Male Estheticians: Breaking Beauty Barriers

Here at Artemis, we often hear about the challenges that male estheticians face in the beauty industry.

Often, men are put off from pursuing a career in esthetics by real or perceived barriers to success. In particular, the industry can seem highly tailored to women - both clients and practitioners.

For example, beautician training is normally designed for women, and workplaces can be feminine. Furthermore, female focussed advertising can make clients expect female practitioners.

However, it's entirely possible for male estheticians to overcome these barriers, and forge a lucrative career in beauty.

Artemis has assisted thousands of estheticians in establishing successful beauty businesses. We want to reassure all male estheticians that they become just as successful as female estheticians.

In this article, we’ll take you through the barriers male estheticians face. Then, we’ll explore the opportunities the beauty industry holds for men. Lastly, we’ll share the reasons why it’s a sector in which both genders can thrive.

What are the common challenges male estheticians face?

Firstly, what is a male esthetician?

Male estheticians are licensed professionals trained to do a range of techniques on the skin. For example, male estheticians perform steaming, waxing, extraction, chemical peels, pore cleansing, and more.

So, what are the challenges male estheticians face? Here we’ll take you through six of the most common. We’ll also point to ways clients, salons, and the industry at large could remove these challenges, so male estheticians can share their talent alongside women.

Training and Education Are Often Tailored to Women

Often, esthetics schools design their training around female practitioners. For example, they’ll give instructions based on female hand size and female strength. Trainee male estheticians will need to adjust directions, such as applying less pressure in a facial massage.

Making education more accessible to male estheticians is an easy fix. Beauty schools can simply adjust their instruction so they apply to both male and female bodies.

The Majority of Licensed Estheticians Are Women

Most licensed estheticians are undoubtedly women - 95.5% in fact. This isn’t necessarily a barrier for male estheticians. However, being in a minority can create a feeling of not belonging.

As we’ll see later, it can also lead to workplaces and advertising that focus on women. This can send a message that the industry is only for women. This can in turn negatively impact guys’ chances of pursuing careers as male estheticians.

If you are considering joining the ranks of male estheticians, remind yourself that ‘is’ doesn’t mean ‘ought’. Just because an industry is female, it doesn’t mean it should be that way. And it certainly doesn’t mean you don’t belong.

Some Clients Prefer Treatment From Women

Some clients attending beauty salons will prefer to receive treatments from women. This is especially the case for intimate treatments such as bikini waxing. Since salons are aware of this preference, it can make finding employment for male estheticians a little harder.

However, the preference can also work in male estheticians’ favor. In particular, some female beauticians don’t feel comfortable waxing or massaging the rising number of male clients. Therefore, there can be a higher demand for men to do these treatments.

Male estheticians should certainly respect the wishes of employees and clients. But since most people are happy to have treatments from men, you shouldn't let a few clients’ preferences put you off.

There Are Strong Gender Differences in Advertisements

Everywhere you look in the industry - from beauty schools to salons - marketing is tailored to women. It promotes an image that both salon goers and beauticians are female.

Furthermore, when male estheticians are featured in marketing content, they’re often seen doing certain treatments like lasers much more than others, like facials.

Certainly, advertising does reflect some truth - most salon goers and beauty practitioners are female.

However, it can also become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The ads send strong signals to men that the industry isn’t male friendly. And it can teach the public to expect female beauticians.

Beauty businesses would help break down this barrier for male estheticians, by mixing up the genders in their marketing.

Workplaces Can Be Designed for Women

From decor, to menus, treatments, and products, spas and salons are often designed in a feminine way. This can be off putting for both male clients and male estheticians.

Spa owners should think about how they can change their color schemes, uniforms, and soft furnishings to appeal to both male and female tastes. Not only will it help them attract top male estheticians, but also it could help attract new male clientele.

Some Salons Prefer To Hire Women

Although this practice is rare, some salons prefer to only hire women. This is often because they know that some clients feel uncomfortable receiving treatment from men.

As shown above, most people are very comfortable being treated by a man. Therefore, salons that restrict their hiring practices are cutting themselves off from top talent.

Furthermore, there will be plenty of salons looking for male estheticians. As we mentioned, they can often do treatments that female estheticians aren’t comfortable with.

More broadly, the beauty hiring market has been challenging post pandemic. For this reason, many locations may be more open to men than they would have been in the past.

To all male estheticians out there looking for work, don’t be put off by a salon’s gendered hiring practices. The vast majority of spas and salons are more than happy to employ male estheticians like you.

Why beauty presents a unique opportunity for male estheticians

We’ve been through some of the challenges male estheticians face. At this point, you might be thinking that the beauty industry isn’t a great one for men. In fact, it’s a place where male estheticians can thrive.

Here, we share some of the biggest advantages and opportunities for men in beauty.

Almost Half of Spa Goers Are Men

In contrast to many people’s expectations, 47% of spa goers are men. In light of this, salons that tailor their services to women and their workplaces to female estheticians, are missing a huge opportunity.

Further, male estheticians who are put off by the thought that they’ll only have female clients might want to think again. Working in the beauty industry could be a much more mixed experience than you anticipated.

The Taboo Around Male Beauty Is Lifting

For decades, there’s been a perception that taking care of one's skin and hair is not masculine.

This may have stopped some men from taking care of their bodies properly (we all know that guy who uses just a bar of soap for face, body, and hair!) It may also have prevented them from training to be male estheticians.

However, things are changing. It’s now much more common to see an array of beauty products, treatments, and services targeting men. For example, many barbershops now offer facials.

As the taboo around male beauty lifts, so does the expectation that estheticians and spa goers are female. Male estheticians can enter the industry with confidence.

It’s Easier for Male Estheticians to Stand Out

Male estheticians building their client base can use their gender to their advantage.

Female estheticians need to have a distinct unique selling point to help them stand out from their competition. By contrast, male estheticians are already unique. You’re likely to be one of only a handful of other male estheticians in your area. If anyone’s looking for a man to wax, tan or body wrap them, you’ll be their first port of call.

So, deliver top quality services, make no secret of your gender, and you’ll have a thriving client base in no time.

People Value Male Estheticians’ Point of View

People often assume that female clients feel uncomfortable or judged by male estheticians.

In fact, the opposite is often the case. Lots of female clients enjoy the perspective of the opposite sex about their beauty goals and results.

In general, it’s easy to find yes-men in the beauty industry. Therefore, clients are often seeking an honest and fresh perspective. For this reason, some will seek out a male esthetician’s point of view.

So, male estheticians, don’t forget that your perspective is unique and valuable.

There Are Lots of Successful, Well Known Male Estheticians

Many men are paving the way for male estheticians to be more visible, accepted, and admired for their exceptional work.

This is especially the case in make-up art. The likes of Kevyn Aucoin, Dick Page, Jay Manuel, and Mario Dedivanovic have all forged a path for men in beauty.

More recently, male skincare and beauty experts have made huge names for themselves through social media. For this reason, millennials and zoomers are much more comfortable with getting treatment from male estheticians and beauticians.

People Want Male Estheticians for Specific Services

Female estheticians aren’t always trained or comfortable giving certain services to men. Waxing is a common example.

Therefore, many salons seek out men who are trained to wax, so they can easily offer the service to both men and women.

For this reason, when people say salons or clients prefer treatment from women, male estheticians shouldn’t be put off. There are pockets in the market where men are in equally high demand.

Why beauty is a great industry for female and male estheticians

The beauty industry is undoubtedly growing. In 2020, total global beauty industry spending was $483 billion. By 2025, the annual total is expected to top $716 billion. This presents a huge opportunity for both male and female estheticians.

However, it must be remembered that beauty is also a crowded marketplace. Whether you’re a female or a male esthetician, you need to stay ahead of the curve. At Artemis, we’ve helped thousands of beauty entrepreneurs do just this.

In order to stand out and attract high ticket clients, it’s worth supplying services that will help you compete with big medical spas. In particular, consider investing in world class beauty technology.

In contrast to what many people believe, this tech isn’t always expensive. At Artemis, we want to make the latest and best beauty technology available to beauty entrepreneurs. Find out more about our aesthetic devices that can transform your business here.

Final thoughts

The beauty industry undoubtedly presents some challenges for male estheticians. However, it holds plenty of opportunities for them too.

Whether you’re a man or a woman, beauty is a place you can thrive. To stand out, offer the latest, in demand treatments and you’ll build a loyal, high ticket client base in no time.

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