It’s a... Man’s... Man’s... Man’s... World!

The recent worldwide trend towards sophisticated mens grooming has seen the rise of upmarket grooming establishments popping up just about everywhere. The traditional barbershop style has made a huge comeback in the fashionable parts of London, New York, Sydney and even right here in Auckland. 

The scruffy look is well on its way out with todays man requiring closer facial hair, moustache and eyebrow trims. There has been a huge surge of interest in vintage shaving techniques like the cut-throat sharp razor and wet shave - a service normal unisex hair salons don’t offer. Another sort after look is the close clipper cut and trim, to achieve that six o’clock shadow.

Most of todays looks have been inspired by top movie stars such as Brad Pitt, George Clooney and the hit television series ‘Mad Men’ which features Jon Hamm as the dapper hero Don Draper. Moustaches are now all the rage thanks in part to ‘Movember’, the global charity drive to raise Prostrate Cancer Awareness, and thanks to movies like ‘Inglourious Basterds’ which features Brad Pitt sporting one.

In Auckland’s Lorne Street ‘Mensworks Grooming Lounge’ offers a complete grooming service for men. Hair cutting, colour, shaving options, eyebrow and lash tinting, facials, hair removal, manicure and footcare, express or executive massages. You can also book for a Mensworks Maintenance Body Works Package $100, or the Executive Package for $200. Owner Matt Swann has provided the ultimate mens comfort zone with flat screen TVs showing the latest sportsgames and music videos. There is also an X-Box and alcoholic beverages available.

Residing on Eden Terrace is ‘Limo Mens Grooming’, a Japanese barber run by the lovely Hitomi Shiraishi. "One of our most requested services is the ‘eyebrow trim’. We have also introduced a scalp massage including neck and shoulders which has proved very popular. Also in demand are Wet Shaves using the traditional cut-throat razor method which usually takes about 45 minutes. Our most sort after take home products are American Crew, Redken, KMS and Sebastion,” says Hitomi.

Catering mainly to corporate cliental ‘Smyth’ on the 4th floor of the Price Waterhouse Tower on Quay Street has also noticed a major change in mens grooming trends. Owner Matt Smyth has noted a solid move away from the longer mullet styles to a shorter more military feel that is more severe. " Grooming is essential in the corporate world but there is a move to a higher element of fashion which fits well at work yet has the versatility to adapt to a more relaxed look at the weekend. Clients are bringing in photos of their favourite looks, for us to replicate. The more common styles are ‘Beckham’, ‘Brad Pitt’ and ‘Tom Cruise’. Our best selling product is American Crew di-fi destruct - it really works!,” said Matt.

‘Servilles Barber’ has been operating for 3 years in Takapuna’s Smales Farm. The barber concept has really started to take off according to Jeremy Foster-Moan who explains that they do not have a booking service - it is simply ‘first in first served’. Aside from the haircuts they will do eyebrow and ear hair trims along with beard trims. L’Oreal Homme Colour is available which is a blending colour to camouflage grey as most men do not want full colour. "We are finding that the younger guys still want some length and a popular style is short on the sides and longer on top, almost hanging over -  å la ‘James Dean’. ‘Justin Bieber’ is another look the younger set are requesting with the older set favouring a ‘George Clooney’. Men are definitely a lot more aware of product these days and are keen to get advice on which products suit them. Our best selling product is American Crew Fibre which adds texture but has a matt finish,” said Jeremy. 

If you are looking for the ultimate indulgence check out the Chuan Spa at Auckland’s Langham Hotel where several packages for men are available. The ‘Ocean Facial’, a 1hr Thalgo facial treatment, is a true energy boost designed to relieve tension and fatigue while restoring strength and vitality to the skin. The ‘Mans World’ 1hr 30mins treatment, commences with a back exfoliation to help cleanse and replenish the skin leaving it revived and reenergised followed by a relaxation massage and cleansing facial. ‘Extremity Indulgence’ is a 1hr ritual where you can relax as your hands and feet soak in warm water, infused with essential oils, Relaxation massage techniques are then used on the hands and feet to release tension and stress before a relaxing scalp massage. This extremity indulgence is designed to relax whilst bringing balance to your body.

The trend for men to be pampered & neatly groomed has increased ten fold over the past decade and it will be exciting to see what the next ten years will bring.