New Delhi: In the desire to flaunt polished bodies, clean and smooth arms and legs, well-heeled Indian men and women are thronging salons and beauty clinics to shear off ungainly fuzz with waxing, hair removal products and technology. There are also do-it-yourself kits to help wherever you go.
Local parlours, bodycare chains and multi-national grooming groups, offering skincare products, admit that while winter days offer a relatively smaller market, summer and monsoon months witness clients who want to go fuzz-free, often at any cost.
"We see an increase of 60 percent in laser hair reduction treatments from the months of April to July...the hair reduction services are not just used by women; we have a considerable percentage of business coming in from men as well," Jaz Brar, CEO, Reva Aesthetics, told IANS.
Indian summer is also an open sesame for clothing lines as men and women prefer to not only make fashion statements but also cool their bodies as temperatures touch 45-degree Celsius. And, quite a few want to do it with elan.
"Nothing compliments the summer wardrobe more than a flawless and stubble-free smooth skin. During this season, we see a rise in the number of women who opt for laser hair removal," Sangeeta Velaskar, vice president and head, Medical Services, Research and Development, Kaya Skin Clinic, told IANS.
Waxing has been around for years, but variants within that have opened up. Chocolate wax, Aloe Vera wax, Strawberry wax and the likes have come into the market too, and to many, these are less painful and leave the skin softer.
"We have girls approaching us for hair-removal sessions, be it a temporary solution such as waxing or a permanent measure such as Intense Pulse Light (IPL) solution. While waxing gives a temporary respite from unwanted hair woes, the regular IPL sitting prepares (them) to exhibit hairless and confident selves," said Gunjan Taneja Gaur, make-up expert and executive director, ALPS Beauty Clinic.
Clients with deeper pockets fork out Rs.31,000 for a permanent full-body hair removal project at the ALPS. People also pay Rs.1,700 for waxing at centres of the north India-based firm. Others opt for the pain-free path with anti-fuzz creams tagged up to Rs.200.
There's also the do-it-yourself hair removal creams.
Kiran Lohia, official dermatologist, Veet, told IANS: "We see a demand for quick, inexpensive and do-it-yourself methods to remove unwanted hair. Hair removal creams are an extremely popular, cost-effective option for Indian women as they fit the criteria with the added benefit of smooth moisturized skin along with slower and lesser hair re-growth."
Hair eliminating products hawked by a tray of companies, including Veet, also offer backpack programmes to clients wary of walking into glitzy laser parlours.
"Every woman wants to avoid negative effects of choosing the wrong hair removal method. Hair removal creams give them the freedom from skin irritation, razor cuts and burns, over-exfoliation and a host of other problems, especially for those with a small budget," Lohia added.
Indian salons are also getting smarter. Lakme's menu card holds out an offer between Rs.150 and Rs.2,100 for waxing services.
While some prefer the traditional way for being fuzz-free, others who have a tight schedule and find the "waxing cycles" a nuisance opt for alternative grooming methods like depilatory grooming products, which they feel is more convenient and quick. These products can range from Rs.1,200 and can go up to Rs.8,000.
"Over the past two to three years, we have observed a rapid increase in demand for depilatory grooming solutions from the youth because they want to be ready all the time. Especially during the summer months, when the visible body hair becomes critical to manage," said Anurita Chopra, marketing director, Personal Care, Philips Consumer Lifestyle India.
"The non-traditional grooming methods like depilation help you get rid of the tiny body hair that waxing just can't catch," she added.