The modern man’s guide to grooming
There was a time when a man’s bathroom shelf was a lonely place, home to just a handful of products: shaving cream, shampoo, soap and deodorant. And then along came the Metrosexual, and in the 15 years or so since, that shelf has been invaded by battalions of boys’ products including but not limited to moisturisers, cleansers, serums, scrubs, bronzers, concealers, anti-agers and masks. Want the mirror, girlfriend? You’ll need to elbow aside the man of the house.
Today’s pampered bloke is putting his money where his moisturiser is, too; it’s estimated that annual sales of total men’s grooming products in Australia now exceed $500 million a year. Hip city streets are home to men’s grooming salons – a new breed of one-stop pampering shop offering treatments from head to toe.
Male beauty trends come thick and fast, too: the Metro has spawned the neo-dandy, the gentlebro, channeled Don Draper’s fifties style and most recently embraced full beards and hipster man buns. So what next for the style-savvy male?
Leaner and cleaner
The next chapter in male beauty history is sleeker and more streamlined than the hirsute hipster era, says Rob Gauci, director of Melbourne men’s grooming specialists Manhor. Customers at his two ‘one stop man shops’ are paring back their bushy beards and trimming their locks. “The super-disheveled look is on its way out,” says Gauci. “The latest men’s runway looks show a cleaner facial silhouette with a return to a more groomed appearance.”
Taming the beard
While beards are still popular, they’ve gone from Ned Kelly to neat, says Gauci. “We’re seeing cleaner lines now; they’re shorter and sharper, tidier,” he says. “They require more maintenance; our clients come in for beard line-ups every six weeks.” Facial deforestation means more skincare, too, says Gauci. “There’s less requirement for beard oils and more for skin moisturiser. Faces are back!” Celebs recently sporting the closer beard include American Horror Story’s Wes Bentley and Madmen’s Jon Hamm.
That other hipster trend, the Man Bun, isn’t over – just smaller. The 2016 version is the Mini Man Bun, a bijou version of its lumpy n’ large former self. Most often seen as a little spiky add-on (think baby’s ponytail) to an otherwise smoothly groomed do, it’s graced Colin Farrell and a blonded Justin Bieber. The first step is simply losing some length from your lush hipster locks. “We’re seeing cuts that are much shorter on the side and back while keeping enough on top for the little bun,” says Gauci. To keep it slick, water pomade is your friend. “It’s the next-gen gel,” says Gauci.
Sleek and chic
Stock up on that water pomade, because direct from the 2016 S/S and A/W men’s runway shows comes a super-smooth and smokin’ look seen recently on Jared Leto, Shia LaBeouf, Justin Timberlake and many more. Hair worn slightly longer – either just on top or all over in a man bob or ‘mob’ – is combed and gelled back from the face to create a gleaming, Gatsby-esque, elegant silhouette. A deep, neat side-part gives this look a retro, fifties edge and a tidy, short beard is the perfect complement.
The power pompadour
This high on top, short at the sides perennial takes a more textured form for 2016. Sides are extremely short, often with a ‘fade’ into skin, while the top keeps length and volume for sculpting and texturing. Volume creams and a good blow dry can create all kinds of flattering shapes and outlines up there that work with your hair type for maximum wow. David Beckham plays the pompadour beautifully, but it’s popping up on red carpet blokes constantly.
Men are taking over the waxing salon as they venture further into all-over beauty. “There’s a hell of a lot happening on a man’s body!” says Gauci. The demand for body hair removal and maintenance is growing steadily, he says, and his third most popular treatment overall is the take-it-all-off-down-there men’s Brazilian, an increasingly popular option for straight guys. “Girls are often sending their men in,” says Gauci. “They say: ‘if it’s good enough for me, you can do it too.’”
The silver fox cub
When 23-year-old ex One Direction member Zayn Malik and US supermodel Lucky Blue Smith recently went grey, it wasn’t trauma– they were kicking off a trend. Faux grey on young hair is starting to catch on, although it’s not for the faint-hearted. “I haven’t seen much of it here yet,” says Gauci. “It’s not an easy look to carry off. Although your own natural grey can work really well if you’re after a George Clooney look.”
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