Trends in Japan > Lifestyle > Men Get A Makeover
New Products and Services Focus on the XY Factor
(January 30, 2008)

If you think that spas, jewelry, and nail and beauty salons only appeal to women, think again: This stereotype has long been a thing of the past. Recently, an array of new products and services that cater to men wishing to improve their appearance have been springing up and gaining popularity, leaving little doubt that the number of men who take pleasure in looking their best is on the rise.


A men's hair salon. (C)2007 VADI Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Nail and Brow Care at Specialty Salons
In late 2007, a members-only men's hair salon opened on Omotesando, one of Tokyo's most fashionable avenues. More than a place to get a haircut, estheticians at the salon also provide services such as skin-firming facial treatments and nail care. Spas at upscale hotels in Nihonbashi have begun offering facial treatments especially for men, and Shinjuku department stores have established men-only spas where clients can receive head, face, and arm and leg massages in private rooms.

Another popular choice among fashion-conscious guys is salons that specialize in eyebrow care, where beauticians pluck and shape brows to the customer's satisfaction and finish up the job with a special gel. These kinds of services for men are on the rise, with some clients apparently making use of them before important business meetings. Although prices are far from cheap, booking a reservation at any one of these establishments is extremely difficult.


The salon's Luxurious interior. (C)2007 VADI Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Once used only by women, male versions of ultrasonic facial massagers have also appeared on the market. These machines have heads that vibrate one million times per second; apply one to your cheeks and ultrasonic waves firm and tighten facial lines. New and improved men's-strength pore cleansers that remove trapped oil are also available; both of these products target men in their twenties and thirties. The growing lineup of men's grooming products also includes facial hair clippers, ear- and nose-hair trimmers, and shavers that remove unwanted eyebrow and leg hair.

Sales of men's cosmetics and face wash foams, lotions, and creams have shown double-digit growth from the previous year, while male girdles and UV-blocking parasols for men have also become hit products.


A men's-strength pore cleanser (C)Panasonic

Diamonds: A Boy's Best Friend?
Famous brands have begun to take notice as more and more men become interested in authentic diamond and gold jewelry. Rings, necklaces, and pendants made from yellow or white gold are in abundance, while dazzling pieces with diamond inlays can also be found. In earlier times most accessories for men were made of silver and sold for a few tens of thousands of yen (a few hundred US dollars), but with the surge of customers keen on diamonds and gold, many men are now prepared to pay anywhere from ¥100,000 ($909 at ¥110 to the dollar) to ¥2 million ($18,181), with the customer base for these products ranging from teenagers to those in their sixties.

Men, it seems, are the new target for suppliers of fashion products and services keen to increase their sales.

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