Men’s grooming has seen a significant uptick in the past five to 10 years, and for stylists who have tapped into the male market this is a big win. But with society increasingly encouraging and accepting well-coiffed men, colorists can get in on the men’s hair-color game.
“Everyone’s looking for an untapped market,” says Renee Valerie, TIGI U.S. technical education director. “With male color clients, we are able to increase our services, prices and options of men choosing looks and trends that will take an everyday cut into the style right out of a magazine.”
There’s an opportunity to increase the value of your men’s service with gray reduction or camouflage, bold all-over color, fashion color or something in between and to up your income as well.
“We are long past the days of Sun-In and peroxide,” says Rob Diaz, Esquire Grooming artist.
Begin your service as you would any other—with a solid consultation. Listen to what your client is saying, and offer color options along with cut. If he’s receptive to the idea, take it from there.
“Men are looking to us as experts to help achieve the look they want and suits their face and lifestyle, so color is the tool to help change their look,” says NAHA Men’s winner and Schwarzkopf Professional Essential Looks Artist Paul Pereira.
Probably the most common color service for men is gray reduction or camouflage. Anti-aging beauty solutions are a trend that will never go out of style.
“Gray hair looks great on a lot of men, but for male clients who are looking washedout or dull with their natural tone, I often recommend a demi-permanent color, as it can help blend the non-pigmented hair without looking too unnatural,” Valerie says.
Diaz says it’s all about getting to know your client so you can see exactly what they want. Even with someone who gets the exact same cut every time, bringing up color is a way you can try to shake them loose from routine and exceed their expectations for the end result.
“Never be afraid to give them options,” Diaz says. “We have to start taking the McDonald’s approach. ‘Would you like fries with that?’ If we don’t let them know what they can have, they’ll never know it’s an option.”
If new growth is a concern, be equipped with an answer and a solution. For instance, instead of coloring every gray or white hair, consider blending so it looks more natural and doesn’t create a harsh line after a few weeks of growth.
“The best intro to coloring for men is to comb-in or full-application color using a wash-out color semi-permanent with the lowest peroxide level—like Schwarzkopf Vibrance,” Pereira says. Regardless, having a conversation about upkeep is important. He’s probably coming in more regularly for cuts, so the transition should be slight if there is one at all.
“Talk with them about scheduling regular maintenance like we do with our cars,” Diaz says. “They understand the importance of an oil change—speak their language and win them over.”
BOLD & FASHION COLORS
Creative hair color has greatly increased in popularity for women (and in mainstream acceptance) in the past decade, and men also want to get in on the action.
“As gender stereotypes are being blurred more these days, men are increasingly becoming more open to bolder colors, and in turn it is becoming more normal for men to also be able to express themselves through their hair,” Valerie says.
Diaz says stylists are largely responsible for setting trends and letting clients know the options available to them. Just as with a female client, if you think a color service would look amazing on your male client, tell them, Pereira says.
“Color for men is the new accessory,” Diaz says. “Remember your work is what will get you more work. Using bold colors will attract attention, and that attention will not just get your client noticed, but they will in turn name-drop and bring in new business for you.”
Maintenance is vital for more dramatic transformations, but you already knew that. Ensure your client also knows and re-books his next appointment while he’s checking out.
“Men are loyal and doing some great styles,” Pereira says. “That makes it fun for us as stylists.”