Pretoria-based celebrity hairstylist Patrick Missile has based a portion of his business in helping balding men. He started creating wigs known as toupees for his male clients nine years ago.
But he is only one of the many springing up across South Africa in the business of men’s grooming.
“I feel like there were a lot of requests from guys. Even though I was a wig designer from the beginning and serving ladies, I later found out that it was important to introduce myself to the male sector. It really helped people gain their confidence and to boost their personality and their appearance. It was very important and it meant a lot to so many,” Missile said.
According to Euromonitor, men’s grooming is finally taking off in South Africa and the region as a whole. It is one of the strongest growing sub sectors in beauty and personal care, posting a 9 % value growth in 2018. Entrepreneurs like Patrick say the growth of beauty for males will help blur gender roles.
Brothers Beard in Johannesburg is one of the outlets helping Black men grow and maintain their beards naturally. Its founder, Vizolet Kuwana, believes growing and keeping clean beards is trendy.
“Male grooming is such a buzz word and is the reason I resigned from my full-time corporate job two years ago to pursue this. As it stands, people talk about the numbers saying it is a $56 billion dollar industry and that men want to look good,” he said.
“In my experience, I think from a beard lens, men are not only looking for LinkedIn connections but also connecting beards. They also want to smell like flowers. They want to be pampered. So, you are seeing more and more men who are conscious about their appearance and wellness,” Kuwana explained.