Whangarei men are getting more body hair removed than ever before, a local beauty therapist says.
A new international online survey, conducted by Auckland University's Virginia Braun, and Gareth Terry from the Open University in the UK, quizzed nearly 600 people aged 18-35 on their body hair grooming habits.
The research indicates body hair removal is becoming more common among young men - with some even opting for the full "manzilian".
It found that while body hair was still considered more acceptable on men than on the fairer sex - except on the back or shoulders - male body hair was not seen as particularly desirable.
Avid Beauty beauty therapist Jade Morgan said more men in Whangarei were increasingly concerned with their looks.
"We've got a lot more men now enquiring about personal appearance. They are going through with more treatments for the eyebrows, the back and the chest."
Demand could not compare with places like Auckland, but for Whangarei it was a definite increase, she said.
Miss Morgan had only been in Whangarei for two years, but had noticed a definite change, especially in the last year.
"A lot of them are just so comfortable with it and it's amazing the amount of young men who question me about it outside the salon."
Hair removal from the back was the most popular procedure for men, followed by the chest.
Red Eleven modelling agency co-director Amanda Betts said removal was increasingly common among male Kiwi models.
"Men are all of a sudden placing value on beauty products and beauty services. It's becoming increasingly as important to them as what it is to our female talent."
Men were also experimenting with different hair removal strategies and more aware of what worked best.
"It's very much about personal choice. Some men see body hair as an identity, while others couldn't get it off fast enough."
Some clients still requested body hair, especially the "five o'clock shadow", to convey a sense of effortlessness and manhood, she said.
Wellington beauty salon Shannons owner Deborah Shannon said back and leg hair removal procedures were most popular for men in their 20s but men in their 50s also had their backs waxed. "They're quite conscious [of hair] and they just feel better after it."
Some men liked to have hair removed to prevent feeling self-conscious in their togs.
Ms Shannon, who has worked in the beauty therapy industry for 27 years, said only women visited salons when she began.
"It's been a very gradual [increase], but definitely the younger guys prefer to be more hair-free." APNZ