Hair-styling products aren't for women only anymore. One-time hairdresser and beauty business-tycoon Vidal Sassoon talks about his line of four products--an aerosol and non-aerosol hair spray, gel and mousse--designed specifically for men.
Question: What has happened to change men's attitudes toward using styling products?
Answer: It's the fact that hair styles have changed so dramatically. That's the breakthrough. Men were afraid to look different in the '60s. But I think attitudes changed when Joe Namath started selling panty hose on TV, rock musicians started wearing their hair long and so many famous athletes began to have perms. Whole soccer teams in Europe were having perms at once because the styles were so easy to maintain and the hair stayed out of their eyes. Men began to see that they could wear their hair just as they pleased without ridicule--long, short, permed or with hair color.
Q: Other than the "manly" packaging and fragrance, do your new products differ in content from similar women's styling products?
A: The gel is the same formula. The mousse is a softer formula because men don't have to "design" the looks women do--men's hair is a lot simpler. The two sprays are very much the same as the women's because most sprays today are very gentle. Essentially I think women have been borrowing men's clothes, and men have been borrowing women's products. But I think there's a sense now of, hey, let's have a little bit of men's liberation. Men no longer want to use a feminine-looking product with a feminine fragrance.