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As colorists, we can all agree that a majority of our clientele is comprised of women. We can also agree that dozens of men walk through the doors of our salons every day. Yet, with the exception of the occasional fashion-forward twenty-something or the self-conscious gray haired forty-something that lands in your chair for a color service, most of these male guests visits are limited to the usual monthly trim. And so on a weekly basis, hundreds of extra service dollars slip through our fingers, as we are continually thwarted by the one riddle that has plagued colorists since the dawn of time (or henna): how do we get our male guests interested in coloring their hair?

For starters, what's good for the goose is most definitely not good for the gander. When it comes to hair color, you'd best be armed with a whole 'other repertoire of formulas and techniques, customized exclusively for your male guests. Lots of time, energy, and money has been spent on encouraging guys away from the barbershop and into the salon. Now that they're in the door, let's figure out how to use their presence and sweet virgin hair to grow our businesses even further. Whether it's foil placement, tonal value, or just knowing when to reach for permanent or deposit only, men's hair color calls for an entirely different approach from a colorist’s perspective.

This alternative approach is something we all need to have a firm grasp on if we expected our regular's husband to ever go under the brush again after his wife has talked him in to letting us color his hair. Most men are turned off by the idea of coloring their hair because they don't want to look like they color their hair, and they aren't even aware that polished, masculine, nature-enhancing color is even possible. In men's minds, coloring your hair falls somewhere in between wearing make-up and dieting. So how can we shift this paradigm?

Perhaps if we as colorists mastered this male-friendly approach, we'd all finally be able to smash through that glass-ceiling we've all hit when it comes to increasing our male guests' service dollars. Imagine adding on a 30 or 40 dollar color service to just 2 of your male guests per day? That's an extra few hundred per week! And did I mention these guests are already loyal to you/your salon and in your chair(s) as haircut appointments?

All of this potential is very exciting, and the first step is for us as colorists to talk about it. So let's open up the discussion!

Do you have male color guests presently?
How do you talk to your male guests about color?
What are your favorite men's color formulas? Permanent or Deposit Only?
What are your favorite foil techniques/placements on men?

Let's pool all of our knowledge and experience together and give ourselves a brand new bag of tricks when it comes to men's color.

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i really enjoyed reading this!!!!
I usually tell them that it is non-permanent, it fades to tone, will blend their greys, and they will not have a line of demarcation. I tell them lets try it once! If you're not happy it will gradually fade. I do my best at choosing the right shade so that it looks as natural as possible. Usually they are happy with the results and are in every 4-6 weeks :) You have to break it down for men. Talking hair color to men is like speaking to them in a foreign language. I compare it to them getting a great tan, they look better with a little color ;)
...And this is why we all miss you so much! You are the best educator I have ever had. Obviously your knowledge could no longer be contained simply instructing when the whole world is at your feet... You are one talented dude!! :) Please keep posting things. You are like a muse, I love reading your posts, they make me feel creative... you inspire and motivate,
Best of luck to you.
I like to use hair painting & shoeshine techinque. For color I LOVE Paul Mitchell Flashback. I do it at the sink because it processes so fast. It is a more matte finish and blends, doesn't cover 100%. My salon used to use Redken color camo. I have been using Flashback on my husband for a year and was psyched when we changed at the salon. Much better than Redken. Better scent, better tone, more choices with color...
My fave formulas for Men are....
Full Spectrum Deep shade 6N + GY + 10 volume for 15 minutes. It gives a nice grey blend effect without the maintenance.
Deposit Only Color Treatment is 6N + BV + activator for 15 minutes for a shear grey blend effect.
I really do not like a "color" on men. I do them because it is what their consultation calls for, but it isn't my first choice.
As Far as placements, we have a few coming out in the new launch to help support our Male Guests. I know you will love them.
Fast, easy, and you can totally add them to a haircut service. There are great business ideas on how to customize the service to the MAN!
I don't cut hair but if I did I bet I could convince a guy to try it at least once. After that they would be hooked! Men like looking younger to. I've always relied on Clairol Second Nature for my male clients. It's matt and translucent. It looks very natural and fades away gradually so they don't have a line of demarcation. Gray blending or just a classic shoe shine for going lighter are my favorites. Subtle is key. It's the difference between a well groomed man or a Backstreet Boy.


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