We believe essential top-to-toe man maintenance should happen all year round, not just as panic prep for the two weeks of the year spent on sunnier shores, and it turns out we are not alone. Treatwell, the online salon appointment service, has noticed a massive surge in Brazilian blow dries for men (up by 200 per cent year on year), a quarter of men are now having regular manicures and male waxing is up 85 per cent with the back being the most popular area to de-fuzz. So if you still don’t know, we’re here to tell you that a Brazilian Blow dry can smooth hair out for months, regular waxing doesn’t actually hurt (that much) and that there are permanent solutions to unwanted body hair.
With that in mind, we’ve road tested the best professional hair, skin, body and feet-improving treatments that will help you look more awesome, 365 days a year. And, in the event that you might be packing those Speedos for an impending trip, consider this a timely guide to boosting the likes on your poolside selfies.
Laser hair removal
Traditionally, if your manliness and all-round silverback qualities spills over into some back fuzz, you have two options: ignore it, and pretend it’s still the Seventies, or get it waxed, which is about twice as painful as child birth (you know, probably). The final option is “laser” treatment, but which can be costly and painful. A new technique, called the “Ellipse Nordlys”, however, combines traditional laser technology with “selective waveband technology” – so rather than a broad energy pulse of laser, it’s a finely targeted pulse of light, which attacks the pigment of the hairs and kills the root, making it not only more effective, but quicker too (it’s also generally more effective the darker your hair is).
GQ’s back session took just 15 minutes of actual zapping. It’s fairly painless, too: each pulse simply feels like little light flicks from a rubber band (it hurts more where there’s a greater concentration of hair, so if you’re particularly hirsute, it’ll sting). Hairs grow in cycles, so you won’t get them all after the first session – they recommend at least three sessions, each with a month between them. Still once done, they’re gone for good, and you’re ready for the beach. Stuart McGurk
The clincher: This treatment can even be used for things other than hair removal, such as reducing the appearance of troublesome spots or freckles and fungal nail infections.
GQ tried the Ellipse Nordlys Laser Hair Removal at The Skin Matters Clinic in High Street Kensington, £150 per session (course of 6). skin-matters.co.uk. Find your nearest service at ellipseuk.com
At home: The hand held Philips Lumea works on all hair types (but it can’t treat pigmented skin or nail infections), £299. johnlewis.co.uk
A back, sack, and crack wax is one of the most painful things a grown man can experience, but it’s absolutely worth it if you value smooth, soft and hygienic nether regions.
We recommend showering shortly before you arrive but don’t bother trimming, your beautician will take care of that. Don’t worry about unwanted erections. The staff are professionals and the pain will be all you’re able to focus on.
It’s a team effort getting a back, sack and crack wax: the beautician will need your help pulling the skin taut (especially in the crack area) and it’s a great idea to chat. Conversation was the best way to distract from the pain, followed closely by regular deep breathing, and finally by the beautician’s poking of the skin which helps to distract your nerves. You might bleed a little, but Privet uses special hot wax with Aloe Vera, so it’s only temporary.
You’ll be amazed by how smooth everything is and you’ll look bigger, too. The smoothness lasts at least two weeks and you won’t need to wax again for a month, when the hair length is perfect for another go.
The clincher: an extremely smooth feeling perfect for the gym, and a clean look for the beach, plus even if you partner doesn’t care, it’s still a novelty for them (and a great conversation topic for your friends). Cons: the pain is like stubbing your toe every 15 seconds for an hour, and there’s some mild discomfort for a few days afterwards. Conrad Quilty-Harper
The clincher: There’s no stubbly regrowth, unlike shaving.
GQ tried the “Full Monty” at Privet, a luxury topiary service in Notting Hill. £69.50. privetbody.co.uk
At home: Again, we believe waxing should be done by a professional (for your own sake), but for a quick tidy up we recommend the Braun Body Grooming Kit, £129.99. shavers.co.uk
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