By Ruth Cooper
Long gone are the days when a trip to the salon was seen as secret women’s business. Now, with everyone from David Beckham to Jay Z making salon visits part of their routine, the men of Australia are slowly realising that it’s ok to want to look after themselves and their skin.
Although hair removal has always brought men through the doors, a new generation of male clients has emerged who are just as likely to request a skin peel or anti-wrinkle treatment as your female customers.
Jodie King, owner of Skin Clinic for Men in Sydney’s Clovelly, has seen this firsthand, witnessing her clients becoming more comfortable with getting salon treatments. “There isn’t such a ‘behind closed doors’ mentality,” she says. “Men are now more open about grooming and, as we are all working longer, they understand the important of presenting yourself professionally –and that isn’t just a well-cut suit. The skin is our biggest organ and should be cared for.”
Lots of King’s male clients visit her salon for “a good clean out of the skin” she says. “Often we will peel the skin as it is much thicker [than women’s] but it is very dependent on what the client presents with on the day. I’ve also found that men are partial to anti-wrinkle treatments.”
In the future, King says she believes the male grooming market will continue to grow. “I believe that men will go down the injectables path and will begin to feel more comfortable that it’s not just for the ladies.”
Paul Anderson, owner of unisex clinic Mankind, says his clients love a facial as long as the treatment is both relaxing and delivers results. “We’re known for our deep cleanse, hydrating facials,” says Anderson. “That’s our signature. Results-driven treatments are becoming major for us. In a 60-minute treatment men want intensity that works.”
Men are also coming to Anderson for microdermabrasion and he has introduced Factor4 plasma therapy (the ‘vampire facial’), which he says will be the next big thing. “That will be a major player, in fact it already is. Needling and laser have also been in for a while. With men it’s just all about results.”
The men who arrive at Sara Kotai’s clinic, Man Cave Sydney, are looking for non-invasive treatments that deliver visible results. Man Cave was Australia’s first medical aesthetic clinic for men when it opened in 2014, and today offers a wide range of treatments from CoolSculpting fat reduction to anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers.
Since opening, Kotai says she has seen a rise in the number of men open to treatments like CoolSculpting – which uses controlled cooling to eliminate stubborn fat – and MiraDry, which permanently reduces underarm sweat.
“Globally, in the last two to three years, the number of male treatments has skyrocketed so that they account for nearly 40 per cent of all CoolSculpting treatments,” says Kotai. She puts this down to the fact that these procedures are non-invasive, making them more attractive to men.
“Now that public awareness is higher, and the fact there is no needles, no downtime, and no sign you’ve had the treatment, it is much more alluring and acceptable for men – who are typically time poor and want to keep their privacy – as opposed to traditional plastic surgery procedures.”