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Suggest a couples' weekend at the spa to your guy and you may get an eye roll in return. But the truth is, more and more men are making manicures a mandatory part of their grooming routine. At the Trump Hotel Toronto, for instance, 50% of the spa’s client base is men. Maybe the problem is that men just don’t know what treatments to try and why. So we’ve decoded the mystifying spa menu, laid out some male grooming tips and identified the 5 beauty rituals every guy should try:
Male grooming tips: Manicure
Besides the face, hands are the most noticed thing on a person. Walk into a meeting or sit down on a first date with dirty, dingy fingernails and you’ll wish you’d had them buffed. “Nothing looks better than a man with well-groomed hands,” says Daphne Swenerton, director of spa operations at the Trump Hotel Toronto. “The skin on the hand ages quickly, denoting age spots and fine lines. Manicures not only help the nails but the rest of the hand. Exfoliators, skin brighteners and age spot lightening are also very popular.”
And guys: Don’t worry. When we’re talking manicures, we’re not talking nail polish so you can stop squirming. A manicure means you’ll have your nails filed nicely, the dirt underneath your nails cleaned out, hang nails removed and your nails will be buffed to a shine, says Shannon Seok, advanced spa therapist at Novo Spa in Toronto.
From massages to facials, we've got the low down on all the best male grooming tips on the next page...
Male grooming tips: Pedicure
Admittedly, most women get pedicures to get soft feet that are instantly sexy-fied with a swipe of nail polish. But there are also health benefits to getting pedicures for men and women alike. “Men often think the body ends at the ankles … not so!” says Swenerton. “The [foot is the] most forgotten part of the body that takes the biggest beating. Callouses and in-grown nail removal is important for the health of the foot,” she says. “During the cold season, the feet rarely get air, which can cause fungus. Pedicures are fantastic for the health of the feet.”
Male grooming tips: Massage
A massage should be an easy sell for a guy: Strip down and get rubbed down? Yeah, we thought you’d like that. “Relaxation is at the heart of massage,” says Tanya Grout, an RMT with Novo Spa. “It can lower the heart rate and fight stress by reducing cortisol and adrenaline levels. This is important for men [who face] high levels of stress in the workplace,” she says. “Positive touch increases a sense of well-being and the endorphins released also promote a sense of calm and peace. Endorphin release also contributes to decreasing pain and depression.”
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Aside from the feel-good benefits of massage, there are lots of practical, physical ways massage can make a man feel better. According to Grout, a massage can increase mobility of joints and help with arthritis pain, improve circulation, decrease anxiety, which helps to promote sleep and reduce insomnia, decrease headaches and boost the immune system.
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Male grooming tips: Facial
According to Seok, most men don’t get facials and worse, don’t even think they should. But guys, listen up: You don’t have the advantage of makeup to help you cover up blemishes and minimize lines on your face. And since your face is the first thing a person sees, don’t you want to put your best one forward?
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Today, spas offer specialized facial services for men’s skin, says Swenerton, that target razor burn and in-grown hairs from shaving. In a typical men’s facial, the skin is cleaned and exfoliated to remove dead skin cells, explains Seok, and blackheads are extracted, which she says most men have on their nose. The overall effect is a complexion that’s clean and revitalized.
Male grooming tips: Scalp treatment
Close your eyes and imagine a therapist’s hands gently massaging your scalp, starting at the roots of your hair and working their way across your temples, forehead and the back of your skull. If you’ve ever had one before, you know it’s heavenly. And if you haven’t… get thee to a spa. Now! Besides the relaxation benefits of a scalp massage, the treatment also stimulates hair follicles, which can slow down hair loss, making it a win-win treatment for any man.
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