Styling Dads - From Haircare to Skincare

by Patrick McIvor | June 2, 2016

It’s amazing to me the evolution of what people picture when you ask someone, “what does a Dad look like?”

Years ago that was a much easier answer.

When you look back through history, men especially, had major periods of trends, and not like trends for women that come and go, trends for men would last for decades or more. Some male trends even lasted many decades or even a generation or more before the idea eventually literally died with those who wore the same look to their graves. 

If you look back just 100 years or so, men’s looks were very much the same no matter what they were doing. You can find pictures of men wearing a suit, that had an undershirt underneath, hair neatly combed into place, no beard but possibly a mustache, wearing the same or similar look going to church or temple, going out at night, going to a party and to work, even when that included manual labor.

This look was not seen on one Dad or man, this same look could be found on every man at that time and their young sons, too. Further back, a hundred years or more, much of the same could be found. With men of different “classes” wearing the same style of wigs and clothing depending on the “class,” again most without beards.

In the last 100 years we have seen more diversity in looks dads wore depending on where they were going or what activity they were doing. It still seemed that once a man hit his early “Dad” years, most men continued to wear that same look until they died.

Instead of buying new clothes or changing their style, most men up until recently just kept buying the same clothes and kept the same look well into their elder years. Today, things are way different and as professional stylists we have to realize our new opportunities.

Dads today are “cool” and they can still be “hot”! Jeans can be for both work and play, with or without a jacket or tie and feel right at home next to another dad in a suit. But that doesn’t mean men don’t need help with styles or looks, men’s looks can be even more diverse than what we see from many of the female guests in our chairs. So let’s take a look at some opportunities we have with men.


Hair on Their Head

Dads today have long hair, short hair, no hair and everything in-between. This creates some great opportunities because men also are open to color, texture services and options for helping to keep the hair they have.

As a Dad myself, I have had my hair colored for many years to hide my gray, but now I love the 5-minute color options that create a more slate-like effect for the gray which is much easier to maintain with my shorter hair. 

And, when it comes to products, like most guys I keep it simple: 1 or 2 styling products that I can use separately or together to create different looks. When it comes to hair loss products, I have been using those since I was 32. For me this is one conversation no man with hair is opposed to having, because no matter if it is a good head of hair or hair they are already seeing some loss from, if they have it, they want to keep it and if they’re seeing some loss they want to slow that down. So make sure you have options and have the conversations, Dads today are already listening.


Hair on Their Face

Facial hair is a fun way for Dads to play with their look. Hair on the face can be all over the place, short and neat, short and scruffy, long and bushy to long and tailored, to mustaches, too. Facial hair requires maintenance too! From shampoos and conditioners to products that can help groom and create the looks they want, starting a conversation with men about their facial hair opens the door to a world of new opportunities.



Even the manliest of Dads today realize that taking care of their skin can lead to things like less skin cancer, less wrinkles and even looking a little less pasty.  So talk with your male guests about products with SPF’s and maybe even some that can help take the edge off a ghostly, white, glow in the winter. 

Add to the conversation some ideas for a great body wash that not only works well on their skin but leaves them smelling great too. Skincare for Dads is a great conversation that can be new for many salon professionals and the opportunities can be a wonderful new way to keep your men looking great and healthy.

For me, Dads and men in general are a great new opportunity in our full service salons where in the past, 20% of business or less came from men.  But today with so many looks and so many services being embraced by men, from color to grooming and skincare, men will be the next big income boom for our industry and Dads are a great place to start. 

Why? Because their wives, daughters or girlfriends are already in our chairs and we know historically they were buying their men the products they were using. So set yourself up for success and reach out to the men in your guest’s lives and turn this Father’s Day into a gift that keeps on giving them great ways to feel good about the way they look.


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