The spa world has manned up and now most spas offer as many as half of their treatments especially for men. From sports massages to men’s facials, to luxurious couples’ retreats it is no longer a female-only market. And to tell you the truth, ask any man whose had the luxury of going to the spa and he’ll tell you that he’d be back again in a flash. Yes, even the Lagosian ‘macho’ men will admit.
It doesn’t have to be that men have to slip off their masculinity to put on the fluffy bathrobe. Pampering oneself never used to be exclusively female. Roman spas were frequented by men daily and male grooming was not just accepted but necessary. Even today, bath houses or hammams dominate the Middle East over and remain a part of the cultural fabric for male grooming.
In the West, according to Conde Nast Traveler magazine, 35% of spa goers are in fact male, and that number will surely increase in coming years.
The rise in take up of men’s spa treatments is probably attributable to the rise in popularity of male grooming and men’s beauty products. According to one survey in the UK, 42 per cent of men now actively use moisturiser on a daily basis. The ‘metrosexual’ male is no stranger to Lagos either. Look around and you see men, of all walks of life, with perfectly groomed hair lines and manicures. It is no longer seen as ‘un-manly’ for a man to take care of himself- in fact, women are becoming more discerning about noticing the man who has made an effort into making himself look good. Women have come to realize that they don't need to settle for a man with out-of-control eyebrows, overly hairy chests, and dirty toenails.
"A lot of that has to do with spas being much more open and catering to men, changing the services menu a little bit, changing the fragrance that they're using of essential oils, changing what magazines are in the men's relaxation areas," Lynn McNees, President of the International Spa Association, said. "Spas have become much more men-friendly."
Most spas also have a menu of treatments specifically catering to men, providing deep-muscle "sports massages," a "sports buff manicure" and yoga. The treatments on offer seem to be positioned towards "necessity" rather than "luxury," "therapy" rather than "pampering." Massage therapy, for example, is being touted as a basic physical necessity rather than a luxury.
Facials, manicures, pedicures, and foot massages are among the most popular men's spa treatments and while these can be considered cosmetic, they are more about the necessary care your skin, nails and body require.
Popular spa retreats in Lagos such as Barazahi, BNatural spa and Clear Essence have already ‘manned up’ and joined the 21st century of offering not only exclusive men’s spa treatments but also men’s getaways and whole weekend retreats, so go on men, book yourself a manicure, don the fluffy bath slippers, let your hair down and enjoy!
Suddenly the music gets louder and all the waiters stop what they are doing and begin clapping...