Men spend more time on personal grooming than women. New research reveals that the modern man is more image-obsessed than ever, spending over four years of his life perfecting his appearance. Women, on the other hand, spend only three years!
Tackling dark circles, managing facial fuzz, sorting out stray hairs, nail and foot care routine, periodic trips to the barber, using the right hair products, sorting out the perfect scent and learning how to manscape properly… the list is endless. From the season’s latest fashion, to sessions at salons, spas and using high-end cosmetics, today’s metrosexual man shames his woman counterpart on all counts.
Says Swati Gupta, owner of the Bodycraft chain of spas and salons in Bengaluru, “On an average we must be seeing about 30 to 40 men visit our salons on a weekday and a busy weekend sees the number rising to about 80 to 100.” She adds, “Men these days are indulging in all kinds of services. While they definitely all opt for hair services, a lot of men go for services like facials, manicures, pedicures and body spa treatments. “In fact some men come to us for waxing services also.”
Prasad Bidapa, fashion guru from Bengaluru says, “Grooming is the hallmark of a civilised male. From well groomed hair to a perfectly maintained moustache and beard if you have one – a fortnightly visit to your barber is essential.” He adds that regular facials, both clean up and deep moisturising ones keep a man’s skin healthy and supple. “Sun blocks and moisturiser are essentials for this polluted world we live in. The skin on your body is just as important, regular massages and scrubs with shikakai powder or sea salt are invigorating,” he feels.
Today’s metrosexual men have preferred destinations abroad where they take a much needed break and indulge in some relaxation and grooming rituals. Five-time Indian swimming champion Rehan Poncha is one of those sportsmen who likes to maintain a perfect image, both in and out of the pool. Having recently graduated to a more gentlemanly sport – golf – Poncha’s image has altered dramatically once he hit the greens.
He says, “Men in general, I think, are now quite particular about their appearance. As a swimmer, it was fairy simple with just swim trunks and goggles. You worked out in the gym and it showed on deck! Now, with golf, and corporate events and swim workshops, I certainly make an extra effort to look good while training, teaching or talking! If it’s a professional appearance my manager spends that extra time to make sure my suit is the best fit and the look is perfect. So I wouldn’t compare, but I’d definitely agree that men are equally particular about their look now.”
Rehan is not shy to admit that he does have a specific grooming routine. He says his daily routine consists on shower, shave, after-shave and out. But if he has a formal event to attend, or a professional appearance, then his stylist usually gets him to spend a little more time on styling his hair. “It’s also fun experimenting with different looks from clean shaven, to stubble to a full beard, depending on my mood and I do that a lot, often ending with a selfie that goes on to my social media and generates a ridiculous amount of dialogue that’s very amusing,” he quips, flashing his trademark cheeky grin.
He also confides that his weakness is spa treatments and that like many other men he has his favoured haunts. “The Sofitel in Mumbai does a great deep tissue massage. There’s a nice UK chain called Truefitt and Hill which has now opened in India that I’m enjoying. They offer a great head massage, and also shaving and haircuts and it’s great ambience and service,” he tells.
Bindiya Dharia of Jean Claude Biguine Salons, Bengaluru, says: “It’s an upswing trend where we are seeing men becoming more receptive towards embracing grooming services of international stand-ards. Growing consciousness among men about not only looking stylish but feeling good has got them to experience various kinds of treatments ranging from not only hair cuts, colour and body massages but to pedicures, hair express rituals and waxing.”
Bengaluru-based real estate magnate and businessman Sanjiv Shanmugam is probably one of the city’s most elegantly turned out men. From sporting the season’s latest looks to following current trends and fashion fads, Sanjiv makes no bones of the fact that he likes to spend time and money on himself to look his best.
“I don’t think men spend more time on grooming than women, but we’re surely giving them a run for their money,” he tells with a laugh. He states that he prefers male grooming products from brands such as Clinique and that he visits a salon once a week and a spa at least twice a month. He’s even charted out a schedule for himself – a hair trim and beard shaping every Friday! Just in time to get the look together for a hot weekend on the city’s party circuit.
Actor Upen Reddy from Hyderabad says that his life in front of the camera is all about being groomed, so, over a period of time it becomes a part of who you are. “There is no specific time allotted to grooming and you get used to being groomed always,” he tells. The hallmark of proper grooming, according to him, means being hygienic. “You can have the best wardrobe in the world, but if you’re not clean, nothing or no amount of mak up is going to cover that up,” he adds. Being in the profession where looking good is his main job, Upen says that he has no account of how much he spends on grooming rituals each month. “I just know that money is extremely important for men to remain well groomed these days.”
Today, most salons and spas in big cities cater to both men and women. Celebrity stylist and salon director of the Rossano Ferretti Salon at The Ritz-Carlton Bengaluru, Carlos Saavedra opines, “I don’t think men spend as much as women on beauty treatments or products, but for sure it is an undercover market. Everyday men are more aware of themselves and how they look, but they don’t talk about it. I believe the men’s grooming industry is still half hidden, but very profitable.”