Personal grooming is increasingly a priority for men in Hong Kong. Whether it’s needing to look your best for making a professional impression at work, to just wanting to tidy up the rough edges of your appearance, here are some of the services available from leading salons and therapists.
Glow Salon & Spa
Glow Salon & Spa has long been a go-to for stylish women in this city, but it seems the secret’s out and it now has a loyal male clientele as well. Glow offers a broad menu of hair, face and body treatments for men, ranging from haircuts, hair colouring and smoothing treatments for frizzy hair, to spray tanning, facials, and laser, SHR and IPL hair removal.
Glow founder Sioban Guilfoyle says that while men’s interest in grooming is not new, men are now more likely to want to replicate the types of treatments women have been having for decades.
“Men started paying much closer attention to their personal grooming over a decade ago, but it has become increasingly acceptable, and even expected, that gentlemen preserve their skin, take care of their nails, and groom not only the hair on their head, but on their bodies, too,” she says. “Our therapists are trained and qualified to perform treatments and hair removal on all skin types and body sizes, so extending facials and hair removal for men wasn’t an impossible reach and the market was there.”
Sioban says their male clients turn to Glow not just for haircuts – they have a number of stylists with experience with men’s hair – but also to book facials and manicures. The most popular treatment for their male clients is laser hair removal. “We look after men who want a course of treatments to reduce hair on their body, increase the volume of hair on their heads, and those who want to reduce the appearance of scars and remove unwanted tattoos,” says Sioban. “We have men who come for spray tans, lash and brow tinting, and regular manicures and pedicures as part of a grooming routine, with regular four-weekly haircuts and facials.”
Glow sees men from all walks of life – so much so that there isn’t a “typical client”. “Younger men come into the salon as teenagers, usually prompted by their mums,” Sioban notes. “And older men come to Glow too, sometimes prompted by their wives!” Hong Kong’s competitive work environment has been one of the key drivers in men being more aware of their grooming, Sioban notes.
So, what’s the secret to keeping one step ahead of the competition? Sioban recommends a good haircut, and clean, fresh skin, along with well-trimmed or well-groomed facial and body hair. She adds that men are also more savvy now about what products they use for skincare and haircare. “Men like to ensure that their scalp is healthy, especially if they suffer from thinning hair, and skincare with great hydrating properties is also becoming increasingly popular.”
For men who haven’t experienced professional grooming before, Sioban recommends a haircut and facial package. “Most men love a great haircut and for those who have never experienced a facial before, it can be a real treat,” she says.
Fox and the Barber
Fox and the Barber offers high-quality grooming for men, with a team of expert barbers, and in a cool barbershop. Services include a range of hair and shaving options. The most popular hair service is the wet cut and finish. This involves a brief consultation, followed by a hair wash then a cut with scissors or clippers. For beards, which are very much in vogue at the moment, the beard trim and shape involves trimming and shaping with clippers or scissors.
The barbershop makes a point of educating its clients on how to style and groom their hair and beard at home between regular six-weekly appointments. The team can also advise on which products are most suitable for different hair types and styles. Fox and the Barber uses an extensive range of fine products, including Hanz de Fuko and Beardbrand from the US, Mr. Natty from the UK, and Acqua di Parma, Sachajuan and Reuzel from Europe.
They’re also aware that humidity in Hong Kong can make keeping hair styled all day a challenge. “At Fox and the Barber, we use water-based products during the summer,” says owner Paul. “Sea Salt Spray (Beardbrand) and Ocean Mist (Sachajuan) are great when spritzed into hair before blow-drying – they create volume and texture without any sticky residue. In the Hong Kong heat, these products give lasting hold. When combined with a matte pomade (Mr. Natty Clay) for added texture, it’ll give you the most current look from London.”
Lavar Premium Waxing Salon
With about 30 percent of its clientele made up of men, Lavar Premium Waxing Salon is well versed in helping guys get their grooming right in Hong Kong. It offers a range of waxing services for men and women, along with laser hair removal.
The team at Lavar recommend professional treatment, cautioning that many men make the mistake of trying to shave their hair instead of going for a professional wax, which actually makes the hair thicker. They also warn that the Hong Kong lifestyle and climate can cause ingrown hairs on the face and body.
Many of Lavar’s male clients seek laser hair removal treatment for their back and shoulders. The salon’s male body waxing services are also popular, particularly the Brazilian. For waxing, the team uses Lycon wax from Australia, a hot wax which is great for strong hair and sensitive skin. For laser hair removal, they use advanced hair removal laser system, GentleLase Pro. They also offer a home care treatment of face wash, exfoliant and treatment cream to help stop uncomfortable ingrown hair.
Lavar’s therapists are trained in international methods to provide clients with a professional, smooth and almost painless waxing treatment – ideal for someone who hasn’t tried waxing before and might be a little nervous.
Lavar has two locations on Hong Kong Island, meaning you won’t be caught out if you’re in need of an appointment ahead of an important event in the city! create volume and texture without any sticky residue. In the Hong Kong heat, these products give lasting hold. When combined with a matte pomade (Mr. Natty Clay) for added texture, it’ll give you the most current look from London.”
Sozo Hair Design
Sozo Hair Design is a boutique hair salon located near the heart of Lan Kwai Fong. Sozo director Yoko Hisatomi Lane opened the salon in 2013, bringing her experience honed in Tokyo and Sydney to Hong Kong.
While the team of stylists offers a range of services to men, Sozo specialises in a Japanese therapeutic scalp care treatment using Kevin Murphy maxi wash products for its male clients.
“The weather is humid in Hong Kong and the lifestyle can be very stressful for people living here,” Yoko says. She says this not only affects the balance of the natural oils in your hair, it can actually cause hair loss. “You need to clean your scalp properly – some people don’t realise how bad scalp smell is. Keeping your hair healthy is due to keeping your scalp in a healthy state for growing good hair.”
The special scalp treatment includes a head massage and a sparkling water shower to help with circulation and nourish the scalp, making it a popular treatment all year round.
Yoko says grooming for men is important in Hong Kong. “People living here are mostly professionals – bankers and lawyers and so on – so their faces and hair styles are very important in making a good or bad first impression. It’s very important to look good all the time!”
Eco-chic salon Emmanuel F offers a full range of services for male clients using only products with certified organic ingredients. “We provide all-round services for men – haircuts, treatments and colours, facials, body massages and nails,” says owner Emmanuel Faipoux.
“Emmanuel F is a family-friendly place and usually the whole family comes to visit together! With our location being in the heart of Hong Kong and surrounded by business offices, it’s convenient for getting a haircut or shampoo and style before a meeting. With the fast-paced working lifestyle here, most men come to the salon for 45 minutes at most, in between their appointments.”
Professional grooming is important for helping men achieve a polished look in the business world, Emmanuel says, but a treatment is also a great way for a busy professional to unwind. “Men also deserve and enjoy some relaxation time,” he says. “Hong Kong is a busy city; we all need a break once in a while.”
Emmanuel adds that men in Hong Kong face some of the same issues as women when it comes to looking well groomed in a high humidity climate – namely, frizz! “Our relaxing anti-frizz treatment is a life and time saver, making the hair easier to manage on a daily basis.”
He also advises regular scalp treatments to combat pollution, and facials too. “Our clients enjoy having a regular facial treatment with our certified organic ingredients, and they find themselves totally relaxed and energised.”
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This article first appeared in the October/November 2018 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.