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  • You’ve Got Male!

    Lesley CorridanWith Father’s Day looming, we’re undoubtedly flooded with memories of the impact various men in our lives have had on us. Whether its fathers, grandfathers or our own partners who share the parenting responsibilities with us – they all deserve a little recognition, and now’s the time to celebrate the male species! However, as an industry that is predominately made up of women, with a female clientele, we need to make sure we know our facts before we claim to be authorities on male skin. Further, according to Global Industry Analysis, INC, the global men’s grooming products market is said to exceed $33.2 billion by 2015. This is not an industry you want to miss out on!

    First thing’s first – is there a difference between male and female skin? Absolutely! This is due to the action of the sex hormones; in men it’s primarily the higher level of male androgens. These hormones cause coarse hair growth of the beard, larger sebaceous glands and higher likelihood of sebum production. Testosterone, one of the male androgens, increases collagen production in the dermis, leading to approximately 25% thicker skin than women. Genetic differences aside, many men are faced with additional skin concerns.

    Shaving causes razor bumps and ingrown hairs as it “sharpens” the free hair end, facilitating its ability to pierce back into the skin. If men shave daily it can accidently serve as a form of over-exfoliation, as well as lead to a compromised lipid barrier. Also consider that the skin could be left vulnerable due to the misuse of shaving products, soap-based formulas and insufficient protection from ultraviolet (UV) light. The result is additional skin sensitization and aging, not to mention any of the other common skin conditions also found in female skin.

    So we have the knowledge to coach men on achieving healthy skin, but how do we entice them in? Male shopping behavior is vastly different than that of women. For men, shopping is a mission that must be accomplished with minimal distraction or interference. With that in mind, does our environment speak of a clean, professional and no nonsense approach to skin care? Men will not enter a skin center that is shrouded with mystery or cluttered with merchandise! We may have the environment right but men are not necessarily just going to walk off the street into your business. Firstly, use your female clients to get to their men! Educating women about how their men should be looking after their skin could mean they end up using their persuasive powers to get him into your business. Especially with Father’s Day around the corner, make sure you have retail promotions with limited edition male skin kits that can be bought as gifts. Include a free treatment voucher to entice the recipient back to experience your services.

    Fun and interactive educational events might be another option, as men prefer safety in numbers. Demonstrate your credibility as a skin therapist by discussing male skin concerns and providing an interactive skin lesson including cleaning the skin, preparation for shaving and protecting the skin. If you’re struggling to get groups of men in, book out 30 minute one-on-one skin lessons for a less intimidating approach. Most men are pleased to receive the advice and will take your recommendations seriously. Product solutions that are straight forward, practical and revolved around their common challenge of shaving will be willingly incorporated into a daily routine.

    What about communication? While it might frustrate the female species that men constantly problem solve when we just want them to listen, it’s a great clue on how to approach our communication with them. For men it’s all about a resolution to an issue – name the problem, identify a solution and implement it! When talking skin care to a man keep it simple, and focus on his skin concerns and what is going to resolve it. Men are not interested in the fluff and padding so make sure you’re getting to the point. The great news is that once they’ve been convinced you’re credible and they trust your advice, they can become your most loyal clients!

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