Depilatories start marketing to men, teens


NEW YORK Balding may cause a person to become self-conscious, but the depilatory market has shown the world that being hairless is a good thing, according to a recent New York Times article.

Depilatory maker Nair, which was developed and introduced to the market in 1940, was initially designed for women to remove hair with wax strips. Now, however, Nair has become one of the leading depilatory companies on the market, with about two-dozen products on shelves to date (including wax and bleaches) and has expanded its target audience to both teenagers and the male population.

A recent campaign known as “Nair Pretty” is aimed at first-time hair removers, and is featured in fruity scents. The advertisements can be found in teen magazines and even Redbook magazine, as company executives suggested that young girls aren’t always the ones who buy their toiletries.

Although sales of men’s depilatories are less than a tenth of women’s ($8.6 million to women’s $86.9 million over the last year), according to Nielsen Strategic Planner, it has become for common for men to remove their hair with beauty products, as opposed to laser removal. Nair has even filled that niche, citing that men are now progressively more inclined to remove their back or chest hair, practices that have been portrayed in the media with “Seinfeld” and, more recently, “The 40-Year Old Virgin.”

Additionally, Sally Hansen has also ripped into the depilatory market, making it Nair’s top competitor. It recently developed and marketed depilatories and wax strips for men. The company has not taken the step of reaching a younger demographic with a product geared at teenagers, but it is said to be advertised in the same magazines as Nair, as it has become a common practice.

“The whole hair removal situation has changed,” the Times quoted Stacey Feldman, vice president for marketing at the women’s health and personal care division of the Church & Dwight Company. “Now people are removing hair from eyebrows to toes, and using all kinds of different products. People are more open about it and they feel more confident, cleaner.” 

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