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Beauty kings

Mark McGrath and Thomas Gibson are among the growing group of male hair-product users

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Gone are the days of coif-conscious men sneaking froufrou pink hair gel home from the store. Products from American Crew (Scott Speedman, Thomas Gibson, and Mark McGrath swear by them), Back to Basics Authentic Men’s Grooming Collection, and Sexy Hair Concepts Rumble Boys — shampoos, finishing sprays, and pomades in man-friendly scents like shave grass, musk, and amber — are muscling onto shelves once reserved for the ladies. ”There was definitely a void in the market,” says Rumble Boys creator Michael O’Rourke, whose gear claims to help lads ”tap into virility, energy, and a sense of adventure.” Increasingly, men ”have lots of money, time, technology, and they want to express themselves… but they don’t want to smell like a daisy.” Getting in touch with one’s inner diva has become such a trend that men-only salons are popping up across the country. At Jon English The Men’s Room in Minneapolis, coloring is all the rage, in part because of the female-free hair dryers. ”Males are much more vain than women, actually, but they don’t want to show it,” says English. ”They’d rather just be vain quietly in a corner somewhere with the hairdresser and not say too much about it.”