Katie Barnes
Katie Barnes

How to attract men into the salon for manicures

By Katie Barnes | 09 March 2023 | Business, Feature

Male Mani James Reeve

The nail industry is dominated by female clients, but do you do enough to attract and welcome the growing male market?

From mechanics, hairdressers and grooms to fathers of the bride and office workers, the male nail salon clientele is expanding. This seems to have been made more publicly accepted by celebrities such as Harry Styles, sports stars and high-flying businessmen regularly taking care of themselves and proudly publicising it. There are now many male-only salons and spas popping up across the UK, with product brands also targeting male clients. So are you capitalising on this market?

Nails by James Reeve-Shillito (@nailinthecoffin_nailsbyjames)

Treating your male clientele

While male clients should be treated no differently to female clients, the service you offer may require an alternative approach.  It is recommended to offer a variety of fragrances in your mani/pedi range and ensure that some are more ‘general’ scents, rather than typically feminine florals, for example. Cucumber and aloe are neutral, cooling and soothing, and ginger and lime can be energising and refreshing. Try and avoid the use of rose petals that are often included in soaking bowls.

Nails by James Reeve-Shillito (@nailinthecoffin_nailsbyjames)

Targeting a male audience

To target male customers, consider your wording, branding and colours used in any marketing materials, and the language used in advertising. This is also essential in all marketing and not just those targeted to attract a male clientele. Wording such as ‘Hey ladies, we have an appointment available this week’ does not acknowledge your whole potential clientele and targets females only, making other clients feel excluded. Rather than excluding any gender, use wording that is inclusive to make them feel welcome.

A manicure has become a professional necessity in many lines of work and a well-groomed appearance is paramount for many jobs. Dirty or ragged fingernails and out-of-control cuticles are not a good look! Self-maintenance with clippers can often results in a rough finish, and many clients are not familiar with emery boards. A professional manicure will offer neat, even nails that provide a clean and professional appearance. Consider retailing items such as manicure kits, grooming items and hand creams.

Nails by James Reeve-Shillito (@nailinthecoffin_nailsbyjames)

Top Tips

  • Consultation is key to ensure client and technician understand the clients’ needs and preferences. Let the client lead with their preference to avoid making assumptions and making the client feel uncomfortable.
  • Never assume. For those that do not want polish, buff the nails with or without oil, depending on personal preference for a groomed appearance.
  • Discuss the application of any products. Many men would prefer only shaping and buffing and not have products applied while others prefer an application of base or top coat for a long-lasting shine and others may prefer extensions for aesthetics or practical reasons such as guitar playing.
  • Provide appropriate and realistic aftercare advice to get the most of their treatment at home, along with maintenance appointments.
  • Consider your marketing. Use words, phrases and colours appealing to men and avoid anything overtly feminine.

Love Katie B x


Lead image courtesy of James Reeve-Shillito.