Beauty for the Beasts

According to the International Day Spa Association, men make up 49% of spa clients and 65% of them say they use facial skincare products.

That’s right - MEN are making up almost HALF of the people that walk into spas! Great news for spa owners and independent professionals alike!

So, are men coming to your spa? Do you want them to be?

There are a few things to consider if you want to attract more male clientele to your business:

  1. Male skin is different than female skin - other than growing a full beard, there are differences to be aware of when treating men.

  2. Environment is key to making everyone feel welcome in a spa.

  3. Your services need to be clear and straightforward. Don’t make treatments sound complicated…even if it is complicated! ‘Plain and simple’ doesn’t mean it's basic.

First, what are the differences of male vs female skin?

According to the International Dermal Institute, male skin is 25% thicker than female skin & it thins gradually with age. Male skin also has greater collagen density, which helps create thicker skin - this is why men appear to age slower than women of the same age. The Stratum Corneum is thicker, sebum production is higher and men also sweat more Lactic acid than women, which could explain why male skin appears more hydrated than women.

So, how do you create an environment that is ‘guy friendly?’

Let’s talk atmosphere: Professional but casual appeals to most men, and including aromas of whiskey, bacon or woodsy musk would definitely be a plus. There are even some spas that have ‘guys only’ areas! Until recently, the majority of the spas atmosphere felt like ‘no-man’s land.’ Men have wellness goals of their own, so making them feel welcome in your spa is key to creating a returning client.

What treatments would men want?

While there are PLENTY of aesthetic treatments you could offer, just keep it simple. There’s a reason guys will buy the ‘5-in-1 cleanser, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, shave gel and hair growth’ product - its SIMPLE. They like to be told plainly what it does and how it helps. Consider bundling services that meet multiple needs of male skin…maybe a facial with eyebrow clean up, back waxing, or even with massages & stress relief services.

Microdermabrasion is a great treatment for men’s skin because it’s an aggressive dry exfoliation. It treats shaving irritation and softens texture, fine lines and wrinkles, and it feels like a ‘tough’ treatment. Massage and hair removal are probably the 2 gateway services to bring in male clients.

Choosing gender-neutral service descriptions or naming your treatments something like the ‘Y Chromosome Facial’ or the ‘Gentleman’s Facial’ and will make it easy for guys to choose a treatment tailored to their needs.

You got ‘em once, now how do you hook ‘em?

To gain a repeat customer, explain the facts. Statistically, people in general are more motivated by negative things and consequences more than rewards or positive motivation. When consulting your new male client, lay out the repercussions of neglecting themselves over time. What will their skin look like in 5, 10, or even 20 years down the road? Show them the hyperpigmentation that’s already on their skin with a Wood’s lamp, or photos of skin over growths due to lack of exfoliation. Then sprinkle in some of the positive benefits of taking care of their skin, highlighting the amazing results your services provide.

In the age of #metoo, trafficking and prominent men being arrested for soliciting sexual services at spas, how do you welcome men into your business & still feel safe?

Consultation visits and the intake process is your first opportunity to ask questions and get a feel for the new client. If you feel weird, go with your gut. Establish a plan to deal with clients who may make you feel uneasy. Print off your harassment policy and have every new client read and sign it. Even though signing something doesn’t guarantee someone will follow the policy, it is an effective deterrent. You may consider bringing in another person to help with the treatment, or hire a male employee if you’re able.

The stigma about men going to the spa has almost completely been rubbed away & has become a well-established part of the male wellness regimen. A good facial helps clear the mind, re-energize and destress both physically and emotionally, and every one deserves to indulge in self-care on the regular.

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash