Manicures, pedicures, facials and waxing, long thought of as a woman’s domain, are increasingly being seen as grooming services for men, according to local business owners. For reasons ranging from professional presentation to personal pleasure and comfort, a growing number of men are getting “manscaping” services. And for readers whose knowledge of waxing is based on the memorable scene in the movie The 40-Year-Old Virgin, rest assured, times have changed. New technology has improved the wax—it now removes unwanted hair without sticking to skin.
Culinary Manager and Head Chef Troy Sanchez says presenting a polished, professional appearance is a vital part of making a favorable first impression. “When serving food, clean, neat nails are a must.” Commonly used ingredients like balsamic vinegar can stain nails and cuticles, and frequent hand washing dries out his skin. Sanchez says nail treatments keep his hands stain-free and his skin hydrated and healthy. Pedicures are also a regular part of his maintenance routine since he’s on his feet all day. “A pedicure every two weeks removes callouses and keeps my feet comfortable.”
Leasing Sales Advisor Sean McGechie points out that grooming services have been common practice for executive men for many years. “Professional presentation and confidence help men look and feel their best.” Noting that taking care of one’s appearance can boost mental and physical well-being, McGechie says it’s a regular part of his maintenance routine. “I’ll go for a mani-pedi with a friend—or by myself. Either way, the massage and reflexology make me feel like a million bucks when I’m done.”
The male clientele at Waxing The City in Northfield is about 20 percent and growing, says owner Amy Meneses. “The demographics of the area, and the fact that Northfield is a destination for those living in adjacent neighborhoods, creates an ideal location for us.” She adds that with their gender-neutral lobby décor, the salon is welcoming for both men and women.
Scott Kolbe, owner of Hand & Stone in Northfield, echoes the importance of gender-neutral décor. “We know our male clients won’t feel comfortable in a space that is overly feminine. This is really the newest trend in salon and spa design.”
At Base Coat in the Stanley Marketplace, about 30 percent of the clientele is male, according to co-owner Tran Wills. “Many of our male customers are athletic and their feet take a beating when playing sports or working out. Taking care of active feet plays a big part in keeping them pain free and comfortable.” Gentle trimming and filing helps prevent painful ingrown toenails. Callouses and dry skin are gently removed, and massage enhances circulation and relaxation. Some men bring their daughters for a father/daughter spa outing, says Wills, adding, “It’s fun to see the younger girls enjoying time with their dads at the salon.”
Sahvia Collins, an esthetician for seven years, says men need skincare too, and she has a growing and loyal male clientele. “Facials condition the skin and reduce problems from irritants like ingrown hairs. Education about how to care for skin between visits is essential, and an emphasis on sun protection is as important for men as it is for women.”
Working with steam and grease in the kitchen, Sanchez says he also gets regular skincare and goes to the Emily Griffith Technical College Spa for facials, dermaplaning and back waxing. “They’re very focused on the hygiene and comfort of each client as they learn the skills they need to run a business.” And in addition to receiving wonderful services, he is supporting students as they train for their careers.