Where the Boys Are

18-8 is a Southern California salon focusing exlusively on male clients. Read to find out what tips they have to attracting a male clientele. 

It used to be you’d only catch a man getting his hair cut in a barbershop. Nowadays, you’re just as apt to see him getting a manicure or pedicure. In fact, salons are opening up around the country that especially target men.

18-8 has two locations in Southern California and has plans to expands. So how does this male-targeted centre (they prefer to use this item to the word salon) do it? “We bill ourselves as experts in hair care and grooming,” says Rob Milstead, National creative and technical director for 18-8.

The centre does things a bit differently than other salons. Keeping its core clientele in mind, instead of manicures and pedicures they’re referred to as hand and foot treatments. Nails aren’t polished, they’re buffed, and smocks for cutting hair are referred to as robes. During nail care services, hands and feet area treated to a generous dose of massage. “We put a different spin on the whole process,” says Milstead. “We’re not a barbershop, but we’re not a salon either.”

Another thing the center does is take walk-ins as well as appointments. “Men can be sporadic,” explains Milstead. And if a guest is getting his haircut, don’t be surprised if he gets his hands groomed at the same time.

Keep in mind that every pedicure must be built on a solid platform to ensure a thorough service. Smith showed us her technique for her basic pedicure service.

  1. Soak feet. Smith likes to add essential oils into the mix. Leave the feet in for about five to 10 minutes.
  2. After drying the feet, take off any old polish with a non-acetone polish remover.
  3. File nails straight across, rounding them slightly at the corners to conform to the shape of the toes. Smooth rough edge with the fine side of an emery board.
  4. Buff nails to a shine.
  5. Exfoliate the feet and legs using an exfoliating scrub.
  6. Apply cuticle remover. Push cuticles back with a pusher. If cuticle clipping is allowed in your state, clip to remove hangnails.
  7. Massage cuticle oil into each cuticle using a circular motion
  8. Smith likes to use a rock purchased in Nigeria to smooth feet and remove dry skin and callus growths.
  9. Massage feet and legs. Smith like to use shea buffer for her massage instead of lotion.
  10. Remove traces of lotion and oils. Polish adhered to nails that contain no traces of oil on them. Now, it’s time to polish. Start with base coat, two coats of your client’s choices of polish color, and finish with top coat.

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