A seasoned esthetician and body hair removal expert, it isn’t every day that Cailey Ward experiences a first in her career.
But the manager of Sugarmoon’s College Street location in Toronto readily admits that this is the first time she’s ever been interviewed by a member of the media while simultaneously giving said member of the media a Brazilian sugaring.
(Okay, take a breath in. Now breathe out. You doing okay?)
Sometimes we must suffer for our art.
Hair removal for purposes of esthetics and comfort has been routine for many women for many a century, but “manscaping” has only gained momentum as a popular concept in the past decade or so. Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s recently released film “Mansome” tackles male grooming as it relates to masculinity.
But what is manscaping, exactly?
“It is any service where we deal with men’s hair removal,” says Ward. “It’s anything from back and arms to the ever-famous Brozilian.”
“It’s the dude version of a Brazilian,” Ward explains. “It’s dealing with any of his parts that he wants hair removed from. So usually it’s the shaft, the scrotum and the bum. Most men leave a little bit up front.”
(Another deep breath in. And out. Good job!)
Ward says that Sugarmoon’s male clientele runs the gamut.
“It’s so across the board, it’s kind of surprising,” she says. “A lot of younger men are starting to come in to do it. We’ve got everyone up to men in their 50s and probably early 60s doing it. A lot of them are in relationships. There are a lot of straight men, as well as some gay men. Honestly, it’s everybody.”
“I had one guy tell me that he had his first Brozilian done on a dare. And now he’s carrying on because he loves it. I think he lost a bet or something like that.”
Sugarmoon has been offering hair removal services for men ever since it first opened 10 years ago, but Ward says the Brozilian has been growing in popularity.
“It’s one of the more common things that guys will call and ask about,” says Ward. “Or a lot of women calling in and asking on behalf of their boyfriends.”
But not all men have the guts, the required comfort level or the financial means to have their various follicles regularly tended to by a professional. Most of the time, men take their manscaping needs into their own two paws.
Richard Dean Anderson, 28, is one of them. He describes himself as a descendent of every hairy nationality possible and frequently tends to his own body hair, which he says “seems to be spreading to new and exciting places.”
“(Manscaping) helps keep you cooler in the summer months, you use less deodorant and if you shave your head like me you don’t need shampoo as soap will do,” says Anderson.
“Chest hair grows slowly and only needs to be done once a season and the butt is only a monthly endeavour, so it’s not labour intensive. There’s no need to get pretty with this thing as we are men — just stay clean and you’re covered.”
Anka Miron, co-owner of Mankind, a grooming studio for men in Toronto, says her first-time clients are nervous about the unfamiliar waxing process and the accompanying pain, but proceed for good reason.
“Finally men realized if they present themselves for a date with a bush, most likely they won’t get a second chance,” says Miron. “There are two options: we call it mankini, the front area, and brazilian, which targets the back area as well as between the cheeks.”
Whether you are getting manscaped by a professional or doing the deed on your own at home, Ward advises that proper aftercare is important.
Since bodies are not meant to have the hair ripped clean out of them, skin can retaliate with white bumps and ingrown hairs. Ward suggests witch hazel or tea-tree oil to combat bacteria, as well as regular gentle exfoliation. Those who undergo Brozilians should be vigilant about keeping their happy areas free of constrictive clothing for the first little while.
In other words: commando or bust.
“I just think it feels awesome,” Ward says. “And then it’s like your little secret.”