Dr Indu Ballani
Nowadays, we see men becoming increasingly aware and involved in taking care of their physical appearance and grooming. The trend has particularly grown around the last 5-7 years with a rapid increase in urbanization, multinational job opportunities and disposable
incomes. Television and media exposure too undoubtedly has played a major role in this trend with the culture of looking good on the rise.
In the older days, men were considered to be inherently rough and tough and activities like grooming and beauty care were considered strictly feminine. However, men today have woken up to the fact that looks are important and looking good is essential for self confidence especially in the increasingly competitive times. Moreover, they have started accepting the idea that there is nothing wrong about taking care of one’s looks.
The numerous television advertisements, global travel and increase in job opportunities in TV, hospitality, travel, and modeling industries have added to this trend by making the need of looking good pertinent.
There is a spurt in the beauty industry for men services right from waxing to skin treatments. Men are seeking advice from experts on basic grooming to problem solution for acne, pigmentation, hair balding and ageing and even advanced solutions like plastic surgery for hair and body. There is a demand for customized men line of cosmetic products, salons, designers and branded accessories. It is notable that the market of fairness creams too has picked up in recent years.
There is a definite increase in number of men approaching the experts when they are on the lookout for matrimonial prospects or getting married. As compared to previous times, women are now more independent and have freedom to be selective in their preferences of their marriage partners. This has also contributed to the increase in awareness in men of their personal grooming and looks.
Men now do not shy away from waxing, manicure, pedicure, and laser hair removal. They also are open to using anti-wrinkle treatments like Botox and dermal fillers like Juverderm and various such treatments to look good on their D-day. They plan their treatments in advance 3-4months before marriage however the trend is to opt for quick fixes, fewer sessions and longer lasting results.
Since marriage is an affair to remember, men are not far behind in making sure that it becomes memorable. They invest in image makeovers with the help of professionals, take mock makeup sessions for the perfect look, designer clothes and well coordinated accessories.
As seen in women, men of age group from 14-60 years are actively availing of these services. Teenagers, aspiring youths, middle aged and even older men are seen visiting salons and their personal dermatologists for their beauty and skin hair care needs.
Due to peer pressure, boys 13-14 year olds also get their parents to meet dermatologists for problems like pimples, marks, dandruff and hair loss. With the increase in the fad of looking good and having the perfect body, young men are looking for laser hair removal, body contouring surgeries and acne treatments.
At the peak of their profession, middle aged men go for pigmentation removing treatments and early ageing solutions like laser rejuvenation, peels etc. Plastic surgeries such as liposuction and body shaping too are being opted by men as is threads, lifts, face lifts.
Hair loss is a common problem across all ages and its solutions are highly demanded by men. Nobody likes a balding head. Expert dermatologists offer combination solutions of medicines, mesotherapy, hair follicle transplant and platelet rich plasma therapy for hair loss.
Face is a common concern area. The need for a glowing, smooth skin with no marks or patchiness is high in men nowadays. With the six pack phenomena in vogue, abdomen flattening treatments are the most in demand. Men are very conscious of their waistline and try various methods for loosing the stubborn fat such as various diets, fitness tricks When all such efforts fail, they approach experts.
Dermatologists usually recommend non surgical fat reduction by radiofrequency services like Accent Ultra, Thermage etc for instant, painless, zero downtime results. Plastic surgeons may advise liposuction or tummy tuck for creating the six pack effect. Chest is another area of concern for men.
Men have become sensitive to the signs of ageing and looking old. They want solutions which are short, single session, zero downtime so they go back to work immediately with instant results and long lasting solutions. Botox and Juvederm cater to all these requirements. So it is a popular treatment among men. Spouses too encourage them for such treatments in today's social environment.
Men are also not comfortable with facial surgery so these treatments are preferable to them for achieving a younger, fresher look without the hassle of surgery. These are all US FDA products with results of Juvederm dermal fillers lasting for several months. Juvederm Voluma which helps increase skin volume lasts for a good 18 months. While Botox is particularly good for forehead wrinkles, Juverderm dermal fillers work well for wrinkles around the yes and the lines around the mouth. Juvederm Refine, the latest in the line of dermal fillers is suitable for finer lines, and
can also be used for relatively younger people.
Men come in for the treatments in their lunch time, finish the session in 30-40 mins and get back to their work. The results are excellent, subtle and look natural which mostly men want.
Sweating is another common problem in men which can be of social and professional embarrassment. Botox provides a fabulous solution in one session of 30 mins and results last for 9 months.
Importantly, treatments are not exorbitantly expensive. Middle class people can also avail them. The sessions generally start from Rs. 1500 per session and are very affordable. Also the disposable income has gone up and men are willing to invest in looking good. Its no longer a luxury but a necessity as many job profiles also demand a clear, glowing face with a well maintained physique.
In the past, the ratio of women opting for beauty treatments to men was 90:10. But there has been a major shift in this ratio in the recent times. Now the ratio of women to men is 50:50. An equal number of men and women are seeking these beauty treatments and are going for all services which were previously a woman's domain exclusively.
-Dr. Indu Ballani,