The spate of Covid-19 lockdowns has made it challenging to keep up with regular visits to the barber, which has seen a rise in the number of men seeking advice to keep them looking primed and fresh.
To help you perfect your grooming routine, we chat to Dean Gleeson, owner of Mengo Male Grooming in Leigh-on-Sea. He reveals the top hair and beards for 2022, what hair products you should be using and shares his top tips to help you feel and look at your very best.
Q: During the past year, what have been the major concerns for men in terms of their appearance?
A: The attitudes towards male grooming have changed rapidly, because of the effects of lockdown. After the first lockdown, we had lots of guys who were coming in with very thick beards but didn’t have the knowledge or experience to look after them properly. Beard trimming has increased in popularity for us, but interestingly we’ve had many people ask us for advice on self-maintenance.
One thing that I can see carrying on into the new year is men coming in with concerns about receding hairlines, as well as hair loss. This is an issue that can start pretty soon for guys and potentially become more severe as time goes on. In light of these issues, we’ve started offering a free consultation to customers before they commit to any decisions. This allows them to voice any concerns they may have about their hair and provides an opportunity for us to discuss styles and products that suit them.
Throughout lockdown getting an appointment at a barber shop was hard, so many men let their hair and beards grow out.
Q: Do you think that proper beard and hair maintenance can build confidence in men?
A: Absolutely, we see it with our customers every day. One of the biggest trends that we’ve observed is that guys are either shaving off all of their hair or letting it grow out as long as possible. Lockdown has played a major role in this shift, as spending months without access to a barber has limited the options for many of us. Whilst these two styles can work well, some issues can arise.
For example, it can transfer the anxiety of hair recession to worrying about what your hair looks like throughout the day. Wet or windy weather can result in having to pay constant attention to your hair, especially if you’ve grown it out. If you’ve got a long beard for the first time, dry skin from the lack of natural oils can cause severe irritation. These problems are the reason we educate our clients about the best techniques to maintain their hairstyles, as well as balms and beard oils they can use to add moisture to their beards, preventing itchiness and encouraging hair growth.
All of this helps to restore self-confidence, promotes healthy wellbeing and educates people on how they can cultivate and care for their appearance themselves.
Q: Have you found that customers are more willing to ask for advice about male grooming?
A: Definitely, it’s a welcome development as it helps us to build trust with our clients. Instead of just providing a list of styles and services, we can explain how each one will look and recommend what will work best for them. Social media has a big role to play in the portrayal of a certain type of look, reinforcing the idea that everyone needs a perfect hairline and chiselled jaw.
The Booksy App makes it easy for you to manage your haircare and beauty
appointments so you don’t forget, or reschedule your booking so you don’t
miss out. Photo: Getty Images
Opening up and discussing these issues will not only help to relieve stress but is also the first step to learning about the benefits of male grooming and building a genuine sense of self-confidence.
Q: How vital has Booksy been for you and your customers in terms of convenience, managing appointments and booking times?
A: Booksy has been hugely important for us in terms of our organisation as a business. We didn’t have it for the first year that we were open, and we constantly had to leave clients to answer the phone and had issues with double-bookings.
Booksy allows our customers to book an appointment at a time that’s convenient for them via Google and gives us a far clearer picture of who is expected that day. If clients need to reschedule or cancel their appointment, this is easy to do.
The app has a number of invaluable features such as the Calendar and Appointments section, which provides 24/7 self-service booking for appointments and automatic notifications. Booksy is also fully integrated with Instagram and Google, has a flexible payment processing system and even includes marketing tools to interact with clients.
For both clients and staff, it’s provided a streamlined booking service and enabled us to dedicate more focus to our clients and deliver an exceptional service to everyone that steps foot through our doors.