The men's cosmetic and grooming industry is booming. Survey after survey flaunts staggering statistics about male grooming. The Telegraph suggests that the average man spends 81 minutes getting ready every day, 6 minutes longer than the average woman. Meanwhile, a recent research project by Key Note predicts that the male grooming and cosmetics sector will account for £1.1 billion a year in the UK by 2015 - this is big business.
But this trend is not just seen in beauty products in health stores and magazines. On the ground in every town across the UK, new age barbers are cropping up. These luxury gents' hairdressers and salons cater for a range of men's fashions and needs. The 20th century gender stereotypes are finally being broken down, but what some people herald as the rise of the 'metrosexual' is no new era. Men have been grooming and styling for millennia; do you think Apollo and Adonis didn't comb their hair? The recent Viking exhibition in the National Museum of Scotland proved that even the beserkers were obsessed with their appearance - among the beard and moustache combs I found a ornate silver ear spoon.
Onepoll's 2012 survey of 1000 men found that Scotland showed the greatest increase in male beauty treatments. Tanning treatments topped the list but massages and body treatments weren't far behind. Here are our tips to keep tip-top north of The Wall:
The Temple is an exciting new venue that opened last month in the heart of Georgian Edinburgh on Frederick Street. There's a bar and a big screen TV, making sure it doesn't feel like you need to leave your masculinity at the door. Proclaiming it is "revolutionising all aspects of the gents grooming industry", The Temple is one to watch for 2013. The Temple Salon
Vagabond Mens Hair
Vagabond's grand gold-framed mirrors face stark monochrome prints in this stunning salon in Stockbridge, Edinburgh. Owner Paul Stewart has a simple but effective philosophy - Modern Thinking Meets Classical Sensibility. On trendy St Stephen's Street, opposite the bow-tied mixologists of The Last Word Cocktail Saloon, this classy modern barbers is perfectly situated to pull in Scotland's fashionable fellas. Vagabond Mens Hair
Edinburgh's Ruffians oozes masculinity, from the sleek geometric decor, through the cut-throat hot shaves to the dedicated iPad waiting area. Fresh bean-to-cup coffee clinches the deal - shaving is officially no longer a chore. Ruffians
Rebel Rebel in Glasgow was awarded 'Scotland's Best Barbershop' in the 2012 Scottish Hair and Beauty Awards. The self-proclaimed 'Pioneers of Barbering' havea vaguely mod-themed hall of exposed brick-walls and spray-painted decoration. One stylist's speciality is cutting celebrity faces into the back of your hairdo, so if you're after Scarface staring out the back of your head this is the place to go. Rebel Barbers
The Men's Emporium
Aberdeen's award-winning premier gents salon not only offers shaves, trims and cuts, but also all the waxing, massaging and body treatments a man could need. Situated in the heart of Aberdeen, this is proof that men's beauty is no longer a niche industry. The Men's Emporium
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