Men venture into world of beauty

Image: 123RF/Andrew Poplavsky

Gone are the days when men who cared about their appearance were seen as effeminate or vain. In fact, these days being well-groomed is encouraged, giving rise to the proliferation of male-only spaces and unique grooming experiences. Although it is one of the fastest growing segments in the beauty industry, surprisingly, for men, looking after their appearance hasn’t been seen as enjoyable or the quality “me time” it is for women.

Many men consider grooming routines a chore and would rather have someone else do the work for them. There is a demand for male pampering experiences but not the kind you might think. Men a re n’t looking for fragranced spas or Zen gardens but rather an environment curated for men, where they can enjoy unapologetic “man-time”. Enter the revival of grooming lounges. Grooming lounges are popping up everywhere and gaining popularity as places where men can get more than a haircut or have their beards shaped. No longer just for older men or considered old-fashioned, they have an old-school charm which is drawing in men seeking immersive, educational grooming experiences rather than just buying a product off a shelf and using it at home. Spaces such as Hines and Harley Men’s Grooming Lounge in Randburg, Johannesburg, are a haven for men. Jared Hines, owner of Hines and Harley, advises: “Men should look for a place that is unique ... the atmosphere should be welcoming. “They should also be looking for a place that has qualified, quality staff.”

Known for his chart-topping tracks and razor-sharp bars, Riky Rick is also a master of impeccable personal presentation, from his well-groomed features to his designer threads. He shares his thoughts about grooming.

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Do you think that there is still a stigma in South Africa about men taking their grooming seriously; would you say it's important that a male grooming culture is encouraged in society?

The stigma is slowly diminishing; men are now open to grooming. A lot of young men are aspirational and they want to look and feel good, be presentable. Men take it upon themselves to visit nail bars, shave frequently and invest in good skincare products. We must encourage young men to take grooming seriously; cleanliness is a confidence boost so that they will start believing in themselves more and want more for themselves because they feel good.

When did you start progrooming?

I have always loved the skin I am in and that meant looking after myself well from my early years. I have always thought of it as normal, from growing up using Petroleum Jelly as kids to adolescence. As a Vaseline MEN ambassador, which product can you not do without? It has to be the Vaseline Men SPF15 Face Moisturiser, it contains sunscreen and maintains an even skin tone.

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