The percentage of men getting nail services in the United States has actually decreased in the last few years, according to the NAILS Big Book, dropping from 8.3% of your overall clientele in 2009 to the present 3%. Luckily, Father’s Day provides an excellent way for you to offer services specifically for male clients and maybe even an opportunity to turn them into regular customers. Here are some examples of how nail salons are marketing to male clients.
CleanSpa director Denise Baich gives a client a CleanSpa Pedicure for Men while he reclines in a zero-gravity chair.
CleanSpa Pure Pedicure Salon
CleanSpa Pure Pedicure Salon in Chesterfield, Mo., opened at this location in February 2012 and had its first Father’s Day special in June of that year. The event was a great way for CleanSpa to promote its special CleanSpa Pedicure for Men, which was offered in a discount package.
CleanSpa director Denise Baich says of the event, “We had quite a few wives, daughters, and sons who treated their father’s feet for Father’s Day, and we plan on doing a similar offer this year. We noticed a large increase in our male clientele after Father’s Day and they continued to trickle in throughout the year.”
Originally started by a podiatrist and his wife, the spa focuses on top-quality foot care, and has designed its newest location in Chesterfield to appeal both to men and women. “We believe in expert nail care with peace of mind for all,” says Baich. “Frequently our female clients will be enjoying their service and pronounce, ‘My husband would so enjoy coming here for a pedicure.’”
Baich says the most popular services for men are the CleanSpa Pedicure for Men, Pedi On the Go, Thai Reflexology, and lower leg massage. “We see great diversity in our male clientele,” she says. “They range from teenagers to men in their 90s, and we have quite a few businessmen who join us for services as well as those who work long hours and are hard on their feet.”
Rinda Billings performs a spa pedicure on Kip Carter, who has been a client for 18 months. Billings was inspired to start offering men’s services by a long-time client who wanted to get a gift certificate for her husband for Father’s Day. Billings created a private area for him and bought his favorite brand of beer to make sure he came in to redeem it.
Acappella Hair Design and Color Studio
Nail tech Rinda Billings has been offering her own Men’s Pedi for 10 years, which includes complimentary pretzels and beer. Her latest home salon recently held its first men’s night trial run, and the results were so successful that they are going to recreate it for Father’s Day this year. The event offered mini pedicures and manicures for a specially priced inclusive deal for the guys. “We offered pizza, beer, and wings,” says Billings, “And we had a raffle from local men’s-related businesses. We had a motorcycle on display from The Chopper Gallery in Old Town Temecula, and even had the local smoke shop come in and set up a mini shop. The staff even ‘vamped it up’ a little for the occasion. The guests loved it so much that we had to recreate something like it for this upcoming Father’s Day.”
Billings has a diverse male clientele that generally falls within the 30-50 years old category. “I see businessmen a little more than the others,” she says. “And I generally see men who care more about their appearance who are looking to do a little something for themselves — men who need a little escape and stress relief.”
[left] Client Mr. Roger has been coming in for four years. Before he started getting pedicures he used to cut his toenails with a pair of pliers [right] Brenda McCormick (left) and Rosemary Ladd (right) pose with client Mr. Greene, a regular at Creative Nails’ special men’s night on Mondays.
Creative Nails by Rosemary/A Nu Look Studio Nail and Spa
Rosemary Ladd says client Mr. Roger first started coming in for pedicures after one day he had scratched his big toenail against his leg so badly that he started to bleed. “I don’t know why it’s so hard to get some guys to come in,” laughs Ladd, “because once they do it they’re in love with it.”
Ladd had noticed throughout her nail career that a lot of guys just felt uncomfortable when it came to getting nail services in a salon if there were women around. And since most salons are full of women, these guys just never even gave it a try.
But call it gender role stigma or what have you, when Ladd began hosting an exclusive men’s only night in her salon, the guys started showing up faithfully. “We save Mondays for the guys,” says Ladd. “And we usually have a football game on, or some type of sports, or we’ll have an old black and white movie — some of the older guys like that.”
The night currently gets about seven regular clients on Mondays, many of whom had never tried a pedicure before. “Mr. Greene just recently started getting pedicures,” says Ladd. “He is 70 years old and had never tried one before. He’d say, ‘that’s just for girls,’ but now that he’s tried one, he loves it. He comes quite regularly, usually about every three weeks.”
Ladd offers a Sports Pedicure on Mondays for $35, which includes toe trimming, cuticle care, scrub exfoliation, massage, and a warm towel wrap. “I even have one guy that likes to have his toes painted the same colors as his favorite sports team.”
Melissa Stephens, here with client Ron Oates, says, “I think guys are coming around to the same realizations that women have had for a while now. That having neat hands, nails, and groomed cuticles shows you care enough to take care of yourself and makes you feel more put together.”
Haute Pink Nails
Melissa Stephens always had a strong male clientele, but never worked at a salon that had any services geared specifically to the fellas. So when she started Haute Pink Nails, she wanted to make sure guys knew that it was not just a girls’ salon.
“I think more and more men are becoming conscious of taking care of themselves,” says Stephens. “And for a vast majority of them, manis and pedis have become a big part of that.”
Each of Stephens’ services has a name that somehow incorporates the name of the salon, (like the Haute Mess Pedicure, Pretty in Pink Manicure, and the Pink Me Up). Her services for men are the Real Men Wear Pink Manis and Pedis. “They don’t get pink nails,” says Stephens, “but by naming it ‘Real Men Wear Pink’ it’s stating that these guys aren’t afraid to get in touch with their fun, fabulous side.”
She uses mildly scented products that are aggressive enough for the guys’ rougher skin, but can work for even the most sensitive skin.
“One time, a guy wanted us to paint only his big toenail bright aqua blue because he wanted to show his daughter proof that he actually went to get the pedicure she gave to him as a gift certificate.”
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