July 2010

Jerry Tyler

Blue Highways | by Jerry Tyler


Growing Business with Manpower

I am in awe of the endless evolution of the male facet of the beauty marketplace, as well as the tremendous impact it has to the overall beauty profession.

With this tremendous influence come many possibilities and opportunities for growth.

Many times during my educational classes, the question comes up, “What is the difference between women’s and men’s needs and what motivates them?”

This is important to answer so we can fulfill those needs in the salon. While there is no complete answer, I have found that the main desire of women is beautification, while the male is focused mainly on grooming. This is seen on the credits of any fashion photo editorial; for women it will give credit to the hairstylist, for men the language will state, “Grooming by…”.

In the past, as in the present, movies and their stars influenced both male and female hair fashion. The impact film and music stars have had on the male grooming industry is worthy of a closer look. There was the polished, traditional barbered look of the 30s that continued until the early 60s. Then, along came the Beatles, breaking the length barrier, and introducing longer hair fashion for men. Rod Stewart’s shag and Jimi Hendrix’ afro came next, spurring a revolution that embraced hair in its natural texture.

No matter where the influence originates, we will always need to stay aware of trends in order to serve our male clients fully. To be truly successful in the male marketplace, we need to be proactive and aware of the many influences that are driving it. For example, the baby boomer client may desire services that help him preserve a feeling of youth and vitality. With the graying of America comes a new need in the male hair care market. New advancements in color camouflage include services that are quick and blend away gray, rather than conceal it, to “turn back the clock.”

Another opportunity in the market base centers on men’s skincare. This new interest by men in replenishing and repairing what time and lack of attention have created, has many men now utilizing a skincare regimen as part of their daily shaving ritual. It can include cleansing and exfoliating before shaving, and applying moisturizer and toner after when the facial skin is more receptive to absorb skin-nourishing nutrients. Recommending pre-shave oils and shave creams dependent on skin type is also important.

With the many influences of culture and fashion, staying abreast of current trends means staying ahead of the curve. It used to be that the choice between visiting a traditional barber versus a hairstylist was simple. The difference between the two was largely a matter of a primarily clipper grounded foundation versus precision haircutting and styling.

Through advanced education and tools, many stylists are now fusing the two techniques to offer more to their existing and future male client base. Many states now offer crossover courses to cosmetologists so they can offer the best of both worlds to their clients. Advancements in haircutting and barbering equipment have also produced innovative results, including the use of more ergonomic tools that do not produce the negative impact associated with repetitive motion.

With men becoming more style-conscious, it is crucial for us to be aware of the best products to meet their demands. This not only enables us to help them care for and maintain their look, it also adds to our bottom line through the sale of male-oriented, salon prescribed products.

When it comes to aiding clients in finding solutions for hair loss, we must have the proper knowledge to serve any demographic. Directing the client to the best products and services is crucial, whether guiding them to topical treatments for retention and prevention of hair loss, or recommending pharmaceutical, non-surgical or surgical hair replacement options. The challenges are many in this area, but knowing those options is the best way we can serve our clients and direct them to the best hair loss solution for them.

Whether the fashion demands of the male client base are classic, contemporary or fashion forward, there are more than enough tools, services and products available to meet their needs. All we have to do is make sure we are continually aware of the opportunities to serve our male clientèle, thus growing our business through Manpower.

Jerry Tyler’s column Blue Highways is his “Road Less Traveled” perspective on the solutions and challenges facing the beauty industry. Jerry Tyler has been a stylist since 1975 serving as the former artistic director for Vidal Sassoon Academy and currently as Director of Education for Carlton Hair salons. He is also a licensed cosmetology instructor and has served as President of the California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.