The Holiday Guy Guide

by MS Staff | October 16, 2013

The Holiday Guy Guide

Men want to look well-groomed this season! They appreciate—and, let’s face it, they need—advice from a pro.

"Guys listen to their
stylist. They know you’re
the one paying attention
to fashion and style.
—Craig Hanson,
Creative Director, American Crew


Stylists, put your hands together—with gel, pomade and paste. You’re going to be using a lot of that this holiday season as men clean up for parties and office events. Hair is long, short and everything in between, but it’s neat.

“A low, deep side part will look modern and polished,” says Sam Burns, spokesman for MITCH by Paul Mitchell and a JPMS international trainer and business development coach. “When men are dressed up, their hair should be closer to the head. Let it dry naturally without a lot of volume. Apply our Steady Grip for a look that’s tighter and more compact, but controlled.”

The look not just for holiday but continuing through 2014 is “dapper,” according to Craig Hanson, creative director at American Crew.

The Holiday Guy Guide“It’s the Frank Sinatra thing reinvented by today’s stars like Ryan Gosling and David Beckham,” Hanson says. “There’s attention to grooming, but the look is still masculine, rugged.”

Show men with longer hair how to craft a “man bun” or pull back a loose, but structured, ponytail.

“I’m seeing the bun at the nape on the red carpet,” Hanson reports. “When the stylist presents a celebrity look with enthusiasm and confidence, the guy really listens. He knows that you’re the one paying attention to fashion and style.”

If the hair isn’t long enough to pull back, Hanson recommends getting it off the face. “Comb product through the hair, and then take your fingers at the scalp and break it up to give a little bit of lift,” he says. “Use tons of gel for a crunchy look if the guy doesn’t want his hair to move when the wind blows, or use pomade if the client wants a more casual feel.”

Make sure your men have tools they need.

“For today’s styles, every man should have a round brush and a comb,” says Burns. “The comb keeps the hair flatter and more defined; the round brush delivers that modern-day pompadour.”

Hanson adds one more. “The boar bristle brush is a guy’s best friend,” he says. “It’s what men used in the ’50s to get the hair perfectly smooth while still having a wave or direction.”



Don’t assume your male clients won’t be open to color.

“Currently two out of 10 men enjoy color in the salon, but five out of 10 want it but are scared,” says Burns. “For gray coverage for the first time, less is best and less is the request. Tell the guy, ‘We’re going to turn back time just a little bit.’ He could experience Paul Mitchell’s Flash Back hair color, and even his wife won’t know for sure.”

"Log on at for
video instruction in Nioxin
techniques for cutting, coloring
and styling thinning hair.

Full Health

Win/win! Scalp services add to the ticket while helping male clients maximize the look of hair density.

As early as their teens and 20s, many men become self-conscious about thinning hair. Use your conversational skills to break through their sensitivity about this issue. Lay out options for full-hair looks, and you will have a client for life.

The Holiday Guy Guide“Consultations are the most important part of any service to set expectations,” says Carla Kootsillas, a stylist for Nioxin. When you explain “what’s going on up there” to the client, he becomes open to solutions such as starting a full Nioxin Hair System regimen that you would prescribe. In addition, the Nioxin team has developed cutting, coloring and styling techniques that produce a look of fullness to the hair.

Man Magnets

To make sure your book is raining men in the new year, tap into their natural preferences.

* Duality looks. “Men want the opportunity to express their own personal style in the boardroom, the bedroom and the ballpark,” says Sam Burns, JPMS international trainer and business development coach. “There’s not just one look for them.”

Demonstrating how he can get multiple looks from one cut builds the client’s confidence in you, adds Craig Hanson, creative director at American Crew.

* Duality products. “Men are performancedriven,” says Burns. “The more multipurpose the product, the more appealing it is. They love our MITCH Double Hitter Shampoo and Conditioner, because you can use the shampoo as a body wash and use the conditioner to shave.” 

The Holiday Guy Guide* Grooming Center. Men want to feel that they belong at the salon, so establish a separate retail area just for them. “A younger guy is not going to use his girlfriend’s shampoo, his mom’s shampoo or his dad’s shampoo, while the mature man wants products that ‘revitalize,’” says Burns, who suggests making it simple for guys by showcasing your five top-selling men’s products. “Carry a black blow dryer, and don’t miss the retail opportunity to sell combs for today’s men’s looks.”

* Brocabulary. Woody’s Just4Play line might strike women as a pun of questionable taste, but dudes love to laugh at that kind of thing.

“Develop a separate menu for men, with service names like ‘Hawaii 5-0’ for five foils or ‘Male-Pattern Blondeness’ for a lightening service,” says Burns. “Men won’t get highlights, but they’ll get ‘skylights’; instead of lowlights, offer ‘brolights’; promote ‘hombre’ to indicate ombre color. Men like the word ‘guaranteed’ and are attracted to products that are ‘easy’ or ‘one-step,’ ‘bulk up the hair,’ make their hair look ‘natural’ or are ‘great for the gym.’ With our Construction Paste, I tell guys, ‘Put it in your hands and clap it together—it needs to get a little webby, Spiderman!’”

The Holiday Guy Guide* Style influencers. Within your clientele, you’re sure to have some trendsetting guys in their late 20s who hit all the coolest bars and coffee houses. Identify those guys! “Stylists should listen to what these clients have to say about their style,” Hanson says. “They’re the guys making statements, and they’ll be the ones leading the rest in the latest looks.”

* Shave and shaving products. “For holiday, guys are going to shave!” Hanson predicts. By offering to shave your ordinarily scruffy men, you’ll remind them that it’s a traditional grooming service they can stop by and have whenever they want to look spot-on perfect. You also can build their loyalty to professional shaving products.

“Since they don’t shave often, they don’t know how their skin will react,” Hanson adds. “Explain to them that they can trust salon quality products to prevent bumps and roughness.”

"Keep men stocked
in minis; 41 percent
like to have a separate
set of products for the
gym or office.
—Sam Burns, MITCH man

* Product Try-Me’s. “When men try professional products, of course they like them—because they work!” says Hanson “They’ll come back to buy the full size.”

Studies show that 41 percent of men like to have a separate set of products for the gym or office, according to Burns. “During the holidays,” he says “we’re offering stockings that can be stuffed with mini-size MITCH products.”

The Holiday Guy Guide* Free stuff. Men aren’t as price-conscious as women, but everyone appreciates a gift at holiday time. The free Woody’s deck of cards included with the Woody’s Holiday Cheer gift pack will have guys thinking about you at their next poker game. 

* Gift certificates. Women want their men looking good, and a gift certificate for his January hair cut is the perfect “something for both of us” gift. “Stylists should talk about men’s styles to women, because women influence on average six men,” Hanson notes.

Read more about
Photo credit

Atouzo Neihule


New Hybrid Beauty School Launches in Los Angeles

by Anne Moratto

Neihule Salon + Academy, the new hybrid beauty school and full service salon in downtown Los Angeles, was founded by industry veterans Yvonne Neihule and her husband, Atouzo Neihule, who come to this new venture with a combined 35 years of experience in the world of professional beauty.

Does your salon career spark joy? When your career and your brand reflect your authentic self,...

5 Steps To Building A Salon Career That Sparks Joy

by Staff

In order to build a brand that’s sustainable, that allows you to grow and grows with you, it must be authentic. It must flatter your gifts and your talents and make you happy. In other words, it must spark joy. Here are five steps to creating and sustaining a joy-driven brand.

At Bella Luci Salon a color membership program increases appointment frequency.

Is A Loyalty Program Right For You?

by Staff

Hotels and airlines have long understood the benefits of offering membership advantages to their most loyal customers. Membership does indeed have its privileges in the forms of increased client retention, increased client frequency, greater client loyalty and boosted referrals—all critical metrics for any business.


In our video section, watch salon professionals in action, listen to the advice of salon business experts, and tour inside the world’s top salons.

11 Beauty Career Paths to Explore Today

by Staff

You can grow in all things beauty, all in one place! From salon to store to field education and beyond, there are many positions and promotions you—or a friend—can aspire to at Ulta Beauty. Check out these options, then apply at

Load More