Once considered primarily for women, men are finally figuring out what they’ve been missing at the spa.
It’s not surprising that the spa is no longer the domain of women looking for pampering. Today, the spa is a result-driven wellness center that, according to the International Spa Association (ISPA), attracts nearly as many men as women. However, when it comes to their approach to the spa, there is still a battle of the sexes.
The Phoenician Spa
“Men want services they know will fix a problem, whether that’s muscle knots or an injury,” Stevie White, spa director of CIVANA in Arizona, said, “whereas women often come to relax or socialize with friends.”
It’s no surprise then that massage remains the treatment of choice for men. ISPA’s recent spa survey found that 64 percent of male spa goers select massage, with the next most popular option being skin services at 25 percent.
Traditionally, men have gravitated towards deep-tissue and sports massage, but with many spas offering much more robust, therapeutic menus, there are new appealing options.
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A CBD massage, like the ones offered at The Phoenician Spa in Phoenix or The Grapeseed Spa at Southcoast Winery Resort in Temecula, are great options for men. The massage is customized in terms of pressure, and the addition of CBD helps to reduce inflammation and muscle tension, adding to the therapeutic nature of the treatment.
With their problem-solving approach, services like the Neuromuscular Massage at Joya Spa in Phoenix appeal to male spa goers. The treatment uses specific techniques to address structural and postural issues while also relieving soft tissue trigger points and knots.
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Most men are very open to learning about how to make their skin look the best it can be, and they want guidance, advice and regular facials, as well as great products to use at home.
Joya Spa at Omni Resorts Montelucia
While facials still remain a distant second to massages for men, according to spa directors, the interest in skincare is growing.
“In the last two to three years, I’ve seen a pick-up in men booking facials,” White said. “Once they get in, they realize how much they didn’t know about skincare and what they should be doing. It’s like a whole new world opening up to them.”
In fact, men are more open to product suggestions than women and make more retail purchases than their female counterparts.
“Most men are very open to learning about how to make their skin look the best it can be, and they want guidance, advice and regular facials, as well as great products to use at home,” Brian Cantor, owner of Paul Labrecque Salon and Skincare in Palm Beach, said. “Masking at home is now a guy thing to do while watching sports!”
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It makes sense that men, who are focused on results-based spa treatments, would start to gravitate towards skin treatments. Specific facials can be used to combat aging, acne, rosacea and even ingrown hairs.
“In the past, most men who visited a spa visited for a massage, which has long been the most popular spa service for both men and women. Now, more than ever, men have become more focused on self-care and wellness and are looking to improve their skin and body health,” Nancy Rodriguez-Falero, spa director at SiSpa at Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort, said.
“This trend has been clearly demonstrated, as we have seen a significant increase in the number of men booking our HydraFacial and Detox and Revive Envelopment treatments.”
And it seems like the desire to look young is trickling down to men. Medspas are gaining in popularity with treatments like Botox and laser fat reduction popular.
“Men are starting to care more about fine lines and wrinkles, as well as overall quality of their skin,” spa industry veteran Jim Croghan of Identity Hospitality said. “Social media and reality TV play a big role in the overall concern about appearance.”
Spas are seeing an increase in men coming in for spa salon services, ranging from hair removal to nail treatments.
“Men also head to spas for waxing services to get rid of unwanted hair and for specialty ‘man-scaping,’” Croghan said. “Men also enjoy shaving treatments that provide a close shave, while also treating the skin, reducing razor burn and other skin problems associated with frequent shaving.”
According to Cantor, they’re also seeing an uptick of interest in hair and scalp treatments to help prevent and fight hair loss.
Manicures, and especially pedicures, are also growing in popularity with men, as well as an increase in men spa salons.
CIVANA Wellness Resort & Spa
“So many times, a wife or girlfriend forces a guy to get a pedicure because he has rough feet, but they come out of it feeling like it’s the best thing ever and are usually the ones asking their significant other to come back,” White said.
According to Lindsay Griesbach, Director of Brand Development & Strategic Partnerships for HealthyLine, we can even expect a revamped men’s manicure using colored polish.
“Men have been wearing mostly clear nail polish for decades, but it’s apparent that colors will become more fashionable for men in the near future,” she predicted.
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It doesn’t matter our gender, but that we, as people, need to treat our bodies well if we plan to continue carrying the same expectations and demands of it.
Traditionally, for many men, their introduction to the spa is at the urging of a significant other, but that is starting to change, as well.
According to White, Baby Boomer men tend to fall into one of two camps: those that have already been doing spa treatments for years and those that want nothing to do with it. However, in her experience, Gen X men and younger males are much more open.
“The stigma of the spa as being for females isn’t there,” White said. “They don’t feel they need to defend their decision to get a massage or facial, and no one is dragging them in. They come in on their own.”
The change has come, in part, to gender blurring more and more throughout society in general, as well as the spa industry’s shift from treatments focused on external beauty to true therapeutic services that deliver visible results that appeal to men.
The Spa at Primeland
“I have learned that it doesn’t matter our gender, but that we, as people, need to treat our bodies well if we plan to continue carrying the same expectations and demands of it, “ Dani Clement, spa director at The Spa at Primland, said. “I think our culture, in a way, created an apprehension in the male gender that taking care of oneself is only for those who identify as female gender.”
Thankfully, the scope of self-care has definitely changed. Today, men are viewing massage as necessary bodywork and no longer see skincare as a feminine matter.
“Men have started to realize that they are also humans covered in skin that needs to be regularly detoxified and nourished,” esthetician Elina Fedotova</a said. “They also do not want sun damage to turn into serious health issues, and they want to use nourishing and protective skincare products to keep their skin healthy and looking good. Nowadays, men are ‘on trend’ if they look healthy, fresh, and happy.”
CIVANA Wellness Resort & Spa
AT THE SPA
When going to a men’s spa salon, they prefer to go alone or with a significant other. While women may grab their gal pals for a spa day, it’s rare to find men hanging with the guys at a spa.
Even alone, it’s rare for a man to spend the day at the spa. They tend to do their treatments and get out, with the exception being the use of a steam room.
“Men spend way more time in the steam room than women do,” White said. “It’s crazy how important that amenity is to men.”
According to the ISPA survey, the majority of men don’t have a gender preference for their therapist, but if they do, 36 percent will pick a female provider. Men also tend to spend less on spa services than women, with more than half capping treatments at $80.
“Men in the US have finally started to realize what they have been missing,” Griesbach said. “The stigma of men getting spa treatments has left the building, and men are starting to approach spa treatments in a similar fashion as women. In fact, don’t be surprised if male self-care enthusiasts fill up appointments for facials and massages this coming year.”