Since opening a male-centric spa this past year (The Shays Lounge), my staff and I are really enjoying meeting more male clients and listening to their questions and concerns about their spa experiences, which are about hair removal more than anything else. I’m shocked and dismayed at some of their stories, and I want to share some with you all so that perhaps we can turn some things around and ensure that men are treated with as much dignity in the waxing room as women are.
- At least three or four of our male clients who requested bikini waxes have left an establishment where estheticians have laughed at them, pointing out how much hair they have and even worse have overheard staff talking about their penis. You might laugh at this, but I think it’s pretty tacky.
- Advertisements in shop windows or on websites insinuating that you’ll have better sex as a result of a wax is not really a false claim, but hair removal (which dates back to Cleopatra) was founded on the basis of cleanliness, not whether your sexual partner will desire you more or would prefer you hairless. Advertising that body/pubic hair is unsexy or abnormal sends the wrong message to consumers. I would never refer my young daughter or her friends to a place that marketed sex or that hair is revolting.
- Male clients have told me that they feel unwelcome at certain establishments because the female esthetician was obviously uncomfortable in a waxing room alone with a man. I understand this a little. In all of my years working in the spa industry I have had two uncomfortable experiences with male clients. I’m up front with all clients that neither I nor my staff will tolerate any bad behavior. I actually spell it out on my website. Any client who behaves in a way that makes anyone on my staff feel uncomfortable is asked to leave and may not return. But let’s not allow a very small handful of people to ruin it for everybody else.
Male clients will be able to sense from the outset (i.e. booking) whether the establishment will treat their service request with dignity. From the front desk to the technician to anyone else working there, refrain from commenting on services or discussing appointment requests. You never know who might be listening – a potential client, the wife or partner of a client, etc. That gossipy type of behavior sets the wrong tone for a spa looking to attract male clientele.
It is crucial that waxers are properly trained on how to perform services on men. Proper training will lead to confident and empowered estheticians who will create a loyal following of male clients who return again and again for great services.
While it can be difficult to find opportunities for training for male services, the resources are out there including through Queen Bee Academy live training (email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org) or via our Male Brozilian Training video available on this website.
Although I’m British, I’m not a prude. But how on earth can we as estheticians even begin to be regarded seriously by the public when we portray our services in a perverse and sexualized manner? We are service providers and we are professionals – let’s clean up our act and ensure that all who enter our treatment rooms get the quality of service they deserve and for which they are paying us good money!