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Pretty men ahoy!

Until now a woman's territory, beauty treatments are now being lapped up by men, writes Akanksha Agarwal.

india Updated: Jun 12, 2008 15:52 IST
Akanksha Agarwal

Move over women and make space for men. They want to look good, too. The one sitting next to you in a salon with a green mask on his face could be your friend's husband or even yours, and he wants a manicure, just as you do.

Be it pedicures, face scrubs or facials, men now have a variety of beauty treatments to choose from. The metrosexual man is old news; taking care of oneself without being embarrassed about it is the order of the day.

It is possible for a man to "prettify" himself even without the salon touch: the market is flooded with beauty products exclusively for men.

Everything from anti-ageing creams to fairness creams now comes with a "pour homme" (for him) tag. And there's nothing sissy about using these, if role models are to go by a star like the British actor Clive Owen, who was on the shortlist to play James Bond, fronts the campaign for Lancome, part of the French cosmetic giant, L'Oreal.

If a prospective double-oh can do it, so can the Average Joe. Gender equality, it seems, has finally come to the beauty industry. When L'Oreal launched its Men Expert line in India, it tweaked the "Because I'm worth it" tagline for women, telling men, "You are worth it too".

Indian brands aren't far behind. There's Shahnaz Husain's Fair One for men; Emami's Fair and Handsome; a men'ss fairness cream from Nivea; hair care products from Biotique Wellness; and various masks and scrubs from a bunch of lesser known brands.

"Men now account for 45 per cent sales of the Rs 10-crore brand," says Aditya Agarwal, director of the Emami group.

Speaking of what has fuelled this trend, Tanya, a consultant at Looks Unisex salon, says that men come and ask for looks that they see in Bollywood films.

"Aamir Khan's trendy hairstyles are a rage. Our male clientele is increasing by the day and we offer different kinds of treatments to them. Most become regular customers."

Ambika Pillai Visions gets six male clients every day. And some salons even offer pre-wedding packages for grooms. Beauty may be skin-seep, but it has lots of takers among men, age no bar.

Check me out: Men are increasingly exploring new treatments in salons FOR