Men who stare at mirrors


Saadia Qamar May 10, 2010

KARACHI: The ‘metrosexual’ wave may be truly well and over but a remnant from the era that saw heavily groomed men step out has been the plethora of grooming salons.

Karachi boasts a number of salons that offer services catered to men. While initially men would only turn up to the salon to get prepped before their wedding, the frequency of their visits has increased over the years. Murtaza from Tariq Amin’s salon told The Express Tribune, “We have a unisex salon. We have regular clients, and though the number of male clients is limited they do come in for grooming and hair styling.”

When asked whether grooms turn up to the salon before they say their ‘I do’s’ and ‘qabool hais’, Murtaza said, “Well, yes they do. But there are certain bridal packages that we offer for men that include, pedicure, manicure; face base and hair styling. But what we do not offer is body massage for men!” The stylist Altaf, who works at Nabila’s salon, believes that in time more men will grace the doors of salons.

According to Altaf, the ratio of male clients at Nabila’s salon is about 50 per cent. The salon has two stylists for men and six for women, and the salon introduced grooming services for men about 10 years ago. Altaf told The Express Tribune, “This is all about styling. But more importantly, it is all about awareness and the desire to look good.

Global trends have set in and since people want to look smart and get complimented for their good looks, they come over for styling.” Altaf believes, “men are regular customers at the salon, so regular are they that they appear even within 25 days or in six weeks’ time for grooming.” Nail Express, which is a sister company of Nabila’s salon, boasts a large number of men amongst their clients. According to a representative of Nail Express, the number of male clients has increased over time and “some even come twice or thrice in a month to get their nails done properly.”

But the perception of men getting pampered at the salon is still not entirely rosy. A survey conducted in Karachi by The Express Tribune/ Sybrid showed 60 per cent of respondents against men going to get manicures, pedicures and facials. One respondent said, “Boys are supposed to be rough and tough” while another said, “It (grooming) is a girl’s thing and boys should not do it.” The respondents in favour said “If girls can do it, why can’t boys?”

Published in the Express Tribune, May 11th, 2010

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