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Looking for a Few Good Men

By: Troy Fairchild
Posted: October 17, 2008, from the November 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
smiling man with face cream

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First, one thing that scares off a great many men is not knowing what to expect. The gender of the therapist is always a concern to first-time male clients, as well as many female clients, so offer a choice when booking.

Another off-putting factor is men’s fear of flashing. Excepting the random nudist or exhibitionist, many men are charmingly shy about not wanting to get naked with strangers. Discuss the degree of disrobing required before beginning the treatment. Provide plush, microfiber or cotton, full-length robes with ample crossover in front. Furnish towels and blankets sized to manly proportions. Short-sheeting the bed may have been part of his boyish high-jinks back at summer camp, but men like to feel covered when they’re in a vulnerable position, such as sprawling out on a skin care treatment bed.

Men also have a distinct fear of looking goofy. There is no reason a male client can’t wear swimming trunks instead of the traditional treatment gown during a skin care service. And ditto that idea in regard to pulling hair away from the face. Supply a simple, dark hand towel to protect his hair instead of the bonnet-and-headband combo.

Some men are also worried about screaming like a woman or laughing because it tickles during a service. Dentists often report nervous patients erupting into peals of wacky laughter, followed by gales of tears. Who knew that a simple procedure could become such a catharsis? With this in mind though, men who saw the waxing scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin will never be the same. They do fear the idea of pain. The fact is, men enjoy extractions because this part of the treatment yields highly visible results. If he gets the giggles in anticipation, offer him a glass of water until it passes.

Yet another factor in men’s wariness of the spa is a fear of entanglement. Keep the transaction snappy and to the point. Microservices that address one issue only, such as treating a sudden blemish before a big meeting, can clearly send the message to a hesitant male client that professional skin care need not become a huge drain of energy, time and cash.