Man, You’re Looking Good: The Growing Men’s Aesthetics Movement
By Wyndi Kappes
Claudio Avilla photographed by Richie Arpino
Nowadays, it seems as if women aren’t the only ones who have taken a dip in the fountain of youth. More men are taking a personal interest in grooming and fighting the effects of aging. It is a trend that is skyrocketing and there’s no better time than now to hop on board. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, over one million men received minimally-invasive procedures (think laser hair removal, fillers, and chemical peels) in 2017. So, ladies, tell your man it’s more than okay to spend a little extra time in front of the mirror. And for the men who already do, you’re in good company.
Looking Good—Men’s Aesthetics and Grooming
Tame the Mane
After making over Atlantans for nearly 40 years, it’s easy to see why Richie Arpino has made national headlines for his haute hairstyles. At Richie Arpino Salon in Buckhead, his clients, of which roughly 50 percent are men, turn to him to provide a hairdo that complements their personality, profession and much more.
Today, an increasing number of men are saying goodbye to big-box chops and hello to personalized cuts. When it comes to finding the perfect ‘do for you, Arpino says, “Hairstyles are really determined by lifestyle, profession, and self-confidence.”
Even though Arpino believes that every haircut should be personalized to the man receiving it, he does offer a couple of rules of thumb for men dealing with gray or thinning hair:
Don’t dye it all one color. When men start to notice gray hairs, their first instinct is to usually dye their hair all one color. Instead, sweep through “streaks” of darker color versus all over darker color, which can age men even more.
Do cut thinning hair shorter. While this seems counterintuitive, the closer cut makes thinning spots less prominent.
The go-to trendy haircut for men these days is easy to spot. Long on the top and shorter on the sides with a trimmed beard, the “high and tight” has clearly taken over. From Atlanta United players to A-listers like Brad Pitt, this style is flattering on various ages and blends seamlessly from the boardroom to the bachelor pad.
A full head of hair comes easier to some more so than others. For those who crave that look but can’t naturally achieve it, Ken Anderson, MD, FISHRS, of Anderson Center for Hair & Aesthetics is your man. Exclusively for over 15 years, he has helped men regain their youthful hairstyle. His practice specializes in the use of the ARTAS® Robotic Hair Restoration system, providing a permanent solution for hair loss. “This isn’t your father’s hair transplant. In fact, with the advent of bio-enhanced hair restoration surgery in the last few years, it isn’t even your older brother’s hair transplant anymore,” he says.
Today’s options include state-of-the-art remedies like the use of a laser light cap, which stimulates cells to increase hair growth, and platelet-rich plasma injections, which work like fertilizer for the hair follicles. With plenty of methods to choose from, there’s no reason to be unhappy with a receding hairline.
Beards and Body Hair
The hair on your head isn’t the only thing you should consider when taking your look into account. A favorite on the red carpet, the runway, running trails and more, facial hair is hotter than ever. So much so that freelance journalist Christopher Oldstone-Moore recently penned “Of Beards and Men,” a book that dives into the history of beards—what many would call a symbol of masculinity.
“The beard is a portal into self-improvement. Use it as a way to invest in yourself. The attention you give to your facial hair can parlay into your hair, skin, and overall style as well,” says Lauren Rachel, men’s grooming expert at Boardroom Salon for Men.
Have facial hair covered? Are you the Bigfoot of your friends? The “Modern Man” has a solution for that as well—waxing. While the idea of waxing might seem intimidating, Bobbiegail Simpson, owner of Waxing the City in Alpharetta, says there’s nothing to fear. “This is nothing like ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin,’ the more you wax, the sparser the hair becomes and the longer the results last.”
Simpson has seen a large increase in the number of men getting waxed. If you’re tired of battling stubborn hair, start small with an eyebrow or chest wax. Simpson recommends first-timers use numbing cream and ibuprofen 30 minutes before their appointment. More adventurous guys can opt to go below the waistline with a Brazilian (100-percent hair free under the briefs), a choice that Simpson notes is growing among her male clientele.
Men aren’t just dipping their toes into waxing and hair care, cosmetic procedures are increasingly on their radar. Elizabeth Whitaker, MD, FACS, founder of Atlanta Face & Body Center, would know. Dubbed “The Queen of Faces,” she has performed over 4,000 face-lifts and has noticed the uptick in male patients. “There are more men seeking out injectables, noninvasive procedures, and facial plastic surgery than ever before,” she says. “The stigma of aesthetic procedures has lessened and men realize that looking their best can help them maintain a competitive edge,” she notes.
On any typical day, you can find Dr. Whitaker applying her careful technique, which focuses on a natural look, to men requesting fillers such as Botox® and Kybella®. “Men’s faces are structured differently and placement of the filler reflects that, so that the enhancement preserves a masculine look. That is why seeking out an experienced injector is so important.”
Brian Maloney, MD, founder of the Maloney Center for Plastic Surgery notes that men often come to him looking for a way to look less tired or angry. “As men age, their eyebrow muscles tend to weaken, causing them to look heavy and slant down. This slanting or looming brow often makes them look worn or bothered when they are otherwise fine. To correct this, an eyebrow lift or fillers usually do the trick,” he says.
Dr. Maloney explains that while men still typically hide their cosmetic procedures (much like women) they have gained confidence over the years in asking for what they want upon their initial consultation. “Men used to come in for a consultation under the guise of a different issue and then ask about fillers or injectables. Now, we are experiencing an influx of bookings from men who openly want to talk about their cosmetic concerns.”
While some men struggle with wrinkles, others struggle with body weight. Body contouring is becoming an increasingly popular method to try to tackle this issue. According to Monte Slater, MD, FACOG, ABAARM, Dream Body Sculpting is a treatment that uses multiple modalities including ultrasonic cavitation and radio frequency to permanently destroy fat cells, remove toxins, and tighten the skin. Always happy to assist his male clientele, the founder of Aesthetic Body Sculpture Clinic & Center for Anti-Aging, recently helped a U.S. Airman. In need of a smaller waist measurement to meet his final physical assessment, the lean service member utilized body contouring to shave off six inches.
Whether you’re ready for a makeover from head to toe or just want to update your look, these expert tips and treatments will get the job done.
Feeling Good—Men’s Health by the Numbers
Taking care of your body from the inside out is sure to reflect in the mirror. Making health a priority is one of the easiest ways to maintain a youthful appearance and have lasting energy. Keeping weight in check is a fantastic first step. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2015-2016, 40 percent of American men between the ages of 40-59 were obese. The organization also notes that obesity-related conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, are some of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States.
Body mass index (BMI) is a commonly used estimate for body fat percentage and can be a helpful tool in regard to finding a healthy weight for your body. Men should aim to have a BMI between 18.5 to 24.9. G. Alan Binkley, MD, FACS, FAAOS, orthopedic surgeon at Northview Orthopaedic Associates, suggests that men engage in a minimum of 150 minutes of at least moderate aerobic exercise per week. And Chris Romano, owner of Atlanta Strength & Conditioning, notes the importance of maintaining a lifelong exercise routine saying, “Inactive men over the age of 30 lose three to five percent of their muscle mass per decade.” He adds that even with the natural aging process, it is still possible to gain strength and muscle.
Matters of the heart are also crucial for men. According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the U.S. When it comes to the disease, the most important thing Tara Hrobowski-Blackman, MD, of Piedmont Heart Institute advises is knowing your numbers for blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and weight, and limiting sweet treats, trans fats and saturated fats.
Numbers to Know
High blood pressure usually has no warning signs and the risk for high blood pressure increases with age. According to recommendations by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, normal blood pressure readings for adult men should be less than 120/80. Men older than age 40 should have their blood pressure checked once a year.
Decrease your risk of having a heart attack and stroke by annually measuring your “bad cholesterol” (LDL). According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a healthy LDL cholesterol level for men over the age of 20 is below 100.
Excluding skin cancers, the American Cancer Society (ACS) notes that colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in men in the United States. The organization recommends those with average risk begin regular screenings at age 45.
The American Diabetes Association recommends adults 45 and older or those with high risk (at least a 33 percent chance of developing diabetes over the next 10 years) be screened for type 2 diabetes every 3 years.
Starting at age 40, all men should learn about their best approach for prostate cancer screening and prevention based on their individual risks and health needs. Scott D. Miller, MD, of WellStar Medical Group, explains that many urologists recommend a baseline PSA test at age 40 in order to use for future comparison.
Eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and not smoking are 3 simple ways you can ward off erectile dysfunction says Dr. Miller.
Ken Anderson, Anderson Center for Hair & Aesthetics, AtlantaHairSurgeon.com
Richie Arpino, Richie Arpino Salon, ArpinoSalon.net
G. Alan Binkley, Northview Orthopaedic Associates, NorthviewOrtho.com
Tara Hrobowski-Blackman, Piedmont Heart Institute, Piedmont.org
Brian Maloney, Maloney Center for Plastic Surgery, MaloneyCenter.com
Scott D. Miller, WellStar Medical Group, ScottDMillerMD.com
Lauren Rachel, Boardroom Salon for Men, BoardroomSalon.com
Chris Romano, Atlanta Strength & Conditioning, AtlantaSC.com
Bobbiegail Simpson, Waxing the City, WaxingTheCity.com
Monte Slater, Aesthetic Body Sculpture Clinic & Center for Anti-Aging, SlaterMD.com
Elizabeth Whitaker, Atlanta Face & Body Center, AtlantaFaceAndBody.com