Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=163066
Story Retrieval Date: 11/23/2014 10:00:25 AM CST
Does it seem odd? It might, but it shouldn’t, even though getting a manicure and pedicure has been a practice traditionally associated with women. No more.
An increasing number of men are having their nails done, day spa operators here have observed.
“Men are realizing that with the issues of cleanliness, with the issues of grooming, they should really feel better about themselves by engaging in different self-care practices and manicures and pedicures are definitely a part of that,” said Stacy Levy, spa director at Exhale Spa in the Gold Coast..
Levy also noted that men are taking more pride in how they look and are making an extra effort to improve their appearance by adding spa treatments to their grooming routine. The numbers back up her assertion. The International Spa Association reported in 2006 that 31 percent of males were spa-goers, up from 23 percent in 2004.
In Chicago, the demand for day spas specifically for men has risen.
“In our market, that’s our main demographic and we’ve been very successful,” said Mitchell Drinkard, spa director of Sir Spa in Andersonville. “In the last 3 1/2 years, we’ve had a client base of over 7,000 people so I think it was a need that had not been tapped into. We rode on that influx so once we opened up this establishment, gentlemen jumped at the opportunity to come and have a place to call their own.”
Although Sir Spa does offer services to women, most of its clients are men. Iit’s clear when visiting the establishment that it aims to have a masculine look and feel to it with its brick walls and wood floors. Even the names of Sir Spa’s treatments have a unique twist.
“We don’t even call them manicures or pedicures here,” Drinkard said. “We call them hand and foot details to play up more towards the aesthetic of a guy doing those treatments versus a manicure and pedicure or anything like that. We don’t offer any polish; it’s just the basic cut and grooming, clipping, and the buff of the nails.”
Is the stigma of guys getting manicures and pedicures disappearing?
"I think it is,” said Drinkard. “That’s part of what our whole demographic is here at the spa. We are primarily a men-only luxury spa so as far as ours goes, we cater to the guys wanting a simple in-and-out treatment but still very well done so there’s not lots of lotions, not lots of fragrances, just a basic manicure and pedicure that we offer.”
Levy agreed: “I think it’s definitely starting to go away. I think in the past couple of years it’s become more mainstream for men to get those services.”