The video is done with a big smile and a sense of jest, but it’s a wonderfully entertaining way to point to a wider trend in men’s grooming that’s been growing both in popularity and acceptability over the past decade.
While it’s still probably not the majority of men who opt for manicures and pedicures, and certainly there are even fewer opting for sparkly toe nails, spa treatments, tanning, hair colour and a general interest in grooming is becoming an increasing trend in the spa and beauty industries, with men paying careful attention for personal satisfaction, but also for the benefit of their work and social lives.
When celebrity stylist and barber Carmelo Guastella spoke to The Hot Tub in 2014 he was already reporting that C-suite executives were paying careful attention to their hair – covering up greys to help give them a competitive edge against younger colleagues, and embracing hair transplants and products for thicker hair. However, he also said that they were doing it in a gradual way so as to avoid a rather obvious ‘Trump effect’. “My recommendation to men is to never get into a situation where all over colour coverage is needed every two to three weeks as the grey regrowth can be seen, which is not good for your image or your hair.”
Everyone remembers the days of David Beckham’s cornrows and his infamous sarong, and in the time since then footballers and celebrities alike have graced the pages of magazines and newspapers flaunting a regular touch of make-up or reglar spa treatments to feel pampered and perfect. While they might not all be following Harry Styles’s weakness for lipstick, one in 10 British men secretly wear make-up reported the Daily Mail in 2013, and no doubt those numbers have increased, although with any luck it’s no longer secret and they are wearing it with pride.
Leading on from that, in 2014 the Mail also reported that a quarter of men had used fake tan, taking their cue from TV stars (not least the cast of TOWIE), with oral tanning pills and salon spray tans proving of greater preference than the home application varieties.
Where once upon a time it seemed like a baffling concept to think that men might cleanse, tone and moisturise their skin, it’s now an increasingly prevalent part of their morning routine, along with a regular shave, and while women have plenty of ambassadors for their product lines, the likes of David Gandy talk eagerly about the use of products including rosehip oil to keep skin hydrated under their daily moisturiser.
Meanwhile all men’s magazines now showcase fake tan, make-up and favoured grooming products as part of their regular features, and let’s not forget manscaping – well, if women are spending time and money on waxing and hair removal, there’s really no reason men shouldn’t stay tidy either – is there?
In fact, The Guardian reported that the male UK skincare market is worth an estimated £600m, and many high profile brands right from the upper echelons of fashion have launched their own male cosmetics ranges, including ultimate style zeitgeist Tom Ford.
When it comes to spa treatments, while therapies including massage still remain the most popular treatments amongst men, facials, manicures and pedicures as well as other holistic wellbeing treatments are becoming increasingly accepted, particularly when they’re included as part of the package. Meanwhile, spas themselves are redesigning to veer away from stereotypically female environments and create spaces where men feel more comfortable. For example, Lifehouse Spa in Essex avoids clichéd feminine design in favour of a contemporary glass and slate environment scattered with modern art and filled with natural light.
At Spabreaks.com we offer a wide selection of packages with men in mind, whether they are visiting with their other half or on their own, and therapists we work with are sensitive to any anxiety that any guest might feel, male or female, particularly if they’re on their first spa break. However, we have found the breaks to be extremely popular, having had corporate breaks and stag dos book through the agency, with a view to having a different experience to the standard lads’ night out.
That said, in 2015 The Telegraph reported that men in the UK still felt a reluctance to visit spas, commenting that they didn’t know what they were missing and that in other countries men are infinitely more accepting of the practice. They highlighted: “in the UK, spas are associated with pampering and beauty treatments, whereas in other cultures, they’re much more strongly linked to healthiness.”
The climate is definitely changing, and increasingly young men in particular are embracing grooming as part of an interest in wellbeing as well as personal style.
So, what do you think?
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