Over the recent years, the beauty industry has progressively grown to be a multinational, multi-billion dollar industry. What was once to known to be an industry devoted to helping women feel prettier and desired is now an industry that caters to a fairly large male clientele. Which makes you wonder; is the women-only stereotype surrounding beauty salons and spas slowly fading? I would say heck yes!
In fact, I’d even go as far as to say that men account for the fastest growing segment of the salon and spa going population. Freshly coiffed hair, smooth chiseled jaws, clean manicured nails and perfectly plucked eyebrows. Who wouldn’t want that? It’s time for the metro sexual male vanity to step out of the proverbial closet.
In an upscale clothing store on Fifth Avenue, New York, businessman Dan Collier, 34 remarks, “I like to look put together. After all, I’m a businessman and I have to look the part. I can’t do that if I don’t dress well, carry myself well and look presentable at all times.”
All over the world, in fact, definitive men’s fashion and style magazines like GQ (USA), Numero Homme (France) Grind (Japan), Fashion for Men (Italy) and AnOther Man (England) are setting norms for what’s in and raising the bar for men’s fashion with bolder suggestions. Right from the kind of cologne you should wear (and where!) to the kind of celebrity hairstyles you could get, they’ve got a hundred different ways to keep you smelling, looking and feeling good.
“It’s the picture they paint, really. You want to look that man, perfect in every way,” admits advertising professional Jonah Myers, 28. “And in my line of work, first impressions are everything. I can’t afford to not look my best at all times. And if that means going to the salon to get my chest waxed or my hair styled, so be it!”
And how do their partners feel about it?
“I love it!” laughs Jonah’s girlfriend, Adrianna. “Why wouldn’t I? I look after myself. It’s only fitting that my boyfriend looks after himself as well. Gone are the days when visiting a salon was only for effeminate or gay men!”
Speaking of beauty products, at present the United States is the biggest cosmetic market in the world. In 2011, it boasted of a total revenue of 53.70 billion U.S. dollars, employing about 52,512 people. 1 What helps these figures is the advent of online beauty companies and an increasing number of men who visit salons, resulting in an increase in demand for skincare products and special services that cater to male clientele. Skincare companies like Menaji, Aubrey Organics and Joe Grooming feature lines of products offer hair and skin care products such as shampoos, shaving products, exfoliators, concealers and moisturizers specifically for men.
As male clientele get more recognition, salon owners rush to incorporate services focused on men to their offerings. Salon owner Michael Palmer says, “If you want to be successful in the beauty and salon industry, you need to offer services aimed at male clients. In fact, you can help them feel more at home with creating a welcoming atmosphere with maybe flat screen TVs, telecasting sports games or even offering a scotch or whisky if your budget allows it.”
It doesn’t just stop at salons. Beauty schools have started to introduce male client specific courses to their programs. Beauty schools in Whittier offer barbering courses along with several other courses to cater to a men-specific clientele.
In the pursuit of youthfulness and beauty, men aren’t far behind. In fact, they’re a very close second. Just the way it ought to be!