Have you seen a rise in the number of men visiting your spa?
Yes, there has been a large increase in men visiting Man/Age Spa over the last year. I think this is not only because men want to look their best, but there has been a general acceptance of male grooming over the past few years – helped along by celebrities like David Beckham and George Clooney – which has taken any stigma away from being well-groomed. There has also been an increase in work pressure and stress-related illness – especially in this region – that has resulted in more men wanting to take time out with a relaxing massage or treatment.
So what are the most popular treatments?
There are two treatments that are equally popular. The first is the full body massage, which is very much in demand from those who do a lot of travel, as it’s the perfect way to relax and unwind. The second is the pedicure, which allows men to have a rejuvenating mini-foot massage in a short time and, of course, is especially good for those who spend a lot of time on their feet.
Do you think the male grooming business will ever rival the women’s beauty market?
Yes, I really do. Men are more aware than ever that most women expect them to partake of a certain amount of grooming – and it is now socially acceptable to do so. We find that there is growing competition between men to look their best and this has a certain influence with groups of friends who tend to visit the spa with increased frequency. Years ago a gentleman’s spa was viewed as a necessity – with shaves and haircuts being the more popular treatments – but these days it is seen as more of a [lifestyle choice], as is the case with women’s spas.
And what type of man visits the salon?
Those who know that first impressions count and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that they stand out from the crowd. In other words, hard-working men who are top of their game and really work on being the best.
Does this mean that men are becoming more insecure with their looks?
Insecure? No. But they are trying to be the best they can be. Since the recession we have seen that men are far more concerned with the way they look as the competition for jobs is far higher – to look your best often ensures that you perform at your best.
Finally, what treatment can you offer the average chap a little unsure of his looks – how would you transform him, and how much would that cost?
I would recommend a combination of a full body massage (60mins – Dhs320), and a Moroccan bath (60mins – Dhs250); this will totally rejuvenate the body, inside and out. A mani-pedi would also be essential: so many men who have this treatment for the first time are amazed at the transformation and vow never to let their nails return to the state they were on arrival! So, a Signature manicure (50mins; Dhs130), and pedicure (55mins;Dhs140).