From The Grio — Men are getting traditional haircuts, but not at traditional barbershops. Male-only spas are starting to pop up throughout the United States. BBRAXTON in Harlem, New York welcomes everyone, but specifically caters to African-American and Latino men.
Owner Brenda Braxton says that the men-only atmosphere is important for her clients.
“It’s kind of like history, you can’t talk the way you want to if you go to your girlfriend’s spa to get a manicure. You’re not with the fellows,” said Braxton.
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Braxton has seen an increase in men using spa services, like facials, manicures and pedicures. Industry experts say that men make up 30 percent of spa clientele.
But being well groomed isn’t necessarily a new concept for black men.
“If you look historically, back in the 40s, 50s, and in black churches… men were clean,” explained Geneva Thomas, content manager at lifestyle blog, Clutch Magazine. “Hip-hop made it a little uncool to be clean, you could have a fresh cut, but you couldn’t be too pretty. Now we’re on the track back to clean, Kanye West, Rick Ross are doing it. We are moving back to that historic space.”
And it isn’t just men in the African-American community.
Joe Marchesi, owner of Truman’s Gentleman’s Groomers in New York City says male-only grooming centers are a plus for the customer. They can watch sports, the news and have an alcoholic beverage.