By Sarah Daniel
Date June 13, 2017
Now that the Stanley Cup is over, playoff beards and bro flows are being shaved off and trimmed as hockey players like Sidney Crosby and Mike Fisher gear up for their off-season pastime of choice: hitting the golf course.
Athletes’ superstitious body hair rituals aside, men’s grooming habits are evolving. For one, Gen Z sees makeup as gender neutral. There are also a lot more male-friendly moisturizers, shampoos and soaps to choose from now, and entirely new categories like beard oil, which has become a staple for those blessed with an abundance of facial hair.
More and more Toronto spas are tailoring their treatments to men, too. The nail bar menu at the Four Seasons includes a Sports Manicure and Pedicure, and Elmwood Spa offers a Gentlemen’s Retreat.
Blitz Facial Bar—which also has an outpost in Park Slope, Brooklyn—just launched The Blitz Man. The facial treatment that kicks off with a deep cleanse and ends with a vitamin C mask, aims to address complexion issues more common for men like irritation from shaving, larger pores and “increased exposure to the elements” which conjures images of sun-burned, wind-chapped and frost-bitten skin—or Leo in The Revenant. (FTR, unless he’s camping every weekend or living off the land full time, the “elements” are more likely things like the complexion-damaging blue light emanating from our phones and laptops, to which we are all perpetually glued.)
The shift toward more mindful grooming is also evident in with the opening of Zuse, a retail space on College Street that carries products exclusively for men, with a focus on small-batch, eco-conscious brands. Founder Dale Millstein is new to the cosmetics world—he’s a chartered accountant with an MBA—so he made countless trips to Sephora and Lush when he was researching his business idea. He also put together a “grooming panel” made up of friends and family, including his cousins who range from 15 to 25 years old. “These guys are in front of the camera 24/7,” says Millstein of how his younger relatives use Instagram and Facebook, adding that they are way more into skincare, and products he carries like the Menaji Camo concealer, than Millstein and his friends do who are in their 30s. “With women, it’s typically a mothers teaching daughters about beauty and skincare,” he says. “For men, now it’s the younger generation teaching the older generation about these new products and how to use them.”
If you’re wondering what your soap-and-water, Old-Spice-wearing Boomer dad would think of some of the other innovative products stocked at Zuse like Alder New York’s Charcoal and Aloe Face Masks, Port Products’ Conditioning Beard Absolute or Prospector Co. All-Purpose Dirt that lists dry shampoo and mattifying a shiny T-zone as two of its many uses, there’s only one way to find out: gift him some of them for Father’s Day.