In my Salon business in Malibu, which was located a stone's throw from the Pepperdine College campus (there were tons of 18-29 year old men) - I began with an 85-15% split women to men in my clientele. At the beginning of my career men came for a great hair cut, I had learned the Vidal Sassoon manner of cutting men's hair and I adored the process . . . It is "Sculpture" at is finest and my cuts were not cheap - but they were done with love, art and design in mind every single time.
Over the next 12 years the numbers got closer and closer till when I had to shut down my business the last time I checked into the hospital - but it was at 50% - 50% - a dead even split and I could see that if I was to keep going I was going to maybe bump over the line. Yes, I adore men . . . and was raised with 2 brothers so I feel a certain kinship to them, something most women have a hard time with . . .when a guy sat in my chair it was just easier for me to rattle off questions and BS than if a woman did - which has nothing to do with "likes" "dislikes" or anything but just plain being "used to". I will admit they were a lot prettier to look at...
for me and the smell of a well dressed man with a great cologne wins hands down over a woman - any day to me. . . . but still - when you get down to brass tacks. . . you make a helluva lot more money off of a woman in your chair than a man and I knew it..
It never stopped me from trying to get men into my chair, ever.
Completing a 100 minute men's hair cut was one of the most rewarding acts I could complete in the art of hair. I sculpted each head of hair to 'each' specific man and accomplished that very meticulously - I guess loving Sculpture was the catalyst I had for that.
So when the tide started to change and men began coming to the Salon for highlights, bleaches, relaxers and most everything we offer women - there was not a soul happier than, yours Truly. Problem is, men's hair is very difficult to do and difficult to do correctly. Why? It is so damn short . . . and it needs to be done in such a manner that it does not look like he has gone to the $29.95 Car painting shop and has race stripes down the sides. Most of what needs to be done is good - honest - Hair color - usually just one color .
Stylists should not try to get the man to pay for a number of things he doesn't need.
He doesn't need . . . . . Highlights.
Not only do I dislike highlights for women - for men I want to cry and I bet most of you will agree with me.
I will admit I- myself- have given slices - ribbons and veils to a number of clients but they were NOT highlights and the difference is huge if you were to see them side by side. Some day I will find comparable photos to show you the difference > visually.
Most of my color work with men was like this gentleman - here. With interesting placement of the color, instead of stripey stripes on the hair - just to say you have them.
Men have become interested in their hair, their skin and their overall appearance in phenomenal numbers which is good news for us girls. We no longer have to push them into it, they are truly turning into mini- beauty junkie's on their own . . . isn't that the most exciting news> ?
You know how you will sit across from them at the table in a restaurant, wondering why they don't give a crap how their hair looks . . . why will they get a Fantastic SAMS haircut for $10.00 when a nice $50.00 scissor over comb hair cut looks 150% better on them? They care what "we" look like and we try to improve our appearance "for them". . . its the least they could do in return - we like to look at a nicely shaped head as well.
Well, according to all the numbers across the board : 'men are turning into chicks'. Which is a statement I refuse to say too loud or the men will go running from here and I may disrupt a very encouraging 'shift' in culture. Men need to become more sensitive - more caring of their looks - its an attractive feature -- I guarantee you.
According to AC Nielsen, sales from men's grooming products and services grew almost 70% between 2002 and 2005 compared with only a 6% increase in the women's market. Take notice next time you are in Sephora, Macy's, or your favorite Beauty Supply, almost every major manufacturer in the professional salon business has a men's brand.
Statistics show that men are now spending more than $4 Billion dollars every single year on Grooming products. I hope you think that is as insane as I do. Men's attitudes have changed, they are now interested in a variety of products instead of a bar of soap and stealing your shampoo. It took years of them wondering why we had so many damn bottles in the bathroom to finally catch on that maybe - - just maybe... there was a point to many of them.
The men I had as clients were much more willing to try new products starting back 14 years ago, yes it was Malibu and "yes" many of the trends start here . . . but still it was pretty unusual and rare -- even then.
I will never forget seeing 3 of the local professional surfers running with their capes blowing in the wind to get in their trucks and head to local McDonalds with Foils in their hair ( begging me to go while their hair processed !)...
It was truly an amazing site... The big - butch - surfers - finally let down their barriers and simply did not care that they had foils in their hair and a cape around their neck - they thought it was "cool". That's when I
knew a shift in the tide was here to stay.
Here is some work I did on one of the Local surfer boys . . . he had his coat painted by a car painter for Malibu HIgh PROM - wanted his hair to match ! !