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Bleached, fair and handsome

fashion and trends Updated: Oct 21, 2007 01:58 IST
Jatin Gandhi
Jatin Gandhi
Hindustan Times
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How do you stop a 21-year-old from using his girlfriend’s fairness cream or her bleach? Simple: give him a pack of his own.

This has effectively spawned a whole new world of cosmetics — the male fairness segment industry that is pitched at around Rs 270 crore and growing really fast.

The industry evidently has woken up to the fact that the metrosexual man has a large appetite for beauty (the industry expression is “male grooming”) products, particularly driven by a desire to look as fair as the fairer sex.

If Emami roped in Shah Rukh Khan to endorse Fair n Handsome in June, Fem Care Pharma Limited (FCPL) recently launched Saka, the first men’s bleach.

Rahul Srivastava, product manager for FCPL, said the industry is growing at a scorching 150 per cent.

“We realised that men were already using bleach that was available in parlour packs. Subsequent research showed that men would prefer bleach of their own — with its own fragrance and specific skin type formulations,” Srivastava said.

A few weeks into the launch, the company is already talking about the good results it has witnessed and now planning “an extension of Saka products.”

Mohan Goenka, director at Emami, said: “Before we launched Fair and Handsome, men were already using fairness creams meant for women. Qualitative research showed us that every other man wants to look fairer. Whitening product sales are zooming across the world and Asia too has a large market."

Is it fair then to say that tall, dark and handsome is passé?