Thursday, 15 March 2012 11:34

Male Ego: Creating a Man Spa

Written by   Denise R. Fuller

We’ve all heard it before: “Men – You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them.” In the spa industry, however, building a male clientele is a smart move that will lead to an increase in clients, services, and sales of retail products. The average national growth for spas offering men’s services is between 25 and 30 percent. Men are looking for better ways to relax and are becoming more open to exploring new personal services. With this growing trend, is your spa prepared to accommodate male guests?

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), men in America live nearly six years less than women. Three times more men than women under the age of 65 die from heart attacks. Many men eat poorly, don’t get enough exercise, and, to top it off, are under an enormous amount of stress that they don’t know how to deal with. If you look carefully at this information, you’ll see how you can position your spa as a wonderful stress relief resource for men. There’s no doubt that regular spa treatments can result in increased relaxation and better health for men.

With this in mind, many spas are looking for ways to give their male clients a tranquil environment they’ll feel comfortable in from the moment they arrive. To meet male clients’ comfort level, strive to create a place where they will feel as though they can lounge and unwind. Adapt your spa by using richer, darker colors, which are calming and more likely to induce a sense of relaxation. If you want to attract more male clients, avoid a “lace and frills” interior. You might even want to place a television in the men’s lounge area. Also consider offering your male clientele lounging pants or large robes to wear, which will typically be much more comfortable for them than a skimpy women’s robe.

Additionally, you’ll want to develop and use a vocabulary better suited for men. For instance, male clients may be more attracted to “grooming services” than to “spa treatments.” Massage is a service men appreciate and understand, and it doesn’t sound feminine. But men typically associate “pedicures” and “manicures” with women. Instead, offer “foot maintenance” and “hand treatments” to your menu. Facials are another treatment men might be hesitant to try. However, skin care is just as vital for a man as for a woman. In fact, men generally have larger sebaceous glands, bigger pores, and a thicker skin texture. Their facial skin is particularly sensitive due to daily shaving and greater exposure to the elements. Men’s grooming involves more than just using a bar of soap and shaving, and when they are introduced to facials and skin care, aestheticians have a perfect opportunity to educate them and create spa clients for life!

In his book “Groomed for Success,” Pierce Mattie gives some wonderful tips on updating the men’s service menu. For example, instead of a “Body Wrap” provide a “Love Handles Wrap,” or change your “Back Facial” to “Back Restoration.” Visit a barbershop for ideas and then be clever with your titles and descriptions. Just remember to be sensitive to your clients’ masculinity and you will have a more successful men’s menu.

Sometimes aestheticians find giving treatments to men a little daunting. They may not even have a clear understanding of a man’s skin care needs. Typically, men do not want a facial that is going to smell like roses and they will avoid anything that looks like it could be a pink mask, even if it is the perfect product for their skin. Masks that are clay-based are wonderful for the client who has oily skin and, typically, men have those larger sebaceous glands and need to fight excessive oil.

Cotton can be very hard to work with and virtually impossible to use when removing a product from a client with a 5 o’clock shadow. Sponges or 4x4’s are excellent for removing products, and they feel good. Warm, even borderline hot, towels will also get great raves from your male clientele, as one of the most challenging times for the male client to relax is during masking. You can even use the lighter weight, diaper-type cloths.

For a great upsell, apply another product during a mask treatment and work on your male client’s hands or feet. This will not only enhance their experience and keep them coming back, but it will also keep them from feeling like they have been abandoned. Peels are also great for men, as they work well on folliculitis.

You should also carry retail products suitable for men. Ask your current skin care line representative if specific products are available for the male market. In addition, some skin care companies offer fragrance free products with gender-neutral packaging that provide all of the benefits of a quality, results oriented line.


Grooming Lounge’s Famous Hot Lather Shave

If your spa is truly going to cater to men, you may wish to develop one or more signature treatments for them.For example, the traditional straight-edged, hot lather shave, or as some may call it, The Perfect Shave, is one of the hottest treatments for men this season thanks to Grooming Lounge®. Grooming Lounge is the country’s premiere destination for fine men’s grooming services and products. From their flagship location in Washington, D.C. and their soon-to-be-launched destination in Northern Virginia, the Grooming Lounge combines the comfort and atmosphere of a classic barbershop with the advances of a modern men’s health spa. This spa has been featured in publications like GQ, Men’s Journal, USA Today, People, and Playboy.

In 1999, the Grooming Lounge's founders Michael Gilman and Pirooz Sarshar embarked on a mission to find the world's best hot lather shave. Determined, the pair traveled to Europe and went “under the blade” at some of the world's most renowned barbering institutions. The results were several enjoyable, yet remarkably unspectacular shaves. Unwavering in their desire to make the Grooming Lounge shave “worthy of a king,” the duo contacted a renegade European barber based in New Orleans. The barber shed new light on the traditional wet shave, debunking the notion that one needed to use a straight-edge razor to get a close shave.

Building on this notion, the Grooming Lounge created an unparalleled shave that incorporates equal parts tradition and technology. According to Pirooz, its tradition comes in the form of seven steamed towels and three applications of hot lather, while the technology presents itself via a fresh triple-bladed razor and a silicon-enhanced post-shave solution. The result is 30 minutes of pure bliss and what many of the Grooming Lounge's guests have dubbed, “the best shave I've ever had.” Pirooz has painstakingly taken the time to train his team. He says, “to have the utmost quality in service is something that we never forget. I remind them constantly and continually have updated weekly trainings.” This owner requires that his guests experience the ultimate in service and treatments, which has turned his clients into raving fans.

The male market has traditionally been largely untapped, but once men are convinced that spas are for them, too, they tend to be grateful for extra pampering and may be your best clients. As spa operators and aestheticians, we are in a perfect position to show them how to become grooming connoisseurs. We can help them learn about the art and importance of skin care and taking care of their bodies. Offer a man unparalleled results that only you and your spa can provide, and you will have a customer for life!

Denise R. Fuller is a licensed esthetician, Australian-trained beauty therapist and certified by the State of Florida to teach and certify therapists in body wrapping. She is the Corporate Educator for Universal Companies and a contributing writer to several esthetic trade magazines. She is also the co-founder of Florida Aesthetic Network, a networking group that meets quarterly in Florida and offers free education. Her passion is to provide a higher level of education for the professional in the spa industry. For more information you may reach her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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