Time was, the majority of men wouldn’t set foot in a day spa, uncomfortable with the idea of getting pampered and embarrassed by the thought of being seen receiving a service other than a massage. But today’s 21st century guy—driven by the rise of more confident millennials and businessmen—has no qualms about doing what’s best to look good, and hair removal services in particular are more popular than ever.
In fact, the influx of male clientele at New York City-based DAPHNE Studio has noticeably increased business and overall revenue, says master esthetician Gunna Covert. The spa features a separate menu dedicated to men’s hair removal from areas including the back, shoulders, chest, arms and brows, as well as Brazilian services and maintenance. But a men’s menu is just one way that spas can attract guys seeking hair removal; read on for more tips on making the most of manscaping services.
Men’s hair removal concerns—like women’s—span the entire body, and guys will typically return after having experienced the results. Shia Noth, master esthetics instructor and spa creator at Glow Med Spa in Richmond, Virginia, has seen an increased number of male patrons in recent years. The spa offers chest, ear, nose and leg waxing for men, but Noth notes that the most common initial booking tends to be a back and shoulder wax. “Once they come in, we get them interested in the nose wax. A lot of men think it’s a painful service, but they barely feel it,” she reports. “After that, it becomes an addiction.”
Erin Molyneaux, owner and advanced esthetician at Phiz Spa in Salem, Oregon, says the majority of men come in for brow, nostril and ear hair removal, but more recently she’s noticed a growing trend of those who want back hair removed—and even a Brazilian. “For the brows, nostrils and ears, we opt for hard wax as it fits more easily in those smaller areas,” she says. “We often perform sugaring services to remove body hair: back, chest, arms, legs and ‘bro’zilian. The paste—made of sugar, lemon juice and water—is antibacterial, hypoallergenic and biodegradable, and you can apply it in the direction of hair growth to minimize discomfort.”
Keep in mind that many men may not realize that waxing or sugaring will cause their hair to grow back slower and softer—a major selling point. To ensure these clients are well informed, Covert explains to them that methods like shaving cut the hair bluntly off at the surface, resulting in quick regrowth and often irritation. “On the other hand, sugaring and waxing remove hair from the root, drastically delaying regrowth and weakening hair follicles over time, which causes the hair to grow back thinner, finer and more sparse,” she tells them. “Although shaving may seem easier and more convenient, the benefit of investing a little more effort into these professional services is better for the skin and follicles, causes no irritation, and requires less time spent altogether having to remove hair.”
As with any hair removal client, men are typically nervous their first time. That’s why techs at Glow Med Spa make an effort to talk to them nonstop during
the service. “Our goal is to keep our clients engaged or, better yet, laughing so they’re not focused on the waxing,” says Noth. In fact, there are a number
of techniques that estheticians can employ to help manage a guest’s pain—and the less painful the service, the higher the likelihood that he will come back. “The way a technician pulls the strip of wax off can make the difference between a seemingly painless service and that scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin—it’s all in the pull,” notes Noth. Meaning, if the tech stays within a half-inch of the body and the pull is swift, the client will barely feel it. She suggests hard wax for smaller or more sensitive areas, as it causes less irritation by adhering to just the hair, not the skin.
Hair Removal Products
Unsurprisingly, most men find out about hair removal services from a woman they know, be it a spouse, relative or friend. “The best marketing is word of mouth, but it’s different with men because they aren’t talking about this; most don’t discuss grooming habits with their friends,” says Molyneaux. “Women, on the other hand, will see our offerings and tell others— that’s what gets men in the door.” For example, if a female client mentions the hairiness of her partner, Molyneaux invites her to bring the guy in, sometimes with a special first-timer deal.
Meanwhile, Covert notes that offering a male-specific menu online—with detailed descriptions of each service—helps them feel comfortable asking questions and encourages them to book an appointment targeted to their needs. “Putting treatments like hair removal on a men’s menu takes away the stigma of having to ask if it’s offered at all,” she says. “As they get more acquainted with the spa, they become better educated and more willing to invest in wellness and grooming services and products.”
What’s most important is clearing up the mystery for male clients; there’s still not enough conversation or social awareness about the positives of professional hair removal, says Molyneaux. “Men are usually most concerned about pain and embarrassment. It’s not a common experience for them to be exposed in this way,” she explains. “But they come in curious and leave with answers, feeling more comfortable and looking better—which only helps increase business.”
–by Keith Loria
This story first appeared in the March issue of Dayspa magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.