They’re a bread-and-butter aspect of any day spa’s business, but attracting men to esthetic services requires a deft touch. The words that trigger women, for example, just won’t work with this half of the population.
What specific language best speaks to men?
Ramirez: Think neutral words. As much as I like the word ‘beauty,’ that will never work for guys. If you notice, many salons and spas are now using the word ‘grooming’ all over their ad campaigns—especially those that specifically target men. Men want to look and feel good without feeling like less of a man, so ‘natural’ is another word that works.
Komaiko: Men also don’t respond as well to the expression ‘antiaging,’ as they seem to prefer more direct, results-oriented words like ‘exfoliation’ and ‘cleansing’—you want to describe the actual purposes and processes that occur, rather than the larger concepts behind them.
What kind of man seeks facials?
Komaiko: In general, men who have women in their lives for whom such treatment is a basic aspect of self-care. Also, men who have to be in the public eye for their jobs in the arts and entertainment industries.
Patterson: Men who care about the way they look will spend money on grooming, especially if they have a wife or girlfriend who encourages them to take care of that unibrow or those ear hairs.
Knowlton: We’ve attracted males by donating spa gift certificates to local auctions that men tend to attend with their wives or girlfriends. Also, I’m the only spa owner in my local Business Networking International Group. I meet and tell plenty of fellow professionals about my business at our weekly meetings—it’s great for meeting new men and demystifying spa services such as facials.
Riego: The best way to reach men is through their wives, girlfriends, sisters and friends. Many men get their first taste of spa by accompanying another person, usually a woman. Couple’s facials aren’t a bad idea. But creating an environment and some promotions that will also make men comfortable coming in on their own is the key.
How can a pro avoid turning off male clients during facial services?
Ramirez: Men seek knowledge and experience without the ‘motherly touch.’ Some female estheticians like to lecture their customers about their lack of skincare regimen at home—and guys don’t respond well to that. Any hint of judgment from their service provider, and they will not return for follow-up appointments. Men still make many grooming mistakes at home, and as grooming experts, our job is to guide and educate—not embarrass or punish—them. So I don’t get into that mom or dad role; I’m more like their buddy.