The top 5 male grooming mishaps – and how to avoid them

legsInjuries caused by male grooming treatments are on the rise. So what are the most common and how can you avoid them? 

1. BBQ’d skin

According a new survey by first4lawyers a whopping 20% of male grooming related claims come from men who’ve had a tanning bed trauma. By far the most dangerous treatment, men are four times as likely to sustain an injury from using a sunbed than women.

How to stay safe: “Sunbeds emit radiation similar to that in midday summer sunlight, with the same effects, so you should avoid them altogether,” says consultant Dermatologist Professor John Hawk bluntly. If his advice doesn’t convince you then maybe this stat from Cancer Research UK will: if you’re under 35 and are using sunbeds regularly your risk developing malignant melanoma – the most dangerous form of skin cancer – increases by 75%. Scary.

2. Fake tan foul ups

According to the survey men are eight times as likely to suffer a tragedy after a spray tan than women, partly because of their unfamiliarity with the process. The injuries men reported from tanning treatments varied from allergic reactions and skin rashes to dermatitis caused by the chemicals used in spray tans.

How to stay safe: “Spray tans are remarkably safe these days and reactions to them are very rare,” says self-tanning expert James Read who bronzes the bodies of a host of top celebrities. “If you have sensitive skin or have had reactions before, though, ask for a patch test first on the skin behind your ear on your inner arm and come back 24 hours later you’re your tan if everything’s okay.”

3. Treacherous trims

Visit a good hairdressers and having your barnet trimmed is no more dangerous than a trip to the supermarket. Stumble into a salon staffed by an Edward Scissorhands, however, and you’ll be searching for a lawyer, not to mention the tip of your left ear. According to the survey 13% of grooming-gone-wrong claims by men are hairdresser related.

How to stay safe: According to Simon Shaw, European Artistic Director at Wahl UK, the easiest way to avoid accidents is to treat a visit to your stylist as you would an appointment with your doctor. “The most important thing to do when you’re getting your hair cut is to listen to your barber or stylist,” he says. “Do exactly what they ask of you, for example tilting your head either side, and don’t work against them.” Switching off your phone so there are no sudden distractions helps too.

If you’re thinking of having a dye job then visit your hair salon for a patch test 48 hours beforehand to make sure you aren’t allergic to the dyes it uses.

4. Eyebrow raising accidents

Eyebrow shaping treatments are increasingly popular with men but threading – an ancient technique using a cotton thread to remove hairs –  takes skill, talent and practice. “If it’s not done by a qualified and skilled practitioner you can be left with broken and ingrown hairs, unnecessary pain, infected follicles and thin, uneven eyebrows which will take months to grow back,” warns Maria Dinopoulos from Pulse Laser Clinic in London’s Mayfair who specialize in threading.

How to stay safe: Avoid informal threading kiosks and look for a professional salon or clinic that will offer you a more personalised service. “An experienced threader will also work quickly and will ask you to stretch the skin to minimize discomfort,” says Dinopoulos. “If tweezers, eyebrow scissors or brushes are used, these should be sterilised between clients to eliminate infection and a lotion with soothing/antibacterial properties should be offered after the service.”

5. Wax disasters

Remarkably, 1 in 10 claim-related male grooming accidents accidents are connected with leg waxing. “That’s probably because the leg is a large area and if hot wax is applied it can cause a burn or heat rash breakout. It’s very painful and common mistake with therapists,” says Sarah Louisa O’Looney, author of Fresh, Clean Men: Advice for Men and Beauty Therapists.

How to stay safe: “To prevent problems ask for a small amount of wax product be applied to the inside of your wrist so you can test the temperature,” says O’Looney. To minimise sensitivity issues afterwards she recommends avoiding hot showers and baths, fragrances, and work-outs that make you sweat for 24 hours after waxing.

Hey beauty world – the men are coming!

Just been reading a fascinating little news story in Beauty Magazine which highlights the rise in men entering the beauty industry. According to the story Simply Business, a UK business insurance provider, has seen a 17% annual increase in male-run health and beauty businesses in the last year and there’s also been an 11% rise in the number of male make-up artists and beauticians too.

Personally I think this is fantastic news. Many of the industry experts and entrepreneurs I know are male and contrary to uninformed belief, they’re not all gay either. Unfortunately, while many men have gained the utmost respect by reaching the top of their profession, others in the beauty industry are still often exposed to prejudice and snide remarks.

Hopefully, though, as more and more men enter the industry tired preconceptions about men working in the world of beauty and male grooming will fall away. It may even be time for institutions like Cosmetic Executive Women – a girls-only club for women in the beauty industry –  to thow open their doors to men. Or, maybe it’s time, as my male colleagues and I have discussed on many occasions, for the establishment of Cosmetic Executive Men too. Whatever happens, the men are definitely coming!

 

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What really irritates men about shaving

This week Gillette revealed the results of a survey exploring how irritable us Brits are (they have a new Gillette Series ‘Irritable Defence’ range out see). It turns out that technology breaking down gets on our nerves, 32% of us hate queueing for things and 57% of us feel irritated every day (me by daft press releases usually).

Funnily enough, I was conducting my own little survey on here last week with a snap poll on men’s biggest shaving concerns. The results are even more illuminating. Nicks and cuts were in fourth place, razor burn in third and the nightmare that is ingrown hairs was second, with just over 29% of the votes. But the thing that annoys men most about shaving? Well, it turns out to be the cost of blades, with just over 36% of votes. Now that really is something to get irritated about.

PS. As a fascinating footnote to this post, it’s interesting to see that shaving products top this year’s list of ‘High Risk Items’ on Checkpoint’s Global Retail Theft Barometer – a global index of what consumers are swiping from shops.