September 11, 2007
Metrosexuals, move over. The burly, macho men of Colorado Springs are barging in on your territory. “Manscaping” — the art of transforming men’s hairy bodies into something manageable — is not just for frou-frou, fastidious guys anymore.
Neither are soft cuticles, flawless skin or pedicures. The guys who are visiting spas these days range from preteens to great-grandpas and come from all walks of life: the military, business — even trucking. Yes, truck drivers. Among them is 50-year-old Jim Ward of Colorado Springs. “I’m a truck driver, and I don’t want to look like one,” said Ward, who gets his back and chest waxed at Aspen Salon on Tejon Street. “It’s just something I wanted to get done so I would be a little bit cleaner on the road.” Apparently a lot of other guys want to clean up as well. Men account for 31 percent of spa-goers across the country, up from 29 percent in 2004, according to Debra Locker, public relations director at the International Spa Association. Unlike Ward, however, most men have to be dragged in by the hair of their backs (thank you, girlfriends and wives) for their first service. But local spa operators say men are apt to come back on their own once they experience the potpourriscented, tranquil back rooms of a day spa. “Once you get them hooked, they’re your best customers,” said Ella Stimpson, director at the Spa at the Broadmoor. Stimpson estimates that 35 to 38 percent of her clients are male, up from 30 percent a year ago. “Women have tended to take care of themselves more, but (with) the whole metrosexual movement, men are starting to think, ‘I’ve got to be more proactive, too,’” she said. “Those guys understand what a business advantage it is to have well-groomed hair, well-groomed nails.” The manscaping trend has grown to the point where Aveda salons have had to clear some of their shelves for a new men’s hair-care line that managers say they can’t keep in stock. “All of our products are natural, plant-based products, but you know, men don’t want to smell like rosemary mint,” said Rebecca Pribble, manager at the Veda Salon & Spa on North Academy Boulevard, which carries Aveda products. “These are tailored more for a man’s use.” Most spas have started to offer men’s packages such as Aspen Salon’s “Macho Man” package, which includes a facial, massage and haircut for $201. Other local spas offer similar packages or have unisex services. However, most men opt for just one service at a time — usually a massage. A deep-tissue, put-your-all-into-it kind of massage such as the Ashiatsu offered at The Broadmoor. It consists of 70 minutes of a massage therapist walking on your back. The service runs $185. “Men tend to think ‘No pain, no gain,’ so they really like that deep, hot treatment,” Stimpson said. Typically, a man’s venture into pampering begins with a massage, then moves into manicures, pedicures, waxing and facials, which are becoming just as popular, local spa operators said. “I think they’re just tired of dealing with their stress,” said Marti Jackson, hairstylist and color specialist at Ofelia’s Salon and Spa. “I think they just like being pampered more.” Or their significant others insist on it. Randy Hansen, a 55-yearold Colorado Springs Internet entrepreneur, said he has his back waxed and ear and nose hair pulled every three weeks to stay well-groomed for his girlfriend. “When I was dating back in the ’80s, most of the women I dated were just crazy about hairy guys — not like Bigfoot hair, but you know,” Hansen said. “Now it seems like they want no hair.” He first started waxing at Ofelia’s on Centennial Boulevard about a year ago. He swears waxing isn’t as bad as it seems (note to hairy guys out there), but the first time was a little nerve-racking. “I had seen that one scene in ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin,’” he said. “My back was not that bad, but I just had visions of screaming like that.” But it wasn’t that bad (well, it got better), and the girlfriend approved. Big plus. “The big thing is that . . . people are realizing that grooming isn’t taboo anymore,” said Ward, who has been getting waxed for about six years. “This is kind of a new thing for males.” So, all you macho men out there, try a little manscaping — if not for yourself, for the rest of us. CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0152 or firstname.lastname@example.org