The concept of grooming has grown to become an important part of men’s ever-changing lifestyle, from face creams and cleansers that fight ageing, to hair gels and waxes. Has the cultural acceptance of men’s skin care and other cosmetic products grown? The answer is simple: Yes.
This billion-dollar industry has been consistently growing in other parts of the world, with astonishing (and bankable) results. Mrporter.com, the high-end menswear online retailer, reported a 300 per cent growth in men’s beauty and grooming products in 2015, and in our neighbouring city, Dubai, the culture is already booming. But are the Omani gentlemen catching up?
Many people in societies, irrespective of gender, want to look like models. Perhaps they believe that the key to a happy life is concealed in perfectly cleansed skin and an ideal body. And this concept does not rule out men, including our fellow Omani folks, who are now exploring a masculine identity that’s shaped with real products and skin treatments. What was once seen as a predominantly feminine industry is starting to cater to rugged, testosterone-filled occupants.
Skin and cosmetic specialists at Kaya Skin Clinic said the grooming culture in Oman is, without a doubt, growing, especially on the cosmetic side of things. The clinic has witnessed a great deal of male clients who come in for a variety of procedures, from skin lasers, hair removals and pigmentation issues, to more cosmetic procedures such as Botox and fillers for anti-ageing and other beautifying purposes.
“Male clients come here for various procedures, but many visit our centre for hyper pigmentation treatment,” said a specialist.
Nadeem Ahmed, an expat who’s been a barber for a few years in the country, has witnessed the attitudes of grooming and how they change each year. “A few years ago, men would walk into the barbershop for a quick haircut and shave. Now, many of them seek other treatments such as hair and beard dying, facial treatments, hairstyling, and hair relaxing,” he said, adding that “it’s great that men are now familiar with beauty and grooming and their importance”.
As men in Oman are starting to get more and more knowledgeable about beauty and are paying attention to their looks, many international brands have began to emphasise on their men’s collections. Beauty shops such as the Korean brand, The Face Shop, has a dedicated collection for men that includes skin products and makeup.
While most of the major beauty and personal care product companies have already created dedicated brands or sub-brands for their male grooming products, a number of male grooming start-ups have emerged in recent years, successfully tapping into the unmet needs and growing trends in this field. In Oman, we have Leather and Lather, which is luxury brand that’s dedicated to men, offering various beard, hair, and body products.
So what contributes to this market change in Oman?
Fashion and beauty blogger Ahmed Al Balushi said, “Social media has become a platform for people to learn about grooming: from hairstyles to cosmetic procedures,” said Al Balushi, adding, “It is an industry that’s growing in Oman, as everyone is becoming more aware about their looks and how it plays a role in expressing their personalities.”
The era of social media has truly contributed to the matter, where influencers become beauty and grooming ambassadors, sharing their experiences, endorsing their opinions, and encouraging others to be aware of their appearance, making it an ever-evolving industry.
In Oman, the likes of Al Balushi are tremendously appreciated, as they help shape up men’s opinions on what’s tending, whether in grooming or style.
Another factor that helps men subscribe to grooming is the media in general. Influenced by adverts, television shows and models, young men are aware of their looks, now more than ever, as they are, perhaps, too exposed to incredibly good looking men on TV (debatable, but true).
The male figures on magazines and TV have appearances that trigger men to want more. Gone are the days when men would hit the gym just to obtain a great physique; now, it’s the whole package that’s sought after, from body and skin to good hair too.
Now that we’ve established that men in Oman care about their looks, where do they go for treatments? As men-only spas are growing in popularity, most men are managing to fit in a session of grooming into their busy schedules.
Most barbershops in town offer skin and hair treatments, from cheaper Indian-owned barbers to the high-end men’s salons.
There’s Spaloon, a one-stop-shop that offers an endless list of services that will get you well-groomed and ready to go. They have fantastic packages for full body treatment, as well as full body waxing, hair treatment, hairstyling and shaving products, manicures and pedicures, a variety of facial masks, body polish, body wraps, hot hammams, and popular spa massages such as bamboo fusion and the hot stone massage.
Spa Bar for Men in Qurum also offers a wide variety of treatments for men and their nails, from essential manicures and pedicures to massages and amazing spa treatments for hands and feet, as well as whitening and oxygenating facial masks.
As men in Oman continue to pay expensive gym memberships, buy a plethora of skin products, spend hours at the salon, and opt for laser treatments, there’s no doubt that the grooming industry will continue to grow and become a leading one in Oman.