I Will Only Paint Your Nails If You Want Me To: Men And The Spa

Brown is the new black, beige is the new white, and men are the new women

– Jean Godfrey-June

There has been an obvious resurgence in popularity around men’s grooming over the past few years. Barbering being the most prominent. The image of the well trimmed man, the celebrity status of barbers, right to the man bun and the man braid.

Men’s fashion has also taken a huge upturn, with sites like Pinterest having a whole searchable section for it.

But what about the other parts?

We’ve all probably heard the term “manscaping” right?

Well, I was thinking about things the other day. You know simple things, like what have I done with my life? Am I going to finish my new blog on time? What am I going to write about? And then it hit me…

I AM a manscaper! So maybe I should share my perspective and experience on things.

Blog quote

I have waxed, lasered, shaved, manicured, pedicured, peeled, and preened many a man over the years. And have had a few very faithful male clients follow me from spa to spa to clinic. I have thoroughly enjoyed my male clients and have never had an incident that was uncomfortable or weird. I love the conversation and that they are generally super happy with their appointment, especially once they get the giggly questions out and realize that no, I will not do the following to you (unless you want me to):

  1. I will not apply makeup of any sort
  2. I will not make you choose from the new colours of the season and polish your nails with it
  3. I will not spray you down with perfume
  4. I will not shape your brows into that feminine arch
  5. I will not make fun or belittle you for not knowing that these things are not part of your service (I won’t do that ever)

Now, that said, I have had a few surprises over the years. Living in Calgary, I am used to a more conservative business type male client to which the above applies, so I tend to go about my business and sometimes forget to ask if they would in fact like polish or a bit of an arch. It is a pleasant surprise to me when it is asked for. Nothing crazy, maybe some black polish on the toes (thank you Chuck Liddell), maybe a soothing paraffin treatment, or some essential oils diffused to ease their day. It’s easy to forget that the spa and beauty world is no longer just for the ladies, and from what I have seen and heard from male clients us therapists need to wake up to that.

In my view there are two barriers holding more men back from entering the spa world. One, they think they will be made of fun of/less manly, and two, most (almost all) spa therapists are female and act weird about having a male client.

So, let’s stop the insanity. Our men deserve to feel good just like us, and we all know it feels great to go to the spa. Just because a guy is booked in with you does not mean he has an ulterior motive (I’m sure most men are really disgusted by the ones who do and have ruined it for them), it probably just means that he wants to chill or likes to take care of himself.

Now, let’s go back a paragraph or so and talk about this, where are the male spa technicians? I get asked this kind of question a lot, especially as an educator. Do you have male students in your esthetics programs? And the answer is yes, but really only a few. Have I seen an increase in this over the past decade? Well, yes I have.

Think of famous make up artists like Kevyn Aucoin. How did he do his training? Well, he went to beauty school that’s how. And a lot of award winning nail technicians are men too. How did they get there? They went to beauty school. And some of the best skin care therapists I have ever met are in fact men. Where do you think they had to go to learn the basis for that amazing facial? Simple, beauty school.

So guys, don’t be afraid to make that appointment. And don’t be afraid to ask all the questions you want before said appointment. There really are no stupid questions, and if someone on the other end of that call makes you feel like there are stupid questions, and you just asked one of them, then maybe you should take your money somewhere else.

Embrace the fact that you are of the male species, but that does not limit you to the box you have been told you have to live in. Life is short. Follow your passion. Or at least get that facial you’ve always been curious about.

Thank you pop culture for making it okay(ish) for the dudes again. Bro-tox, manscaping, and on and on, it all comes back to one thing:

We are all humans, and we deserve to feel good


Audrey Brown

No gimmicks. Just great education


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