It’s All About Him

Gone are the days of embarrassed males attempting to appear nonchalant while sitting in women’s salons—swaddled in pink plastic capes and reading Good Housekeeping and Family Circle. Men’s spas are making the scene in a big way, and they’re here to stay.

Oh sure, quaint corner businesses with barbershop polesstill have their followings, but some men are abandoning those virgin-vinyl lift-chairs bathed in fluorescent lighting in favor of a gender-focused day spa.

These stylish gentlemen are demanding (and thoroughly enjoying) their own hip space in upscale havens, replete with comfortable leather chairs, ESPN on television, and the latest copies of Sports Illustrated and Cigar Aficionado.

No Girls Allowed

Men like to congregate in their own comfort zones at no-girls-allowed grooming facilities. While most male-oriented spas won’t turn away a woman in need of services, that’s clearly not their focus.

Be a hero and treat your favorite male to a stress-relieving, ego-boosting spa experience. Choose from relaxing massages, rejuvenating skincare, manicures (hold the polish?), and the latest haircuts. Here are three spots catering to men:

Knockouts Haircuts for Men (973-364-8100; opened in Roseland last May with a rugged boxing-themed décor and an experienced staff of female stylists.
Owner Robin Elliott began marketing to men and boys after noticing a trend over the last five years. “Men try to find salons that are not female-dominated. We offer flat-screens at each cutting station, and full-service haircuts with scalp massage, color (including gray camouflaging), sports massages, manicures, pedicures, and waxing,” she says.

Knockouts also delivers a strong punch with its Champion for the Day package that includes three hours of services for $200, tip included. “Quite a few wives and mothers purchase gift certificates, and they often specify the services they think their man needs. But many times the men come in with their gift cards, pleasantly surprised to see our menu of services, and they decide on something completely different. We offer them a lot of options,” says Elliott.

Very GQ

The Hoboken Man (201-610-0500;, one of the area’s newest male salons, opened its doors in October. It’s strategically located in the heart of Hoboken and caters to fast-paced urban professionals. Manager Heather Sarrecchia calls it an “old-school barber shop with a modern, classy twist.”

“We specialize in anti-aging facials and also back facials that include a massage. Because men perspire a lot when they exercise, the pores on their backs often become clogged. They appreciate a thorough back facial because our deep cleansing and exfoliation are perfect for that hard-to-reach area. We also have a big calling for straight-razor shavesby those who don’t want a five-o’clock shadow,” says Sarrecchia. Clients are quite content relaxing in this man cave equipped with eight flat-screen TVs, cushy chairs, and complimentary beverages—as they scoop up fancy yearly memberships.

“Our platinum annual membership is $1,150 and includes unlimited haircuts and manicures, three precision shaves, three facials, three pedicures, and 15 percent off all other services,” says Sarrecchia. “Guys love to be pampered.”

Male Bonding

Marlene Habermann has been the spa director of Dieci Lifestyle Spa (973-716-0101, in Livingston since it opened fifteen years ago. “Our unisex spa and salon takes men’s grooming needs very seriously, so we offer a private locker room away from the women,” she says. Business is brisk, and Dieci plans to build a strictly men’s spa in 2010.

“It’s fun to see several big men all in the same
room having pedicures.”

“Men are just learning that there are alternative ways to de-stress other than bars and sports,” Habermann says. “We introduce them to new grooming experiences like alpha-hydroxy facials and deep exfoliation treatments. They very much enjoy wearing soft white robes and black slippers as we attend to their styling, haircolor, and shaving needs.”

Since men have rugged faces and skin abused by years of shaving, facials and hot towel treatments are popular at Dieci. And, of course, massages are high on just about every man’s wish list.

“A lot of big macho men come in for body massages. We have New Jersey Devils and Knicks players, once a son brought his dad in for a 60th birthday gift, and an entire holiday office party was hosted here—it’s fun to see several big men all in the same room having pedicures,” Habermann says.

“More and more, instead of hosting holiday parties at restaurants and hotels with lunch and drinks, businesses are treating their employees to a first-class spa experience. This trend is here to stay,” she says.

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Author: Issue: Nov/Dec 2009