Ryan Reynolds posing

Monique McLaughlin gets up close and personal with celebrity stylist and men’s groomer—Kristan Serafino.

As we know, most hairdressers who went to cosmetology schools loved learning about cutting and coloring women’s hair. This consisted of challenging techniques and endless creative possibilities.

Barber programs are usually offered separately for those interested in specializing in men’s grooming. Although this is phenomenal training, it can limit the time spent on men’s grooming in the cosmetology program.

Up close and personal— 

Monique McLaughlin shares her experience as a cosmetology student and talks with celebrity hair stylist Kristan Serafino to find out what it means to be successful in men’s grooming.


Kristan Serafino and Shawn Mendes

Monique: I signed up for clipper cutting classes, but never really utilized the skills on a regular basis as I managed salons straight out of cosmetology school. My significant other at the time used a Bic on his head, so practicing on him was not an option. Eventually, I saw the money that I was losing out on by not taking male clients.

I took a men's grooming class from Celebrity Hair Stylist/Men's Groomer Kristan Serafino, whose client list includes Ryan Reynolds, Shawn Mendes, Matthew McConaughy and Norman Reedus to name a few.

I immediately connected with Kristan, as our stories were similar, having changed careers in our 30's.

She began originally cutting hair in New York's Toni and Guy salon, where she cut both men and women. 

She soon found that cutting men's hair was her niche, saying that it's "the easiest money to make in the salon." According to Serafino, men tended to stick to the same stylist once they found someone they felt comfortable with.

She says that while the haircut may need tweaking the second time around, men are more apt to come back and just make a minor change to the cut with the same stylist.

"Men are non-emotional with their haircuts," Serafino says.

They like what they like.

Women tend to take a poll after they get a haircut.

Kristan Serafino styling Shawn Mendes hair

Their satisfaction with their style can sometimes be dependent on what other people think." 

Although she credits the boom in men's grooming partially to social media, she finds that the art of the consultation is what helps her to build both her regular and celebrity male clientele.

"Being able to communicate with clients is key. 

Would you wear the same shirt every day for a year? No.

 You want to change and evolve. Part of being a good stylist and keeping your client is helping them with that. You have to think ahead and encourage them to evolve.

cosmetology insurance

While we're in the current cut, we're already discussing what the next cut we're going to try the next time and the time after that."

Serafino had a new celebrity client today, who she cut for the first time.  She said that the consultation was a good discussion of what the client wanted, what she recommended and a good compromise in the end.        

According to a Modern Salon survey, men, on average, have been going to the same stylist or barber for 7 years.

While men may spend less per haircut, they have the potential to spend as much as, and possibly more than, women over the period that they are a customer at a salon.

The global men's grooming business is now estimated to be worth $21.4 billion and the market is estimated to reach $60.7 billion by 2020.

Cosmetologists are even returning to school for barbering to learn how to shave and taper.

"The barbering program focuses on learning specific techniques to taper men's hair and women's short styles using shear over comb," said Educator Frank Cuonzo, who has been a licensed barber in 5 states since 1962.

"With valuable instruction, a cosmetologist can receive quite an endowment to their education for just 300 additional hours and increase their clientele by offering men's grooming at the highest standard of quality."

While the barber hours are not necessary unless you plan on using a straight razor, the additional education does benefit hair stylists.

scissor over comb hair cutting


Serafino agrees that in order to give a really good men's cut, you need to learn how to cut shear over comb.

"By keeping the bottom blade parallel to your comb, you never stray and therefore keep from getting lines in your hair cut." 

Kristan Serafino

Serafino estimates that her clientele ratio is 50/50 male to female. She says that men will come back every 3 to 4 weeks and are extremely loyal.  By implementing the next 3 hair cut method, she has been able to gain her male client's trust with her expertise. The biggest thing is being able to encourage your clients to change and to educate them properly on styling their own hair.

Recommending the right products to your clients and showing them how to use it keeps them buying retail in your salon.

"Never get stuck on using the same product in someone's hair," she says.

Reports state that 67% of men say that they use products specifically made for men’s hair.

With 55% of salons reporting significant increases in male clientele over the past few years, the men’s grooming industry will only continue to grow.

A men’s haircut is the perfect filler appointments while a female client’s color is processing. By actively utilizing appointment time, you can double your income with new and repeat male clientele.