Makeovers for Men: A Small but Growing Market

It’s not often that male makeovers make headlines, so when they do, it’s worth paying attention.

The recent news that Ken, of Barbie and Ken fame, has undergone a truly extreme makeover. Blond and blue-eyed seemingly forever, he’s now available in 15 different models that feature diverse skin tones, eye colors, and hairstyles. He also comes in three body shapes: original, slim (think skinny jeans), and broad (which some are already calling Dad-bod Ken).

As it turns out, Ken has plenty of company as more real men consider aesthetic makeovers. According to a new AAFPRS survey of 681 men, 31% said they were “extremely likely” to consider a cosmetic procedure, surgical or non-surgical. When asked why:

  • 44% said they would have a treatment done to feel better about themselves
  • 31% said a willingness to make a “fix” to please a partner
  • 31% wanted to look less tired and stressed
  • 25% cited a desire to remain competitive on the job

Among their biggest concerns are hair, or lack thereof, with 60% saying it bothered them more than anything else, and 44% saying either skin or eyes. Just 22% said they were bothered by their chin and neck, with even fewer, 19%, expressing concern about a few forehead wrinkles.

This suggests that an audience that has historically occupied a small niche in the market presents a big opportunity for practices that know how to reach it. The following strategies can help:

Embrace cultural changes

With celebrities, smartphones, and social media, there’s no escaping the fact that we live in a world where images rule. And men aren’t immune. Like women, they want to look their best and increasingly consider cosmetic surgery a viable path to that goal.

Savvy practices share content that directly addresses their concerns, showcases appropriate options, and emphasizes an ongoing commitment to helping men look less tired, remain competitive, and feel better about themselves.

Likewise, practices that want to grow their male clientele should take a page from the Mattel playbook: If you want to reach today’s increasingly diverse population, make sure your practice website and social profiles feature men with a variety of skin tones and body types.

Recognize the role of age

It’s easy to lump male patients into a single category, but it’s safe to say that the 45-year-old considering lipo has a different intent than the 25-year-old considering tattoo removal. Online forums, social surveys, and inquiries from potential patients can help you determine what treatments are gaining or losing interest.

Note that younger men are playing an outsized role in the rise of male aesthetic medicine. While 31% of men overall said they were extremely likely to consider cosmetic surgery, the number rises to 58% for those ages 25–34. For Millennials, it’s not about fixing the effects of time, it’s about avoiding them in the first place. Practices that adjust their messaging accordingly will find a receptive audience while building a strong foundation for long-term relationships.

Reward their research

Although major tenets of the old “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” adage have been debunked, the two groups still display distinct differences in how they go about researching and purchasing products and services.

Men tend to read more about the actual products and services they’re considering, while women are more likely to rely on others’ reviews. When it comes to aesthetic decisions, men also tend to be less concerned with the “why” behind their changing appearance, preferring “cut to the chase” insights on how you propose to resolve the issue.

Having chosen to pursue treatment, men also display different behaviors than women. They tend to ask fewer questions, which means your staff should be proactive about addressing common but unspoken concerns. For another, men tend to have a lower tolerance for downtime, raising the specter of rushing things and impeding recovery. Targeted post-care communication can help male patients keep things in perspective, minimizing problems, speeding recovery and, by extension, improving patient satisfaction.

Finally, it’s worth noting that no generalization will apply to every male patient. Like their female counterparts, they’re unique individuals with personal concerns and aesthetic issues they hope to resolve. Practices that treat them as such will be well-positioned as their numbers continue to grow.

Doctor Takeaway

The “men-aissaince” in aesthetic medicine is no myth

While men may still account for a fraction of all aesthetic procedures performed, the numbers are destined to increase. Chalk it up to changing cultural norms regarding health and well-being, the proliferation of targeted, non-surgical procedures, and the aging of metro-styled Millennial men, all of which will gain increasing significance in the years ahead. As the folks at Mattel would no doubt attest, the new normal is all about recognizing the role of diversity and encouraging every man to find the look that’s right for him.

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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