24 May 2008

Urban Male Lounge

Gentlemen of the modern day are beginning to follow the example set by the stylish Italians and pay increasing attention to the way that they look. Not simply for reasons of vanity but because the importance of personal presentation in the business setting is becoming more and more recognized. And this means attention to even the most precise detail. Much as we may resent it, first impressions count. Social psychologists have estimated that it takes around thirty seconds for someone meeting you to evaluate your character and abilities, including your educational level, competence, sophistication, trustworthiness and social heritage. In such a short space of time, this means that those impressions are formed almost entirely on how you look. Personal presentation counts.

This is increasingly evident in the Western world, notably from the sale of male grooming products. In 2006, men worldwide are reported to have spent US$16bn on cosmetics and associated products and this is projected to rise to US$19.5bn by 2008. In addition to cosmetic sales, grooming salons are cropping up in cities worldwide.

The observation that these establishments are city-based is a significant one. It is important for the modern professional in the urban environment to present himself with panache and this means attention to the most precise detail.

In place of the specialist facials, color manicures, pedicures and aromatherapy massages offered by beauty salons are hot shaves, sports massages and deep conditioning hair treatments. More and more are also coming around to the idea of facials, manicures and pedicures in an effort to set themselves apart from the crowd in the chic stakes.

Not only does the indulgence make the recipient look sharp, it is a bona fide stress buster as well. Though massage is an undeniable tension reliever, time spent idly looking after one’s appearance is an opportunity for the gentlemen to switch off the overworked mind for a short time, making it an ideal lunchtime treat or as a break if work commitments continue into the night.

The Middle East is no stranger to the trend either; the Urban Male Lounge (UML) has recently been opened in the Dubai International Finance Centre and is a stylish take on the male grooming concept, answering the demand that now exists here too. Clients have a number of treatments available from an extensive menu.

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