Better Together: Gender-Neutral Beauty
Designers showcasing men’s and women’s collections in tandem; department stores with gender-free shopping sections; John Lewis removing gender labels from its children’s clothing and Selfridges launching an “Agender” concept space… The landscape of how we shop has shifted in favour of the individual rather than gender, and it was only a matter of time before this approach started to make waves in the beauty industry, too.
Of course, unisex fragrances have long been available – and the offering is expanding rapidly – but the wider industry is waking up to this cultural revolution, with brands starting to introduce more inclusive products with no gender skew. When Asos announced the launch of its Face + Body platform, it opened up its beauty offering, without bias, to all customers. Instead of the beauty category sitting in the traditional place of the women’s section, it now straddles both men’s and women’s. “We want to challenge historical conventions and use our influence to help our customers feel comfortable trying things and present-ing themselves in whichever way they see fit,” explains Alex Scolding, head of buying at Asos. “We think people should buy beauty products for their individual needs, rather than being swayed by the way products are packaged.”
Like Asos, Not Another Salon, a hairdresser on London’s Brick Lane, is at the forefront of inclusive services. The vibrant, colourful interior and the “no judgement” policy on the door create an addictive attitude. The aim, its website declares, is “to make you feel as ‘you’ as we feel every day”. It’s as much about a change in mentality as it is good hair, and cuts and styles will be according to your aspirations, not your gender. True beauty inclusiveness from the point of purchase right through to the experience? Finally. See some of the most noteworthy products below.