Salons are often viewed as very feminine spaces, somewhere women go to be pampered and gossip over glasses of prosecco. Not somewhere your average man can feel like he belongs, yet men’s hair is a very fast-growing sector, and making male clients feel welcome in your salon could be the key to opening up a whole new market.
In fact, with the number of barbershops growing faster than hairdressers this is a client base that you ignore at your peril.
The first thing to consider is how your salon looks to a man walking up to the door. Are there pictures of men’s styles on display, or just women’s? Is everything pink? First impressions count for a lot and creating a space that welcomes people of any gender means stepping back and taking a fresh approach.
Many salons now have a clean look in neutral colours and it doesn’t take much to make them less feminine, changing accent colours from pink and purple to greens and browns could be all you need to do. It’s also worth thinking about the scents you use and the music you have playing, little things that make a big difference.
A retail area dedicated to men’s products, visible from the door, also sends a clear message that men are very welcome in your salon. Not only that but men tend to be impulse buyers who often pick up products as they pay, so you might find that men’s retail does very well.
While your female clients might be happy to chat about their longing for waist-length locks in front of the other customers, clients experiencing hair loss might be a little less willing to talk in public.
Men, in particular, can feel embarrassed about seeking help and may appreciate being able to talk to you in private. A separate men’s area would be a good solution but if you can’t arrange that, think about having a “men’s day”. Not only will your male clients feel welcome on a dedicated men’s day, but they will also be confident that they won’t bump into their boss’s wife.
The Small Things That Count
Once a man has made his way into your salon you can send a very clear message to let him know that he’s welcome. Think about the little things that you offer and where you might be able to include men more. For example, most salons have magazines on offer but often they are all celebrity gossip and fashion-focused.
Widen your offering by including publications like GQ, Top Gear or Men’s Health along with gender-neutral magazines on topics like cooking or travel. The same applies to the refreshments you serve, if you already include prosecco or a glass of wine for over 18s then why not extend that to offer beer or cider as well? If you have a television you might consider switching it to a sport’s channel, especially if you run a men’s day.
Word will soon spread that on Tuesdays a man can come to you, watch football and enjoy a beer while he has his hair maintenance appointment!
The next thing to think about is your price list or treatment menu. It can be overwhelming to look at a long list of offers for women, hunting for the little box at the back with the men’s options, so it’s usually best to have a separate list for men.
It’s also worth thinking about the language that you use. Men often aren’t interested in learning the terminology used in the beauty industry so keep everything as straightforward and jargon-free as possible. They also tend to respond well to a focus on grooming, health and macho interests like sports. Tell them that their hair replacement system will give them “a healthy-looking head of hair that stays put even during watersports” and they will likely be more interested than if you talk about beautiful, shiny hair that will make them the centre of attention.
Now that you know how to make male clients feel welcome in your salon, the next step is to market your services to them. After all, they will have no idea that you have created such a welcoming environment if you don’t tell them about it!
Look out for tips on marketing to men in a blog coming soon. In the meantime, take a look at our men’s hair replacement training and be the first to offer this important service in your area.