A great manicure is a feel-good service that gives your clients a mental and emotional boost. It’s also a way for your clients — regardless of their gender — to add a finishing touch to their professional or clean look. When it comes to beauty and grooming, however, gendered stereotypes and assumptions abound.
Because of social misconceptions about the relationship between gender and beauty, nail care for men remains a niche market that many salons overlook. Here are a few tips for creating the right salon atmosphere that will make all clients feel welcome.
Atmosphere for Everyone
Take a quick glance through the magazines in your reception area. Evaluate your salon’s color scheme and overall ambiance. Is your salon atmosphere evoking gendered stereotypes at all? If so, it might be time for some redecoration. Though it may be tough to rid yourself of social stereotypes (e.g., women like pink, while men like blue; women read gossip magazines, while men read hunting magazines; etc.), tweaking your presentation and atmosphere can help reach new demographics.
Try adding some sections or accents that are more likely to suit a variety of potential clients and attract a broader range of people. Lap desks at the pedicure chairs could offer that busy professional the chance to break away from the office. Encouraging the use of headphones during a manicure allows everyone to choose their own music or mood, and a pedicure bowl that accommodates a wider foot size is a bonus in nail care for men, women and everyone.
Providing a gender-friendly menu in the salon is one way to appeal to men. It’s not necessary to create a separate category if your service names suit all clients. An item on the menu that’s simply called “Hand and Nail Detail” — rather than “The Lady’s Luxury Manicure,” for example — could help dispel any socially-imposed biases against getting a manicure.
It’s also important to remember that not all women want the same services — or the same highly gendered marketing, either. Some might feel more encouraged to visit your salon if you make your services and atmosphere more neutral.
It’s critical that salon employees are equally welcoming to all who enter. A self-conscious potential client will be watching for that cringing, surprised or other unusual facial expression to indicate that they shouldn’t be there. A friendly face is a crucial step toward gender equality in any spa or salon. Moreover, train your employees not to assume someone’s gender based on their appearance. Instruct them to let clients guide their own service and product selection and to make all clients feel welcome and appreciated in the salon.
Equal Opportunity Social Media
Your salon’s social media accounts reflect the salon. The photos you post on social media should give an inclusive view of the clients you service. If a man is looking for his next great manicure or a nonbinary client is seeking a safe space for their next relaxing pedicure, make sure your social media demonstrates that your salon will welcome them. Share photos of people of all genders, with and without polish, with and without nail art.
Designs in Mind
Nail art is a fun and affordable way to express oneself without the permanence of a tattoo or the frustration of clothing sizes. Suggest nail colors to match a client’s overall look or simply ask what a client’s nail goals are. Avoid limiting yourself to stereotypes, and listen closely during the consultation to provide superior service to every client.
Critically examine your salon to make sure all who enter feel welcome, and you’ll already be on your way to offering great nail care for men. Clean, well-groomed hands are a good look for every person you meet, which means your potential for clientele is boundless!