A fine bromance

Men are finally buying more products for themselves rather than simply swiping their partners’, and the grooming market is booming. Ensure your business is better set for the boys…

Beards and buzzcuts are big business. According to the Local Data Company there has been a big jump in the number of new barber shops in the past five years. Leading up to October 2018, the number of shops rose by 25 per cent. From luxury wet shave establishments to buzzy local joints, to ignore the retail potential in men’s grooming could be your downfall. And men are doing it for themselves – buying products, that is. Salons up and down the country are noticing a growth in men interested in staying sharp. Here’s how to win at the grooming business…

The Unisex Salon
Johanne Herald

Charles Worthington, Percy Street


For unisex salons like Charles Worthington, the surge in interest for men’s services and grooming ranges has definitely caused a stir. With a high percentage of male clients attending regularly, the brand has worked hard to make sure its pricing system and salon services are male inclusive. “When they receive a great cut or colour and see products work, they naturally want to use them at home,” explains Johanne Herald, senior master stylist at the Percy Street salon. “We encourage them in making their own choices, as opposed to just using what has been bought for them.”

An in-depth, bespoke consultation makes all the difference when it comes to seeing an uptick in sales. Whether they have a buzzcut or shoulder-brushing locks, each client has a different level of care and attention that they dedicate to their routine – but that they’re in the salon at all tells you that they care about what they look like. Talking up Redken Brews has had a real impact: “It brings a smile to their face when they see it. The packaging is spot-on in terms of being simple and masculine with a fun twist on the link between the ingredients and the packaging. It realises perfectly that not one product suits all looks and requirements, so the range is uncomplicated but caters for all.”

The High Street Hero
Craig Teeder

Rush Hair


“A lot of companies are now taking the men’s demographic more seriously,” says Craig Teeder, Rush salon consultant and workshop team member. Working with salons up and down the country, Craig and his team believe the days of men just grabbing any old shampoo are over. “There is a lot more interest in how products will help their specific needs and keep their hair looking sharp all day,” he explains.

With such a positive slant and interest from clients, the best thing that stylists can do is to know their products inside out. Male clients deal with all of the same problems as your female ones, from taming frizzy fringes to volumising lank quiffs. “It’s important to show men how to apply different products and how they’re going to help them create their desired style,” suggests Craig. “The consultation is the best time to find out any problems the clients are having with their hair, you’re able to see how they style their hair themselves. Talk about how a specific cut will work and which products it will need.”

The look, scent and feel of a product can go a long way to winning over an already image-conscious client. There’s a fine line to tread between overly masculine, aggressive branding and too unisex to render the definition useless. Craig has seen a huge buzz around the malt-infused scent and new look of Redken Brews, particularly the trend-led yet problem-solving products such as the silver shampoo. “It’s a deeper, more steely silver, so is much more suited towards guys with naturally white/grey hair to remove unwanted yellow tones. It’s something men have never thought they needed to use but now can’t get enough of!”

The Barber

John Keegan

The Academy Barber


“Traditionally, women would be the influencer or purchaser of their partner’s grooming products, but this has changed dramatically in the past few years,” says John Keegan, owner of The Academy Barber in Co. Kildare, Ireland. “Men ask for more recommendations now and are always open to professional advice on what’s best for them to use.”

Getting the idea of introducing products to their at-home routine starts from the very beginning. “We incorporate products in our services, starting from backwash area discussing what shampoo we are using for them. Then during the consultation we’ll discuss styling products and their benefits. By including products in this way the client gets to hear your expert advice, see the product on display and then see the product doing as you described. This is the best way to assist product sales within the barber shop without being pushy or overly sales-y.”

Want to become a Brews master?
Ky Wilson leads the way


Products are becoming more accessible to the consumer, so finding a global men’s range with reliability like Redken Brews is essential to my day-to-day life. I’m very lucky to have the support from the guys at Brews, and can’t wait to see what this year has in store for all of us. The best thing about barbering and men’s hairdressing is that it’s always growing. I’ve met some of the raddest humans through this job and it pushes myself to progress in the right direction. I love the connection that our job brings between people, it’s pretty special. As we evolve, so too does men’s style. My go-to product from the Redken Brews range has to be the Stand Tough Gel. It’s a clear winner, it’s so versatile. Applying a small amount of Stand Tough Gel into damp hair and blow-drying it in gives you this incredible pliable base texture without flaking.