Four spas are ditching cucumber-infused Evian for “Monday Night Football,” hoping to prove that guys love to be pampered as much as the next girl.
“We discovered that only one-half of 1% of guys have ever been to a salon,” says former music-industry exec Topper Schroeder, co-founder of West Hollywood’s Gendarmerie. Launched last winter, it’s the veteran of this Y chromosome wave. “This is for the other 99.5%.”
Out to bite off some of that market share are the Shave of Beverly Hills, the Service Station in West L.A. and the Century City outlet of national chain the Art of Shaving, all of which opened in the last month.
“Men find it such a relief to be somewhere that caters to their sensibilities,” says Marnie Learner, executive director of the Shave. They have no desire to go out for “a mani” on their lunch breaks. So, at the Shave, a manicure is a “fingernail clip and clean.” And no one will get his back waxed; it’s called “sweater removal.”
“They’ve been going to women’s salons,” says Schroeder. “And they can’t wait to get out.”
Despite a dearth of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, about 30% of Gendarmerie’s business is women, a fact Schroeder attributes to the fairer sex’s ability to adapt to any environment. Other places, like the Shave, are a throwback to treehouses: No girls allowed.
“They flop on the chair and yell at the television,” says Schroeder. “Whether they like their haircut or not, they’re having a good time.”
9069 Nemo St.
Vibe: Gentlemen’s club with hardwood floors, fireplaces and leather chairs
Drink of choice: Wine and martinis served after 4 p.m (noon on Saturdays)
Bonus: Monthly poker nights
Signature treatment: I-derm deep ionization facial, which uses a low-grade galvanic current ($80/hour)
Celebrity following: Jason Priestly, Henry Simmons, Leslie Jordan (“Will & Grace”) and Olympic gold medalist Lenny Krayzelberg
2000 Cotner Ave.
Vibe: Le Mans pit stop meets James Bond hideout
Drink of choice: Full bar
Bonus: $1,000 members-only rooms
Signature treatment: Full-body massage ($80/hour) and hand/foot maintenance ($55)
Celebrity following: Too soon to tell
The Shave of Beverly Hills
230 S. Beverly Dr.
Vibe: Classic English barbershop in the tradition of London’s Taylor of Old Bond Street
Drink of choice: Scotch, whiskey and Guinness on tap
Bonus: “Monday Night Football,” cigar parties
Signature treatment: Shoeshine, haircut and signature “wet shave” ($100)
Celebrity following: Too discreet to divulge
The Art of Shaving
10250 Santa Monica Blvd.
Vibe: Old-world elegance; dark wood and leather; barbers wear traditional vests
Drink of choice: Teetotaling
Bonus: Other locations throw private parties for clients with local retailers.
Signature treatment: Hot towels, straight-razor shave, eight essential oils and massage ($55/45 minutes)
Celebrity following: Mark Wahlberg, Rudy Giuliani, Bill Cosby, Bruce Willis and Matthew McConaughey frequent stores in Miami and New York.