Looking at life from a variety of angles helps us understand subjects precisely . As I wrote in the last issue of Spa Canada men are very different creatures from women. Exploring all the differences helps industry personnel and spa owners shape services and products to meet the ever increasing demand that men are placing on the industry at large. Simply by looking at the male body and comparing his aesthetic needs to hers will shed some light on how we can adopt change in order to invite a greater number of male clients to cross the spa threshold. Students of mine have asked, “what is so different with men when it comes to aesthetics?” The differences are numerous so let us have a look!
His Face: We shave, we have thicker skin, we age differently and we have to battle unwanted hairs. Forests of hair creep up into our ears and nose. Brows grow north and small hair build- up occurs around the eyes as the beard area grows away from its original pattern. Brow and hairlines can be blurred from their original definition due to new growth patterns. Furthermore, we have less skin care education and therefore need more assistance. The male client wants a more simplified approach.
His Body Hair: We have to clip and groom. We have to shape and shave and wax or have laser treatments. Men carry more hair producing hormones that affect growth. Moreover, we lose hair where we do want depreciation and gain hair where we never had it. Chest hairs become a battle zone and decisions have to be made regarding clipping or other depilation methods. Some men cannot or should not opt for chest waxing because this zone because of the hair mass. The irritations from this procedure may not justify the process. Men’s hair is generally larger in diameter which means hairs are stronger and grow deeper into the skin. Waxes used must be of a superior quality and have not only good strength but be designed to keep the large geography of his skin calm throughout the process. In my opinion BioLab of Montreal Canada has the most powerful and compliant waxes for men and provides choice mixtures in both the lukewarm and the hard wax family. Note that men need a more aggressive post-care treatment in order to avoid ingrown hairs and irritations. Men have such large areas that can be waxed that the body and the skin need particular attention.
His Back: When men are stressed the skin on the back and including his shoulders can show signs of acne with whitehead markings. Or, similarly and more irritating show small deeper red acne(ic) patterns which I call “stress acne” . It is a fact when men use steroids the back and shoulders are the first to break out. If you couple this with waxing back hair you have a set of different challenges than you would see with women. The post-wax treatment of his skin is critical. If traditional cream based or mineral oil based post -wax products are used this will undoubtedly undermine his skin recovery causing negative reactions. Research and development into replacing creams and oils with new serums and exfoliants is underway. *
His Fingers and Toes and even his Nose: These outer regions of the male figure must be addressed. Many men in spas find the hair on their hands unappealing . I have performed hair removal services for several clients who wanted their hands to look smooth and elegant when signing documentation in their professional duties. Perhaps during a pedicure he may not request nail polish but would like toe hairs removed for a cleaner look. Nose hairs can be very difficult to clip and or remove but there are special waxes and procedures to tackle this outer zone safely and effectively with minimal discomfort.
His Feet: Men have a greater disconnection with their feet than women due to what I refer to as the “front porch syndrome”. Boys rarely enjoyed the social interaction that girls did when discovering their feet at an early age. Girls got to paint and decorate their feet giving them a connection which leads to better nail hygiene. Manly feet tend to be heavier and larger but often have better skin and less muscular and skeletal issues related to poor shoe design.
When a male client walks into your establishment you and your staff must recognize and meet his unique aesthetic needs. Men and women share common traits but the aesthetic choices each gender faces are entirely separate. As we enter the 21st century our industry must realize that the geography of a man needs to be mapped in a special way. The purpose of a man’s journey is to make him as comfortable as you are in mapping his route through this industry. Once his requirements are recognized and acted upon he will find you to be his settled spa destination.
Edited by: Miss Phyllis Mary Bell Teacher Educator Ret.
Last month with the support of Spa Canada Magazine and BioLab of Montréal we launched the Male Waxing Survey. We invite you to join us in this investigation which will lead you to more information and you can even win one of our prizes, see the barcode below and download the survey or use the contact information below so we can get your opinions and input. Prize winners and results of the survey will be published in the January/Feburary issue of Spa Canada Magazine.
SEND us your name & EMAIL Address Here & we will send you the survey on-line.
( Prize winners & Survey Results to be made public at the end of the fall season)