A Channing Tatum-backed start-up reflects rise in manscaping – why shaving and waxing below the belt will continue to grow

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grooming for men, lifestyle influencers

Gone are the days when a quick jump in the shower followed by a brief spray of deodorant was all guys needed before heading out of the house. Male grooming has taken off in recent years, with products for men cropping up on shelves and online.

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Manscaped has taken this a step further.

The men’s grooming start-up backed by Hollywood actor Channing Tatum is all about tidying up your nether regions, and announced in November 2021 it was going public by merging with blank-cheque firm Bright Lights Acquisition Corp in a deal valuing the company at US$1 billion. A blank-cheque firm is a shell company set up to merge with a private one.

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Founded in 2016, Manscaped specialises in “below the waist grooming for men” and intends to “address all of men’s self-care needs” in the future, according to Business Insider. In the past 12 months, it has generated US$285 million in revenue, a figure it expects to grow to over US$500 million in 2023 thanks to international growth and product expansion.

grooming for men, lifestyle influencers

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Channing Tatum, a backer of Manscaped, in a still from the movie Magic Mike XXL.

There is an increasing number of personal hygiene, hairstyling and skincare products aimed at men, but Manscaped found increasingly more men were paying attention to their hygiene and appearance below the belt, and made this their target market.

The trend is going strong in Asia too. Treatments such as the “Boyzilian” – the male equivalent of the “Brazilian” hair removal wax treatment used in women’s beauty – are now available at Strip: Ministry of Waxing, which has outlets in Hong Kong and Singapore.

The “Boyzilian” may be the next step in men’s grooming, but it could also bring tears to your eyes.

“As it is focused on a very sensitive part of the body, waxing hair removal here will still have a certain level of pain associated with it,” says a Strip:­ Ministry of Waxing spokeswoman. “But the latest waxing techniques will be able to reduce the discomfort level.”

She adds: “Apart from grooming reasons, men also wax their pubic area when competing in sports. Hair removal reduces chafing caused by cycling and it helps when competing in water sports.”

grooming for men, lifestyle influencers

A Manscaped shaver for the body.

Customers may opt for a less painful and more comfortable alternative hair removal method such as Strip’s Powerpac, which makes use of advanced fluorescence technology. The next-generation semi-permanent hair-reduction treatment uses beams of specially filtered light to weaken the hair follicles, causing delayed hair growth and a percentage of hair not to re-grow at all.

“This method of hair removal is pain-free and results will last longer. However, one may have to undergo a minimum of six sessions, six weeks apart to see the best results. Some users may also need more than six sessions to reap the benefits,” Strip’s spokeswoman says.

She adds: “Hair removal is no longer considered a hush-hush subject and open-minded conversations have led to increased awareness on the topic. It has evolved into a hygiene matter, a self-care ritual and a form of body care for the male consumer segment.”

grooming for men, lifestyle influencers

A treatment room at Strip: Ministry of Waxing in Singapore.

Various factors have contributed to the growth of male grooming worldwide. Education has helped, as has celebrity endorsement, especially in Asia. More lifestyle influencers are sharing their own grooming routines and this may have inspired their followers to hop on the bandwagon.

“In recent years, grooming products have become ‘non-gender binding’, which makes them more appealing to the male consumer market,” Strip’s spokeswoman says.

The concept of men’s grooming has undergone enormous change and today’s young and mature men are more engaged than ever before as they look for ways to look good and enhance their appearance.

Even as many men grew elaborate beards, let their hair grow long or allowed their skin to crack, a large segment of male consumers used coronavirus lockdowns to experiment with new looks and try some different products.

It all means that there is a huge potential for growth in the male consumer market.

“We’ve definitely seen and experienced a shift in men’s grooming, and in particular, the hair removal industry, over the last 10 years. We are seeing more male consumers walk through the door,” the Strip spokeswoman says.

grooming for men, lifestyle influencers

A model shaving his body with a Manscaped product.

All this is good news for Manscaped and its products. The San Diego, California-based firm plans to list on Nasdaq after its blank-cheque deal closes in the first quarter of next year. The combined company will be called Manscaped Holdings and will trade under the name Mans.

“The capital raised in this transaction will drive our ability to serve more men in more markets around the world, while also allowing us to grow the Manscaped routine into additional personal care and lifestyle product spaces,” Paul Tran, Manscaped CEO, said in a statement.

Manscaped is reportedly expected to receive up to US$305 million in gross transaction proceeds, including US$75 million through private investors who will pay US$9.20 per share. Among the investors are Tatum, Endeavor Group Holdings, Guggenheim Investments, Signia Venture Partners, Saban Capital Group, and funds managed by UBS O’Connor.

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