SINGAPORE - The humble shaver is no longer sufficient in the modern man's grooming kit. Now, more men are seeking out professional hair-removal solutions here.
Five out of the six salons and aesthetic clinics polled have seen a 10 to 20 per cent rise in male clients over the past two years.
Home-grown beauty chain Spa Esprit Group has noticed a 20 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of male customers since 2009 at its hair-removal studio Strip and brow-grooming salon Browhaus.
The growing demand for male hair-removal services prompted the group to start We Need A Hero, a salon that caters exclusively to men, in April.
Ms Cynthia Chua, founder and chief executive of the chain, had said in an earlier Straits Times report that the men's-grooming market here is worth $100 million.
Take it from confident men who had no qualms saying goodbye to body hair.
Mr Stanley Chen, 32, who works in the banking industry, said: "I believe manhood is not defined by the amount of hair you have on your body, but strictly by your actions. Hair removal is hygienic and I have a very persuasive girlfriend."
Mr Chen, who was convinced by his girlfriend to undergo Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments for his underarms, said: "I honestly like the smooth sensation of hairless underarms."
Mr Oliver Hain, 34, a freelance designer, admitted that he is a vain person, and is more open to grooming as compared to the average guy.
"I like smooth skin. I hate body hair, especially on my face. It looks messy," said the Singapore permanent resident who has tried everything from waxing to laser treatments.
Chest and facial hair are the top spots targeted by male customers, who are typically working professionals in their 20s to 40s.
Dr Janice Khoo, who runs The Rafflesian Clinic and Surgery, said: "These men are usually executives who need to look clean shaven and neat."
Mr Joe Heng, 31, a sales executive in the medical industry, said: "We have to go out and meet clients. It's good to look presentable."
He had tried out laser hair-removal treatment on his face and neck, in a bid to slow down facial-hair growth and reduce the number of times he has to shave.
Skipping the hassle of shaving is a boon for executives caught up in the morning rush or travelling abroad.
Dr Joyce Lim of Joyce Lim Skin and Laser Clinic said: "For (working executives) who travel a lot, it can be troublesome to take along a shaving kit."
Athletic men are also turning to hair-reduction treatments for their sports.
At Spa Esprit's outlets, male customers have shared that removing body hair reduces friction against their clothing and makes it more comfortable to do sports.
Bodybuilders opt for hair removal for the entire body at Dr Wong Soon Tee's clinic, Assurance Skin, Laser and Aesthetics. This helps them to avoid the tedious task of shaving and its perils of cuts and abrasions.
Men here are becoming more conscious of their personal grooming, said a spokesman for local men's spa chain Urban Homme.
Dr Martin Huang, from Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, said: "Current concepts of male attractiveness seem to favour the lack of body hair."
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