This morning I received a phone call from my enlisted friend Ethan who was looking for a good nail salon to get a pedicure before heading off to Ranger school. I beamed with pride, noting my nail influence on him, but also chuckled at the irony of this brave, strong man getting a pedicure before intense military training. And then I saw this news heading: Why Real Men Wear Nail Polish. It seems that men, manicures and nail polish are topping the trend charts these days.
The UK’s Daily Mail online featured a story about Alphanail.com, a new website promoting matte and metallic nail “armour” created for men. Their tag line—Designed for men. Worn by warriors—has changed the perception of nail polish from a girly beautifying cosmetic item into a protective coating, like body armor, that will defend against…well, we’re not quite sure what. But we do know that selling this product to men using battle terminology is pretty genius.
Alpha Nail isn’t the only company looking to broaden the polish market, though. EvolutionMan debuted a polish collection just for men this past fall. Colors include black, maroon and gray, and men have the option of finishing their manicures off with a shiny or matte top coat. Speaking of matte, many nail manufacturers have recognized that the key to the men’s market might just be the lack of shine. Nubar offers V for Men Matte Finish Top Coat specifically for the other sex, while companies like CND and Essie tout dullifying top coats (Super Matte and Matte About You, respectively) not specifically for the male market but certainly for those craving a more masculine manicure.
Regardless of how you feel about men sporting polish, this trend provides you the opportunity to expand your client base—and in this economy, every little bit helps. Advertise specials with men in mind, and consider investing in one of the masculine product lines; seeing that there’s a product just for them will help get them in the door. Start with your current clients and encourage them to send in their men for a service. Before you know it, those guys will be passing along your name to their friends over a beer (or however they do it). —Stephanie Yaggy