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Facials and pedicures: when the Pakistani male becomes metrosexual

Ⓒ AFP – AAMIR QURESHI – | In Men’s Beauty Salon in Islamabad, October 10,
2017

In the men’s beauty salon “Men’s” in Islamabad, polish the
nails, remove the blackheads and drink his coffee while
scissors finely carve the manes of barges: in recent years, the
Pakistani male also knows to be metrosexual .

The country, better known for its conservatism than for its
taste for Western fashion, has its own criteria of masculinity.
In Pakistan, virility must be assumed, the hair supplied and
the mustache abundant. In rural areas, the Qur’an governs
hygiene issues and the size of beards.

Ⓒ AFP – AAMIR QURESHI – | At Men’s Beauty Salon in Islamabad, October 12,
2017

But new trends are appearing in big cities, where beauty
salons for men are opening up little by little. Like Men’s,
whose clean and modern premises, adorned with accessories and
vintage photos, resemble those found in London or New York.

The client is offered facials, manicures and pedicures,
rocked by a background of folk Pakistani. “Men have as much
right (as women) to be treated and times have changed, it’s not
just about being capped,” says Tauseeq Haider, owner of the
venue, which opened in 2015.

“People of a certain age, civil servants, are not ashamed to
say: + I need a facial, a massage, my nails should be done,
please suggest- what to do +, “he adds.

Ⓒ AFP – AAMIR QURESHI – | In the beauty salon “Men’s” of Islamabad, we polish
among other things the nails, we make disappear
blackheads

While Bollywood and Western movies have long influenced the
codes of urban Pakistanis, it is now the social networks that
give the “the”. They carry the word of the well-being of men –
become essential – the importance of the physical appearance
and the look.

“The Pakistani man is becoming more metrosexual, it is
completely due to the internet and the era of satellite TV
channels,” says Lebanese Michael Kanaan, owner of two beauty
salons in Pakistan, where he has lived for more than ten years
.

– ‘Smart Marketing’ –

On the social networks, the fashionable posts of “people”
Adnan Malik and Osman Khalid Butt are followed by hundreds of
thousands of people.

Ⓒ AFP – AAMIR QURESHI – | In the Men’s beauty salon, the customer is offered face
care, manicure and pedicure, rocked by a background of folk
Pakistani

Online advertising campaigns are also playing their part,
says economist Minhajul Haque, who believes that “smart
marketing on men’s beauty products boosts demand”.

Another decisive factor is the rapid growth of the Pakistani
middle class, which is all the more ready to spend, without
counting on a harmonious physique, as its incomes rise.

At Men’s, customers pay an average of 1,400 rupees (10
euros) per visit, a substantial sum when the monthly salary of
a waiter painfully reaches 12,000 rupees (90 euros). By
comparison, a haircut at a traditional hairdresser, certainly
less trendy, is trading at around 200 rupees (1.5 euros).

A 49-year-old landowner, Humayun Khan, comfortably seated in
a white armchair, explains that he does not look at the expense
when he gets pumped.

Ⓒ AFP – AAMIR QURESHI – | At Men’s, customers pay on average 1,400 rupees (10
euros) per visit. By comparison, a haircut at a traditional
hairdresser, is trading at around 200 rupees (1.5
euro)

“I feel good when my fingernails, my hair, and my face are
cut,” says the Western-dressed man, who says he comes twice a
month to the beauty salon. “If I do not look pretty, my wife
will not love me anymore,” he smiles.

Pakistani men, like Humayun, are thus more concerned than
before by the appearance of their skin, observes the beautician
Ghulfam Ghori.

An increasing number of them opt for blackhead removal, acne
treatments and even a little makeup on special occasions, such
as weddings.

“Facial care becomes essential for them,” says Ghulfam
Ghori, a neat Pakistani with an Afro cut.

Trade shows are not the only beneficiaries of this new
trend.

“I can tell you that a revolution is
under way in the psyche of men in Pakistan,” says Zafar
Bakhtawar, CEO of the group D. Watson, one of the main pharmacy
chains in Pakistan.

“They are becoming much more aware of their beauty, their
faces, their hair, their clothes – it’s a great
revolution.”

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