The New Times (Kigali)

8 January 2009

Rwanda: Changing Trends As Men Seek Beauty Treatments

Kigali — Some men have also begun to regularly trim their eyebrows.

The days of men complaining that women waste a lot of time and resources on their looks seems to be history

Before you read this article, pause and take a look at your nails. Are you happy with their state? When last did you spend time tending to them? Do you know the value of taking good care of nails?

Manicures and pedicures are actually health procedures. In addition to trimming nails and cleaning, they also help to prevent ingrown nails, which is important for your health. Getting your nails done once you have decided is as good as any other health service rendered.

In Kigali, all salons do manicures and pedicures that include nail shaping, cuticle care, hand and foot massage and a coat of clear polish to finish.

According to 49-year-old James Ntare, a good skin care will prevent aging. Men, like women should also have manicures and pedicures.

"Manicures and pedicures are in great demand. A big number of men flock into the salon especially on weekends for grooming," says Jackson Mucyo, a salonist of Top Saloon, in Remera.

Do men do it for health reasons, or just in an effort to look nice and thus attract women?

Alex Kamasa, 30, was honest enough to admit that he goes for manicures and pedicures in search for nice looking female salonists who do these treatments, but would never allow another man to give him a pedicure or manicure.

"It's relaxing to have an attractive woman massage my hands and feet and make them look neat. But I would hate saying my fellow man massaging me," says Kamasa.

However, a certain section of men and women still do not buy the idea that in this day and age men can enjoy what has for long been considered as 'women's' beauty services.

"I'm not sure what I think about men who go for manicures and pedicures since I've never had one myself. But I would consider such men not to be serious," confesses Jean Marie Musonera.

In most societies, people tend to waste a lot of time judging others. Manicures and pedicures are not only a woman's thing. Men, particularly stylish men, have them regularly.

Brian Gatete was having his manicure a few days ago from one of the salons in town, when two burly looking men entered the salon to have haircuts.

"Without any thought, they started talking about me, saying that I must be a homosexual, or something close to that," recalls Gatete.

Every week, Paul Kamali takes a break from his busy job to have treatment for his nails.

"I know a lot of people where I work; both male and female admire my health and nails," Kamali beams, "there is nothing as embarrassing as shaking hands with dirty nails."

See if your nails need a manicure or pedicure. Decide whether you want to have short or long nails. If the length of your cuticle looks particularly long, and therefore your nail seems small, it's time to get to the salon and have a manicure so your cuticles can be trimmed evenly.

The days of men complaining that women waste a lot of time and resources on their looks seems to be history. And with the frequent visits to men's salons shows that men have finally discovered the benefits of trendy looks.

Taking into consideration health issues, during the process of manicure and pedicure, the cuticles are cleaned up, which eliminates painful and unsightly hang nails, which would have created other health related problems to your nails.

In Kigali, men's beauty is not a 2009 trend; most salons offer a variety of grooming treatments for men.

Men are leading the way when it comes to the art of grooming which includes shaving, haircuts, manicures, pedicures and massages, steaming and sauna treatments to name a few.

"Men go for the same treatments as women would. Some men have also begun to regularly trim their eyebrows," says Jackie Batamuriza, a salon cashier, at Beauty Salon Centre, Kimironko.

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