WEL being men

The market in male grooming is booming, with men becoming increasingly conscious of their looks. Are we putting that pressure on our men? Is it really what women want or is it every man for himself? Elaine Price assesses the treatments

Something in the way he movesOne other thing, please don’t think after a couple of pints you suddenly have the ability to dance like Justin Timberlake. Strange as it may sound, the way a man dances gives off a lot of subliminal information to the ladies watching. It broadcasts information about age, health and biochemical efficiency. Not that we want to scare you but if this is your preferred method of impressing the ladies, a few lessons from Djordje Tanasijevic (Loughton’s professional Latin dancer) wouldn’t go amiss. Your choice, JT or Mr Bean. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

STUDIES consistently find that women find tall men attractive. In fact, 80% of personal ads placed by women state they want a man 6ft or taller. Here’s the downside, there’s not a great deal we can do about that one that doesn’t involve torture. And there are other aspects we can’t really help with, like your scent. Not the spray-on type but the one you naturally have. Yes, you have one and we know it’s there. Scientific research has shown a woman will literally sniff out a man’s genetic make up in manner of a super-efficient Spaniel!Then comes the physical attraction, the face, and whilst we may not insist you have the rugged, square-jawed look apparently very sought after, we can point you in the right direction for a bit of professional help when it comes to getting that groomed look spot on.

Ladies in the knowIt is common knowledge that the ladies of West Essex know their stuff when it comes to beauty treatments so sometimes you just have to put a little faith in us. We’re not expecting you to follow our lead exactly, which is why some of our local salons have designed their treatment lists with men in mind. You get your own separate little column, with specialist treatments cherry-picked for male skin conditions, muscle tone and the fact that, unlike us, you don’t want to be lying there wrapped up like a mummy for best part of a day. Gini Bhogal is one such specialist who does not compromise on the quality of treatment you receive. Part of her whole repertoire of gorgeous therapies that take inspiration from the East is the Akarshan men’s face treatment (note, not ‘facial’) which is targeted to the unique needs of male skin. Skin keeps fit with enzyme exfoliation, whilst Neem (known as the pharmacy tree) and avocado-based moisturisers heal shaving rash. Another favourite is the balancing back treatment designed to clarify skin and  de-stress with the inclusion of her signature Abhyanga back massage. Perfect after a hard day at the . . . office.If time is of the essence take a look at the treatments on offer at The Lemon Tree. With Dermalogica prescriptive facials on the menu the express facial is a failsafe way to keep skin in check when the pressure is on. Dermalogica carry an extensive range of no-nonsense skin products that are tailored to fit your face all wrapped up in smart packaging in keeping with your street cred.And don’t forget those nails, boys. No lady wants to see grubby mitts so consider a manicure for clean, healthy hands and nails. Pink polish purely optional.

Great Scott!Traditionalists may feel a bit more at home with advice from a man, even if the visit is driven by a woman. Enter Scott’s and relax into a real man’s world where a traditional barber-style environment will put you at ease. Scott’s has gained a momentum of late, with many recommendations coming by word of mouth – often from the ladies.Jake Fugler, creative director, works alongside Scott Sanders to tend to the locks of West Essex women; their confidence alone sends the men at home flocking! Scott’s has taken many bookings from ladies on behalf of their men, with some even telling Jake and Scott how THEY want the hair cut. But rest assured, boys, you’ll be very well looked after here and your opinion comes first.Whilst men are high on the agenda this is a one-stop shop for all the family and with some exclusive hair treatments to boot. Want straight hair – permanently? Ask about the Ionic Japanese straightening treatment: slick, shiny hair for girls and boys. There now, everyone’s happy

Stay headstrongNot that we take statistics too seriously but it seems one particular national study revealed men spend an average of �2.12 per week on hair cuts. �8.48 a month? Well, we certainly don’t think this is the case in West Essex (please feel free to reassure us) as there doesn’t seem to be an abundance of Captain Caveman lookalikes in abundance.Michael Mehmet, creative director at the well-known Tikadi salons, puts paid to this notion too. His customers are a discerning bunch with an average spend per haircut of around �28. What’s more, they tend to visit the salon every four weeks. Of course there is much about a man’s look, hair or otherwise that considers the effect on women. It takes a bit of effort to get the girl, right? But interestingly Michael sees a woman’s perspective too (although most men won’t admit to a woman’s influence) and quite often too much grooming can be seen as high maintenance. We just don’t want you hogging the bathroom. Masculine but well groomed is the key.On the flipside, the natural ‘bed head’ look can also take a bit of time and professional intervention. It takes a good cut to look that effortless and a ruffle with the right product to keep it that way. This is definitely a case of ‘Don’t try this at home!’

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