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Jennifer Obiuwevbi: 5 Possible Reasons Why Men are Dominating the Beauty World

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Male Hairstylist - BellaNaija - January2016Have you ever wondered why male hair stylists seem to be getting better than female stylists? Don’t get me wrong, women still have it locked down. But it seems the men are slowly but surely dominating the beauty world. We may be in a world where what women can do, men can do better.

Take a look at the seemingly congested world of makeup – some of the best in the business are men. We have Bayo Haastruph, Dave Sucre, Jide of St.Ola etc. Not to mention every time I ask a female where they got their hair done, they start with – “there’s this guy in…“.

The last time I went to a salon in Yaba to get my nails done, I met no less than 5 women waiting in line to have the male nail technician attend to them. Even though there were 2 idle female nail technicians trying to beckon to his clients. I, in all honesty, was about to walk away to come back another day, when I saw the masterpiece he was creating on a customer’s hands. No one told me before I sat my butt down and asked who was last in line.

I like to think of myself as patient, but even I know better than to waste 2 hours waiting in line for some service, especially when there are 2 seemingly befitting attendants waiting to attend to me. So what’s the big deal?

Why were all these women waiting for this one guy? He wasn’t that attractive so it wasn’t because the women were drawn to him. And his co-workers must be good at their job if not they wouldn’t be working there. So what made all these customers want to let him do their nails instead of the ladies?

I asked a friend of mine, Bisola***, who is a regular at the salon what she thought and she gave me some great insight. According to her, women take the job for granted now. We’ve been doing it for so long that we’ve lost the passion, and dedication it requires. “Let’s not forget the fact that some of these ladies are just so unprofessional. They’re watching Telemundo and want to know if Raquel really died or is a ghost; are gisting away like they’re the ones paying you; and sometimes get jealous when they see you with nice things“.

Those are really good points – I mean, I’ve heard of customers and hair stylists getting into brawls because one called the other “an ugly girl who is feeling big because of iPhone 6“. I wasn’t there, but let’s just say nails were broken and extensions pulled out.

But on a more serious note. When I mulled this over in my mind, I started to think of so many reasons why the guys seem to be ruling the beauty world. So, I narrowed down the ideas, speculations and thoughts of a few people into these 5 below. Check them out and let me know if you agree.

***

1. The Growing Success Rate of the Beauty Industry
My first case is the ‘Pure Water’ mentality.

Over the past couple of years, the beauty industry has grown significantly. And everyone is taking notice – even the men. With such a high success rate for hair stylists, makeup artists, nail technicians and the likes, it was only a matter of time before EVERYONE decided to start a beauty business.

A friend of mine thinks the men are coming in and starting their own beauty brands because the world is slowly becoming aware of their abilities and contribution to the world of beauty.

2. Opposites Attract
Another idea I got was based on the subject of opposite sex.

Take for example the hair stylist at your neighborhood salon looks like Idris Elba. I imagine their queues would stretch to the roadsides and highways. Women would flock from all over just get a head full of Idris’ fingers.

But would all that matter if they weren’t good at their job? Would you overlook common sense, logic, wasted time, energy & money just to have a good looking hair stylist attempt to fix your hair?

3. Gender Role Shift
Bisola*** also added the shift in gender roles. “In the past the equation was; Woman = homemaker, mother, wife etc. Man = provider. But today, we have men who have become full-time house husbands and are comfortable with their wives bringing home the cheques.

Do you think the shift in gender roles has also spread to the beauty world? The roles and tasks traditionally occupied by men are now being owned by women and vice versa?

4. Women Are No Longer Professional
This particular point got me laughing. According to one of my gal pals, some female hairstylists just don’t go well with other women. Sure, they will get your hair done, but that will be after they are done watching Telemundo, gossiping about the customer that fought last week and how some guy is toasting them.

She also brought up the issue of jealousy just like Bisola***. She likened it to that weird moment you walk past a girl on the road and she checks you out from head to toe. It’s the same thing except you’re in her chair and she’s helping you get all glammed up for something she’s not invited to.

Men on the other hand are relatively new to the industry and have a stake to claim. They want to show that they can do what women can, and be even better at it. Plus they have no time for gossip or Telemundo. So while the women are focused on other things apart from your hair, the men are asking you what you want done.” “And let’s not even get started on female emotions…

5. The Hunt for More Challenging Roles
Another great point I came across is how the profession of beauty is becoming less challenging for women. I recently ran into an old classmate of mine who had started her own beauty brand. She has apparently shut down operations because, and I quote, she “hates the fact that people think all she knows is beauty. I’m going for my Masters soon…maybe something in media or Public Relations.”

Are women tired of being put in traditional roles like tailoring, hair dressing, catering etc? Is the fact that they’re leaving a void in the beauty world leaving more space for men to occupy? Are men better because they’re not just as emotional as women.

***

Hey, I’m just spit-balling here. If you disagree with any of the points, or have some ideas of your own, share them with me.

Photo Credit: CynthiasBay.com

Jennifer is the Beauty Editor & Style Representative of BellaNaija.com. Get in touch - Send an email to: beauty(at)bellanaija.com or style(at)bellanaija.com | Follow us on Instagram: @bellanaijabeauty OR @bellanaijastyle | Follow us on Twitter: @bellanaijastyle

27 Comments

  1. Lizzy

    January 13, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    1. I agree on men staking a claim and wanting to prove themselves. I chose my male hairstylist after a long search because he knew his stuff. The first time he looked at my hair, felt the texture, identified the problem and told me the solutions. At the time, I was at the point of chopping it off because it was so bad. He advised me on what products to use and how to take care of it. I pay twice as much as my previous hairdresser, who was a female, but I have never looked back. And my hair has never been thicker and longer than it is now.

    2. Some have good customer relations. My hairstylist is always happy, doesn’t gossip and answers all my questions on matters hairy lol. He takes suggestions in stride not as a personal attack. In turn, I trust his male eye to style me beautifully.

    3. He is gentle on my hair. I find men are more gentle with women’s hair when washing, setting or styling. They do not tug or scratch with their nails. The guy who washes my hair has huge biceps but he is so gentle! So funny.

    • Seriously

      January 13, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      Men are trying to prove they rule everything, and they are doing it well by making sure they know their stuff. Most importantly, do opposite of what women are accused of doing. Once you win women on your side, you’ve won the world. All this women empowerment crew, can go hide their faces. The beauty world that once belong to women are slowly taken over by men, actually it’s been taken over by men long time ago.

      Call me crazy, I still find it odd having a man do my makeup, fix my weave(even though I dont wear weave) or tell me what clothes look good on me. To each is own.

  2. glow

    January 13, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    I love male hairstylists any day! They are more focused, they go straight to the hair; no gossiping, crying babies in the salon.(no offence to mothers, but kids’ noise is the last thing I need when having my hair done)
    Plus, they seem much better than their female counterparts.

    Finally, a big shutout to Happy dread(Oleh,Delta state) Onuoha(Lagos) these 2 guys will even call to check on me after I leave to check if I am not in pain….

  3. hezekina pollutina

    January 13, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    ok well overseas, its the same. males eventually dominate: fashion, beauty, food… why? they take it more seriously as a profession and are highly competitive, they can stand competition. by now the guys would have dominated if we didn’t have a stigma about what is a woman’s job/ versus a man’s job. but since that stigma is lifting, ladies watch out! get professional or get left behind.

  4. On another note

    January 13, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    On another note, apart from the guys being good at what they do, ladies just come out and say opposite sex attracts.

    When your guys are drawn to the babes, no complain o. When you see them going to have their hair cut at a female salon. Loved that pretty lady that cut my hair in US

  5. Layo

    January 13, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    I agree with the Telemundo part, almost all salons in Lagos, at least the ones I’ve been to in Lekki, the salonists are obsessed with Telemundo. I really detest people making my hair and focusing more on the TV, as opposed to my hair or talking and chewing on my head, I’m polite but I set it straight when I encounter such un-professionalism and pesky behavior. I didn’t even know about Telemundo until I started visiting saloons. TVs in Salons are supposed to entertain the clients, not the staffs. If I have a salon, I’ll make sure the channel is always on Channels TV, CNN or Food networks, no movie stations, mtv base, sound city or any of that. Or I’ll just play jazz music or soothing music to entertain the clients as opposed to having a TV. The issue is, many people want to be CEOs but are never really there to run the business or set rules, regulations or even sales targets.

  6. Chic

    January 13, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    The male folks have good manners and know how to treat clients right, and they’re more professional. Straight to business and no unnecessary gossips of who is who and who’s not. The last time I had a wonderful time at d salon was a male dominated salon. RIP to Fred, my hair stylist. It’s bn one complain or the other since I relocated and found a female stylist dominated area. As soon as I can locate a male stylist I’ll flee from ds ones.

  7. Amaka

    January 13, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    My hair stylist is a guy. Wasiu bad gaan. If you come to the saloon without calling him first then my sister, you are on a frolic of your own and he does a really, really good job. One thing I have noticed with guys in the beauty industry is their dedication and [passion to the job and also their attention to detail. This one is very important. A female stylist makes your hair and when you say you dont like it, instead of them to remove it, thy will be trying to convince you that its good and ok but once I tell Wasiu that I dont like something on my head, he says Ok Princess, how do you want it? He listens to me and then he does EXACTLY what I want,no trying to cajole me into liking what I dont like.

    • tee

      January 13, 2016 at 11:25 pm

      Wasiu @Opebi right? If it is the same person, ure so spot on.

    • DEE

      January 14, 2016 at 3:05 am

      Madam, all that washing and setting and you did not drop Wasiu’s info…
      biko, lerrus know where to find Wasiu

    • kilipot

      January 14, 2016 at 11:19 am

      Shoooo. Give us his number and address na.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      January 15, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      I’m late to the party but co-sign with your point of guys seeming to have more passion for this business of making women look “beaurifuu”.

      Whenever I travel back in PH, my braids can get done by anyone, anywhere – whether it’s some swanky braiding joint or one rickety shed owned by Mama bomboy in Mile 3 – as the risk of ruining braids is almost nil … but when it’s time for a weave, I am a fully dedicated customer to Joe from Hair Republic. As in, hot-footing it down there by 10am in the morning on the day of my appointment just so I’m first in line because the queue of women waiting solely for him is usually ridiculous. Sisters, that brother knows what the process of sewing tracks is about, ‘cos my hair is always laidddd!

      And the go-to weave for me is a short pixie crop (what Naija hair dressers like to call a “Rihanna”), the only weave I do. Had numerous failed attempts to have the same style replicated in the hands of (female) hair stylists in Aberdeen and even in London – it just never turns out right. But once Joe works his magic with the needle, clippers, bonding glue…. Mmmmmmm, I walk out like the flyest B in the kingdom. Plus he’s friendly, always amiable, takes my complaints into consideration (which isn’t always the case with my aunties in the braiding salons that “can like to” act like they’re the ones paying me) and won’t let me out of the chair unless he’s done a completely good job. I gladly tip him at the end of every single visit, rare as they may be.

      Really that this weave is coming out tomorrow (yelz, I’ve clung fast to its fabness since my return from PH at the start of December… making it exactly 7 weeks today of keeping Joe’s handiwork alive). It may be that male hairdressers, being on the other side of the sex divide, can fully appreciate a woman’s looks and understand how to accentuate it.

  8. Miss T

    January 13, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Amaka i agree wit u totally, i had to loosen my hiar twice before d normal time i used to bcs my male stylist wasnt around nd his girls attended to me, wat she did on my hair was d exact opposite of d picture i showed her yet she kept defending herself by telling me totally pointless things nd i just left wit the ugly tin cus i dint wana shout nd make her feel bad, i just called her oga nd told him to let me know wen he can make my hair by himself. Truth is i prefer male stylist any day any time even tho they have their own small small wahala

  9. lahytan

    January 13, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Male stylist know more about customer retention so, they focus on their customer service but female stylist mostly want to have their way when dealing with their customers thereby ignoring customer satisfaction.

  10. prince

    January 13, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    I am so opening a salon. see as women dey praise guyz. Thank you bellanaijarians, #justgotanidea #inspiration #moneymakingbiz

  11. Ojuolape Asekun

    January 13, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Women sometimes let their emotions over ride more important things and as a customer no one wants to deal with all that. Men are really taking over so we better watch out! LOL

  12. Dr. N

    January 13, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    The males seem more skillful, if u get over d appalling dressing and singing loudly in tune wt soundcity or mtv base.
    Biko, I need a skillful female. I don’t mind drama sef

  13. Bey

    January 13, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    You guys have forgotten the part of d females stylist almost coming to blows while making your hair. Down town salon in vi is d best at that. They will be cursing eachoda while making ur hair, dey have even practically cum to punches while braiding my hair before there. Iv just gotten used to d chaos cos they are the best and cheapest braiders on d Island. Even me sef Iv showed them I can be street too, d day I displayed for them there. One was snatching a hand dryer being used on my hair. My screams shook d building………

  14. Avosiya

    January 13, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    I agree with that last point, girl are usual;y boxed into such positions and so we would naturally want to stay away from the stereotypes to prove ourselves.

  15. Olayemi

    January 13, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    I need to make tight twist next week. Please let me know of any stylist in Lagos that can make quality hair. Thanks in advance 🙂

  16. OA

    January 14, 2016 at 12:22 am

    My last trip home in October, my Mom’s driver introduced me to a male hairdresser – Up Kelvin! I was to happy. He washed my hair, colored it because of my plenty grey, and did shuku cornrows for me. I was so pleased – I was beautiful and got so many compliments right from the airport. I found that he was rather gentle with my hair, was very fast (the whole thing took about 2.5 hours), and my scalp did not hurt one bit during the weaving, in fact it was soothing! Usually when females fix my hair, you will see me twitching and almost crying in the chair. I wish I could have brought Kelvin back with me. Sigh!

  17. Uche

    January 14, 2016 at 7:01 am

    Lol. So you people have not met one single professional female stylist. Okay. Then we will be looking for our problem as females and why no one takes us seriously. I’ve always used female stylists and I’ve never had an issue with professionalism. They’re friendly, polite and ALWAYS give me what I want. Iv used 3 saloons all run by females and female dominated. They take instruction well and one has even made herself family.

    • hezekina pollutina

      January 14, 2016 at 10:24 am

      hi uche, i certainly do not believe that women cannot be professional. but the fact is that, the naija salon industry is one where a majority of women have been able to make a living without being very good at it. they do it for cash, without offering complex skills or good customer service. now that guys are getting in there, there will be competition because guys do things more competitively. so if ladies want to stay relevant they have to up their skills and offer that special touch that put them at an advantage of guys and its up to them to figure out what that is.

  18. nwanyi na aga aga

    January 14, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Strangely my male stylist gossips, in fact I have had two different male stylist a Ghanaian and a Nigerian bro both gossip but then I don’t mind..Loool! The Ghanaian was more skillful than the present Nigerian bro I have now. But they were nothing compared to my female stylist who later traveled back to the east to start a mega saloon.( I truly miss her). The lady that does my braids rarely talk to me except to ask for something important to the braid making process. Yet our relationship has spanned for 4years of her coming to my house to braid my hair. And Iyabo is smart, skillful and very punctual.
    The reason I kept going back to these boys after I chanced on them is the gentle and patient way they handle my hair. This my present stylist spends so much time in common side parting yet will still make extra mistakes, we have to loosen and rejoin, but when I remember how patient, how he is ready to wait till 8pm for me to return from work and fix my hair, how gentle he is with the said hair, how courteous he always is I overlook his lack of skill thereof.
    I think the male stylists are dominating the industry not necessarily because of their skilled nature but because of their customer service behavior. Male stylists already have in mind that females are naturally fussy with their hair/appearance, hence have equipped themselves with adequate dose of patience to bear and deliver. A friend always rave about this her male stylist yet the guy keeps leaving a tacky arrangement on her head, we keep wondering if she is in love with the guy abi his handwork? Hence my second point of opposite attract.

  19. Ara

    January 14, 2016 at 10:11 am

    PLEASE I NEED THE CONTACT OF A MALE HAIRSTYLIST IN LAGOS WHO CAN DO A NICE FEMALE HAIRCUT. IM TIRED OF WEAVES AND NO I AM NOT GOING NATURAL.

  20. lala

    January 14, 2016 at 10:57 am

    …… For a man to be a hairdresser means he is essentially going against the traditional male role at the risk of being teased and is probably therefore doing so because he is truly passionate about hair.
    Some of the female hairdressers on the other hand…….. awon oniranu, will be there tugging at your hair like its a bungee rope, eating (mio ti jeun la ta ro) and whatever other unprofessional habits they can think of

  21. Mrs Haastrup

    January 15, 2016 at 7:29 am

    It is Haastrup,there is no h.

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