Profiles

On the Road: Metro for Men, Irvine, Calif.

Tim Crowley visits a California salon designed just for men.

Irvine, Calif. — Tim Crowley, Assistant Editor — First times are always a little special, and pedicures are no exception. I just got my first pedicure at Metro for Men in Irvine, Calif., and I’m sure I won’t soon forget it.

Metro for Men is a full grooming salon that targets guys, offering hair, nail, and body grooming services to a working professional clientele. The decor emits a modern and upscale barbershop feel, with hardwood floors, leather chairs, and multiple flat-screen TVs.

The salon was relatively busy even though it was close to closing, and knowing it catered exclusively to men made me feel more comfortable. I’ve never been one to take good care of my feet, and I was self-conscious about having someone work in such close proximity to the gruesome twosome. Luckily, my nail tech Marcia Johnson told me they weren’t as bad as I thought — the complimentary beer also helped.

Metro for Men offers all the amenities a man could need. There is a cigar humidor, a locker room, cold beverages, and the flat-screen TVs are strategically placed throughout the salon to offer clear views from every area. As owner Krista Martin says, “At Metro, we like to say we speak male, think male, and know male.”

As Marcia began the service, I noticed that instead of a classic pedicure throne, Metro opted for a large leather chair that had been raised so a portable basin could be placed in front. I also noticed that the pedicure products were all gender-neutral in scent and appearance.

As Marcia filed down some calluses, my ticklish nature broke the ice into some good conversation. Marcia splits her time between Metro and another nearby salon that caters to female clients, and she enjoys the differences in both. “It’s interesting to see the differences in how men and women view similar services,” she said. “A lot of times my guy clients will just go to sleep in the chair. But the women tend to talk more.”

This pedicure cemented for me how enjoyable manicures and pedicures can be, and I can better understand now why regulars continually come in for services. Whether it’s a woman’s bi-weekly fill or a man’s monthly pedicure, it just feels good to be able to relax in the hands of a professional who enjoys what she does.

I looked down at my finished feet and nodded in approval. I don’t think my feet have ever been that smooth, but I’m sure they will again — after my next appointment.

Keywords:   full-service salons     male clients     men's services     niche marketing     On the Road     salon decor/design     salon profiles  

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