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Making Room for Men

By: Laura Root and James Mason
Posted: June 29, 2009, from the July 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
man getting a massage

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You need to think of guys as different, special and unique. You must adapt both your actions and reactions to the presence of men in these previously womanly spaces.

For example, there is really no justification for having a man undress for most services, especially strictly facial services, as they typically stop at the collarbone. For these treatments, men should be invited to wear street clothes except for the removal of a shirt and shoes, for which a substitute or appropriate draping can be offered. If he has a T-shirt on under his shirt, even better. Also, this is the type of discussion that should be had when the appointment is made to help reduce the stress level before arrival. Of course, education of your front desk personnel is imperative regarding these discussions.

If a guy client is getting a back facial, body services, waxing or some other treatment that requires a change, appropriate garments should be offered. Something like a knee-length robe or shorts would be a preferable to most men, and a dressing room should be offered, even if there’s only one for the whole men’s locker room. Guys have no problem stripping down in front of one another in a gym, but they have a big problem stripping down in front of other guys when they’re about to display what most consider to be their feminine side, which, in many cases, they’re not all that keen on displaying.

The bottom line is, this type of thing really depends upon the situation and your clients’ comfort level. If your guy clients feel more comfortable with their T-shirts and pants on, then accommodate them; otherwise, offer them a spa robe, towel or shorts, and let them choose. After all, they are the ones who are paying.

Setting the mood

There also is a trend to move people in and out of the treatment room between phases of service that require time. This idea does not work for men. They value stability and consistency, and moving them from room to room makes them doubly uncomfortable.