This is true for the vast majority of men, who settle into a style somewhere in their late 20s to early 30s. Younger, urban guys want trendier looks, from skater styles to dreds. If you can attract these teenaged males, not only will you make their mothers happy by adding a little control to their scruffy surfer style; you’ll reap a slew of new clients.
“Junior high school guys are the most loyal clients of all; one will send in 12 friends at once,” says Hammel. “They’ll also experiment with color.”
When it comes to older men, Hammel says the best way to offer gray blending is at the sink with a 10-minute service.
“We talk about percent of gray and offer options,” she says. “No man wants to go from 70-percent gray to zero.”
Just as important as services is the comfortability factor. Assume nothing: If you’ve got no script for your staff to follow, ask a guy who is entirely unfamiliar with the salon business to do a walk-through and tell you what feels weird.
Women will work harder to get a bargain but that doesn’t mean men don’t want value. Bonanno says guys favor his online booking offer: Book three appointments in advance, keep them all and get 50-percent off the fourth. Hammel’s best-ever male attraction was to offer free cuts for a year to any guy who made five referrals. It’s doable because men won’t knock themselves out like women might but it gets them referring. (Just 10 to 15 guys at each American Male location meet the goal.)
Salons that want a balanced clientele are also finding that good citizenry is as important to men as women. Donations to the overseas troops, like Sports Clips’ fundraiser for phone calling cards, charity events that aim to build homes for Hurricane Katrina survivors and even ones that support men’s health concerns have proven that men will come together for a cause—a concept that just happens to have its roots in barbershop culture. That brings things full circle: If you want more men, make them feel comfortable and welcome; and add a local spin with something they care about.