Marketing & Promotions

Reader to Reader: How Do You Market Nail Services for Men?

"In the nail industry there are two types of men: businessmen who like to have manicured nails and men who think that manicured nails will look feminine."

Illustration/Chris Murphy
<p>Illustration/Chris Murphy</p>

My nail business is located in a tanning salon, so when I have a free moment, I’ll buff one nail on a male tanning client. I use a blue block buffer that has four different sides, and used in sequence, it leaves a gorgeous, natural shine, which men go crazy over. Many men realize that they can have a manicure without feelings less masculine.Terry Landsdale-Boston, TAN USA (Gainesville, Fla.)

First, we have tried to make the salon atmosphere relaxing and comfortable, and picked a decor that wouldn’t make a man feel uncomfortable. A “frilly” salon may be intimidating to a male client. We also offer tanning so sometimes we have crossover business. We let our female clients know that we do manicures for men so they can convince their husbands, friends, or brothers that it’s OK to get their nails done. Men in other parts of the world have been getting manicures and pedicures for years. I think American men are finally realizing that having these services done is a part of good grooming.

Sue Roberts, My Nails  of Westerville (Westerville, Ohio)

I rely on word of mouth. My husband wears acrylic over his natural nails, and he really promotes the service for me. He was an awful nail biter and I got tired of watching him chew his nails so I put acrylics on them. I had to use tips at first, but now I overlay his natural nails. His nails look very natural and he receives lots of compliments on his well-manicured hands.

Darlene Sammons, Chattanooga, Tenn.

I’ll tell male hairstyling clients or men who come in to buy something for their wives how noticeable a man’s hands are when they’re well-manicured. If the service is a hard sell, we’ll offer a complimentary manicure. Most of the time, they’ll become a regular clients because they like the compliments they receive on their hands. Believe it or not, many of our male manicure clients are constructions workers. Their wives love their nice hands.

John Nichols, Gadabout Hair, Skin, Nails & Day Spa (Tucson, Ariz.)

Once a year, the Chamber of Commerce mails out a directory that lists the phone and fax numbers of its members in the country. I go through it to find the large construction firms, then I’ll fax them a letter telling about the salon services we offer for men. My letter brings in a lot of new business from company owners and contractors.                                                                                                               

Michael Teaster, Stevie’s Euro Spa (Kissimmee, Fla.)

In the nail industry there are two types of men: businessmen who like to have manicured nails and men who think that manicured nails will look feminine. To bring in male clients, I advertise half-price manicures with a haircut, an offer that should attract even those most difficult to lure. If given a fantastic manicure, your male client will look more professional and will want to come back.

Isabel Alvarez, L’Intercoiffure (Bergen, N.J.)

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