More Bay men seek beauty help

By Julie Taylor

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RELAXING: Iain Hay enjoys being a metro male.
RELAXING: Iain Hay enjoys being a metro male.

IAIN Hay regularly gets facials and eyebrow shaping. He is part of a growing trend of Bay men heading into the beauty salon.

Mr Hay, 35, has been getting facials and eyebrow touch-ups every month or two for the past five years.

"It's partly for a time out and to relax," he said.

Mr Hay's daily regime involves having two showers a day - one in the morning and one in the evening - and moisturising morning and night.

He also tries to go to the gym about three times a week and takes frequent walks around the Mount.

Mr Hay said his friends don't tease him too much about getting facials because "most of them had had one".

"After a while you can handle a bit of ribbing," he said.

"I just do what I feel like."

Many Tauranga salon owners have noticed a gradual rise in the trend of men looking for beauty treatments. They say more men are after services such as waxing, eyebrow shaping and facials.

The demand has prompted Goldfinger Nail and Body Salon owner Jill Briscoe to offer a "Men Only Night" on Tuesdays starting next month.

"It's moved to where men are wanting to be better groomed and look after themselves."

She said although it might take a while to catch on, there had been a lot of interest so far and the first couple of weeks are almost fully booked up.

Ms Briscoe, who has owned the salon for almost 10 years, wants to create an "atmosphere that is unique" and will provide car and fishing magazines and beer while the men are being pampered. As well, Sky Sports will be on the TV.

"It's private, men don't have to feel intimidated being surrounded by women - they can feel comfortable knowing there are other guys there."

Bar manager Mikee Wilson, 26, of Bethlehem is also making use of the services salons can offer.

He is a regular at Tranquillo where he goes to get his eyebrows waxed and "a bit of tidying up".

Mr Wilson is also a qualified personal trainer and he gets massages regularly.

"They're fantastic, they're really good for you and get rid of all the kinks," he said.

His daily routine includes drinking green tea, going to the gym, using face wash and moisturising.

"And I love cologne. I love smelling good."

Tranquillo, owned by Sue Dewes, offers "a bit of anything and everything" in terms of male beauty treatments.

She said she had also seen a growing trend in the market.

"It certainly has grown over the last few years," she said.

"More men are taking care of themselves."

Summer seems to be the time of year when most salons see a surge in male clients - mainly with requests for back waxes.

Men between 35-55 appear to be the most regular customers. However Ms Dewes said at Tranquillo they see a lot of adolescents because they offer therapeutic treatment for acne.

Winter is also a busy time for Tranquillo because they see a lot of men who want massages due to sports. They also get a lot of cyclists who want their legs waxed during the winter.

Panache Organic Skin and Beauty owner Lisa Sage said most men didn't want people to notice they'd had anything done. She said clients were mainly after touch-ups and maintenance.

"A lot of men are quite shy, but once they've seen you [for a treatment], they will continue to see you." Ms Sage said she had an "interesting array" of clients, with "some collar and tie types" and also tradesmen coming in.

Synergy Vitality Spa owner Emilie Jones said about 15 per cent of her clients were men and they saw about two or three a week. Synergy offers massages as well as the usual services offered by other salons.

"We see quite a few men who do a lot of sport and are outside a lot," Ms Jones said.

Last May, Auckland plastic surgeon Tristan de Chalain, who does consultations and surgery in Tauranga, told the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend there had been an increase in men seeking appearance enhancements. The most common were liposuction on the stomach and "love handles", work on drooping brows and hooded eyes, and "man boobs".

Mr de Chalain said a stigma remained around cosmetic surgery particularly in Tauranga with some clients preferring to travel to Auckland for procedures.

"There is a great desire for secrecy because Tauranga is definitely a smaller pond [than Auckland], people are more aware that there's a stronger 'bush telegraph' so they want to keep quiet about it."

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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