The manzilian: are you ready for this?

In a post-metrosexual society, 'manscaping' has become a permanent fixture in the regimen of many modern men.

You'd be hard pressed to find a bloke today who didn't prune the winter pelt with some clippers ahead of beach season; and nary a threaded eyebrow is raised at the mention of a mate who indulges in the odd manicure.

So maybe it was just a matter of time before hair-free preferences travelled south of the border. And no, we're not talking about Victoria.

"The fastest growing sector in the beauty industry is the male sector," confirms owner of Sydney-based men's salon Face of Man, Kylie Hayden.

"The most common waxing procedures are still the back, shoulders and eyebrows, but a lot more men are coming in asking for the Brazilian."

For anyone not familiar with the procedure, a Brazilian – or 'manzilian', as the blokes' version is sometimes known – is the complete removal of pubic hair below the waist.

Below the belt

So what's driving this next phase in male grooming? You're probably thinking about a word that starts with the letter 'p'. And you'd be right, although it might not be the one you had in mind.

While the removal of body hair is nothing new (Ancient Egyptians did it to stave off fleas and lice, and the Romans were known to remove boys' hair as an initiation into adulthood), modern manscaping has more to do with attracting a partner.

"One of the biggest pushes for men's grooming in that area would definitely be their partners," Hayden told 51698009.

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"There's an increasing expectation from women these days that 'if you like me to be groomed, then I would like the same in return'."

For 20-year-old carpenter Adam Thomas, this was the reason he started removing his own hair. "The girls I know just like it better," he admits.

Thomas is one of a number of young men who are choosing to de-pube for the sake of increasing their perceived sexual appeal.

Hair-raising issue

According to a 2014 report, more than 50 per cent of men in Britain admitted that there is now more pressure on them to at least trim or completely remove their body hair. In this same report, 29 per cent of men admitted to getting regular Brazilians.

Says Thomas: "I have quite a few mates that also do it, and it's always because their girlfriends have said they liked it."

Like a lot of trends, the increase in men asking for manzilians can also be traced to the way bodies are represented in the media.

In most modern porn films there's not a single follicle to be found below the neck - in either sex.

Anthony Lekkas, a Melbourne-based couples counsellor, thinks the role of porn in contemporary culture has definitely made an impact on grooming habits.

"Representation of masculinity are definitely changing," he says. "Both guys and girls are watching porn and learning about sexuality through that – which can be a bit unfortunate – and these images have a strong impact on the way we view ourselves.

Smooth operators

"There are a lot of groomed bodies in the porn industry and it would almost be odd to see hair on a guy or girl who is in one of those films," says Lekkas.

His comments translate easily to Hollywood and sporting culture, both of which have also happily got on board the grooming express.

Whether it be the waxed perfection of leading men such as Channing Tatum or Chris Hemsworth, or the shaved physiques of footballers in calendars, popular images of men have become increasingly free of body hair.

The level of surprise expressed by critics and commentators at the sight of actual pubic hair in the recent film Fifty Shades of Grey shows we have become more accustomed to it not being there.

Room to groom

Lekkas, himself a long-time groomer, says there is also an element of vanity that comes into play. A lot of men, he admits, simply prefer the way it looks.

"There is a small narcissistic side of me that likes to look at myself in the mirror and Ilike to be groomed," he says.

"I played football in my 20s and I used to shave my legs for that, but now it has becomejust a way that I look after myself and part of my routine. I also think it just looks nicer."

To men interested in a full manzilian, Hayden offers some advice: "It's true it's not a walk in the park and the first experience is always the worst, but it gets better with time. Once you get through the first one, you're fine."