.
If you have any skin condition including eczema, acne, psoriasis or rosacea or are taking any medicines for skin conditions you should avoid waxing.
Medical conditions such as diabetes, hemophilia, phlebitis or any requiring blood thinning medication also preclude waxing as a suitable hair removal method.
If your skin is compromised in any way e.g. sunburned, irritated or broken, you need to wait for it to heal completely prior to waxing.
You should not wax over moles, warts, varicose veins or piercings.
Finally, if you have any worries or doubts after reading the precautions that come with the product, do make sure to seek proper medical advice before proceeding.
Pros and Cons of Waxing at Home for Men
Obviously, one of the most attractive advantages of waxing yourself as opposed to visiting a salon is the difference in cost. There is no doubt that you can save yourself a fair few dollars by taking the DIY route.
Other advantages are time, convenience, privacy and comfort - no need to schedule appointments, take time out to attend them or "bare all" to a stranger.
If you wax at home you can choose an evening when you are not planning to go out and it is easier to wear loose or even no clothing afterwards. The chances are, any redness or irritation will be gone or at least much reduced by the morning.
The downside is that you do not benefit from the experience and expertise of a professional.
Using the correct technique is very important to avoid the worst side effects and minimize the risk of ingrown hairs or missing bits.
It is unlikely that you will ever be as quick and efficient as someone working in a salon who carries out these procedures day in, day out for their living.
Additionally, as previously mentioned, waxing difficult to reach areas like the back is problematic and you will need to enlist help.