Although male grooming is going through a boom time, the new stats from online beauty site Treatwell will raise an eyebrow. An eyebrow that has been perfectly plucked, of course.
Male Brazilian blow-dries for men are up by 200%, waxing up by 85% and – according to data from the Treatwell app – 25% of men have regular manicure appointments.
PB (post-Beckham) and PI (post-Instagram), male beauty ideals have become specific and attainable. The growth in genderless treatments is indicative of a reality where it’s not enough to have the right haircut (the “Mr Robot” fade, FYI) but you have to have the correct nails and beard too. “‘Body beautiful’ for men is absolutely huge, and they’re beginning to experience the same kind of social pressure as women,” says Lloyd Hughes, creative director of the grooming brand men-ü.
For some, these ideals are both problematic and set in stone. Despite the rise being inextricably linked to metrosexuality and spornosexuality , it’s also vaguely reminiscent of the post-war era of “something for the weekend” barber shops, where haircuts were a weekly event. But with some key differences.
“About 20 years ago, a man brought in a picture of a haircut he liked into my salon and, from the way he was holding it, you’d have thought he was hiding pornography,” says Hughes. “Now, it couldn’t be more different. Guys come in with their phones and scroll through pictures of how they want their hair to look, discussing with friends what they think looks good.”
According to Hughes, the next big treatment will be clean shaves. “Men have already passed having a beard. Now it is more about shorter stubble. And next year will be the clean shave.”