by Karie L. Frost
Men are a shy bunch when it comes haircolor. “The less conspicuous, the better,” laughs Paul Wilson, artistic director for American Crew and owner of Art & Science Salon in Chicago. “Men want quick color services; no sitting around in the salon, processing.”
“Oh yes: All men’s color services must be quick, easy and discreet; we can do them at the shampoo bowl in 5 to 15 minutes,” asserts Kyle Compton, director of marketing for Anushka Cosmedical Centre Spa & Salon in Palm Beach, Florida, which features the men-centric L’Oréal Professionnel Homme Center, where men can indulge—inconspicuously—in a swift color change.
Wilson notes that, not surprisingly, men typically request gray coverage or gray blending. “For gray, the key is blending color using demi- or semipermanent color, which helps with regrowth,” agrees Linda Yodice, artistic director for Paul Mitchell Professional Hair Color. The coverage is less opaque and obvious. “Men want to enhance what they have—grays included. They’re scared of total change. They want to erase a few years, not go back to high school,” says Compton. And right now, the time is right for such age-reversing services: “With the current economy, there are a lot of older men who want the advantage of looking a little more youthful so that they can better compete in the job market,” explains Compton. “These men are considering slight haircolor changes to up their marketability.”
But don’t fret: The color forecast isn’t all gray and no play. “We’re doing more balayage base breaks and glazes on our men,” shares Shawn Butler, lead colorist at Anushka Cosmedical Centre Spa & Salon. And for the adventurous, Yodice predicts “men will go more dark and mysterious; it’s the answer to the new romantic hair that’s popular in the youth market.” She also suggests training your eye on “the ‘Hip Hippie’—low-maintenance styles with lived-in, organic color, and the ‘Bad Boy,’ which is all about down-and-dirty, avant-garde colorations. Think: color designs brushed with splashes of strong color, or platinum with roots.”