As men make their way into salons and spas across the country, some are getting them with services, decor, and perks designed just for them. By streamlining services and doling perks like draft beer, shoe shines, pool tables, and piped-in sports programming, salons and spa are redefining the meaning of “pampering”.
For men, the hallmark of a good hand or foot service is largely dependent on whether they are comfortable asking for and receiving it. And with the bulk of hand and foot service designed with women’s taste in mind, men brave enough to wonder into the typical salon or spa find funding a satisfying service difficult. “Men don’t want anything frilly or feminine,” says Pauline Ushigusa, owner of The Chairman Salon and Spa for Men in Seattle. “They want a simple service that feels good and makes them look good.”
Yet glancing at the standard menu you get the feeling that men, despite their new greatly lauded romance with the spa industry, are still a bit of an afterthought.
However, just like those few brave men who paved the way for many more men to enter the salon, there are some savvy salons and spas that are banking on men and making grand efforts to cater to them. Here, we look at what they are doing to win men over mind, body and soul.
Make It a Double
At the Men’s Spa at Robert Andrew Salon & Spa in Gambrills, Md., men can enjoy their own special space, complete with a private locker room, full stream room, showers, and TVs. And while the salon understands that men enjoy perks, they’ve picked up on the fact that they’d rather not sit through long, ceremonious services. To get men in and out quickly, they’ve created the Single Espresso Express Service. In a quick 90 minutes men can have a manicure, pedicure, and facial all at once. Plus, if they’re really fanatical about multitasking men can also order lunch or dinner for a mere $10 extra.
Brush with Greatness
Mitchell’s Salon & day Spa in Cincinnati has found a way to floor men with a touch as delicate as a feather. In a move that invariably surprises and delights the men smart enough to opt for their men’s Paraffin Pedicure, nail techs use a brush to slather feet in warm honey-like paraffin. Feet are promptly wrapped in plastic and allowed to soak up the moisturizing and soothing properties of the wax. “They really enjoy the sensation of the wax being brushed on.” says Wendy Wesley, Mitchell’s nail manager. For those male clients who like to shake things up, Mitchell’s offers a new featured pedicure every month, letting men try out new fragrance, scrubs, and masques.
Last Man Standing
At Modern Male in Dublin, Ohio, owner Brenda Kocak knows men have issues - with their hands and feet, that is. “They tend to have more calluses, tougher cuticles, and short nails that are hard to shape,” she says. But rather than man-handle men’s hands and feet, Kocak’s Man-Licure and Pedicure services include a soak, hand and arm or foot and leg massage, salt or sugar scrub, and paraffin dip. Pedicure clients enjoy a reflexology treatment, a hot stone massage, and a thorough nail buffing that leaves them a bit wobbly in the knee.
The Boy’s Club
John Allan’s Club in New York is the godfather of men’s spas. With its billiard lounge, cigar room, and cafe it earns the “club” in its name. One would imagine that men would gladly drop in even if they didn’t need a haircut, massage, or manicure. But in addition to the siren song of available golf shoe cleaning, the spa offers the Full Service, which has the power to make any man feel as powerful as Louis the XV. In a lightning round of grooming (35 minutes) men receive a shampoo, conditioning treatment, haircut, hot towel facial, manicure, shoeshine, and a beer or beverage of their choice.
Play the Game
Come to You NYC, a mobile hand and foot spa, makes house calls and office visits to its desk-jockey clientele. With a menu intended to appeal to men’s special vanities (services have names like the rainmaker, the CEO, and The Busy Executive), owner Tamika Hardy packs each service with special touches the Player Foot Treatment was created with basketball great Michael Jordan in mind. Commencing with a Balinese tea tree foot bath to help prevent athlete’s foot, the service also includes an herbal foot and calf wrap, an invigorating mint calf and foot massage “to renew the aching feet of any warrior on or off the court,” and hand massage “to help you snatch that rebound.”
Luxury in Disguise
At the Cape Codder resort in Hyannis, Mass., they know how to put men at ease. Their men’s menu proudly declares “No feminine stuff here,” but hidden in the short service description of its pedicure is the secret to keeping their male clients happy. After their feet are soaked in a menthol solution and exfoliated, male clients can look forward to a leg and foot massage performed with warm mint oil. The scent is completely familiar to men (being so closely related to daily grooming products like toothpaste) so it doesn’t seem foreign or froufrou, but the sensation it gives the senses is divine.