“Pass the cucumber water, bro.” The clientele at spas just isn’t what it used to be. Long the domain of weary moms and giggling bridesmaids, spas are swiftly becoming guy territory too. Though male-centric spas aren’t the norm yet, one oasis in Woodbury is actually gentlemen-only. And more spas on Long Island are extending offerings geared towards men—whether they’re being dragged in by their ladies or they are among early devotees.
Hands On HealthCare Massage Therapy and Wellness Day Spa
208 and 210 Commack Rd, Commack
This day spa has a section especially for male clients with gender-neutral colors and furnishings. And the services go way beyond Swedish massage. The “Knot So Basic” session includes 50 minutes of deep tissue massage imparted by bare feet, aromatherapy and lavender and chamomile tea bags for the eyes. Why barefoot? The amount of even pressure applied to the body in barefoot massage is hard to match with the hands. Since the foot is bigger, a larger area can be stimulated and the pressure held for a longer period of time.
Jeffrey Buser of Islip is a fan. “I decided to try the barefoot massage, though I was hesitant. But my back was in bad shape. It really made a difference.” Buser, whose job requires hours of sitting as well as some heavy lifting, has gone back twice since. Another popular option, especially as a gift, is “The Works,” which includes a hot and cold stone massage, mango or cranberry aromatherapy, an “I Wanna Be Sedated” scalp massage and a warm paraffin foot dip to energize overworked feet.
18|8 Fine Men’s Salon
8285 Jericho Tpke, Woodbury
Like a club for the well-groomed, this just-for-men salon serves refreshments, including draught beer. Other unique features include bachelor party packages and a VIP Membership program. The latter gives a full year of discounts on specialized services including hair-loss preventative treatments, ear and nose waxing and the MAN-icure and pedicure combo. Michael Lombardi of New Hyde Park always wanted to try a pedicure, but “felt funny” baring his size 13 feet in his local nail salon full of women, including customers who lived in his neighborhood. His sister-in-law suggested he try 18|8 and he found a comfortable, relaxing environment.
Blue Water Spa
21 West Main St, Oyster Bay
This swanky retreat draws plenty of dudes. While the spa offers them everything from hair removal to massage, anti-aging treatments are the most popular. Blue Water offers Dermapen to remove scars and wrinkles, diamond microdermabrasion to gently remove dead skin and a Purigenex Collagen Treatment. The mask is formulated to undo sun damage and resulting discoloration. John Koehler of Plainedge, an avid fisherman since his teens, gave it a go. “When I was younger, I wasn’t so careful about the sun. At 42, it’s starting to show. I’m fair, so I started to feel a little self-conscious about it.” Did he think twice about going to spa? “A little… I wasn’t expecting much, but I enjoyed it. Plus I saw an improvement.”
Center for Pain Relief and Wellness
80 West Main St, Babylon
George Amorosi of Babylon is a pretty typical Long Islander. Married. Kids. Commutes to Huntington. Loves the beach. But what most might not know is that Amorosi is a regular at this unpretentious village shop. And he’s not alone…half of its clientele are men. Amorosi’s go-to is the Gentleman’s Hot Towel Face Treatment. “My skin tends to be sensitive. Sometimes it gets irritated from shaving or wind after an afternoon of crabbing with my kids. This facial is really soothing,” he said. Also popular with male clients, the deep tissue massage focuses on tendons and ligaments to hasten recuperation from common sports injuries.
Red Door Spa
1399 Franklin Ave, Garden City
Even this long-time favorite of Long Island ladies has opened its doors to their husbands and brothers. Exclusively using Art of Shaving botanical products for face treatments, Red Door also offers a premium gentleman’s pedicure that includes a lower leg massage, an innovative back or chest hair removal treatment that combines waxing with threading and a “Back Facial” based off of the regular facial. Among the familiar faces here is Rob Roseman of Long Beach. His wife gave him a gift card for his birthday and he wound up getting not only the massage she picked out, but a mani-pedi right alongside her. “When I first opened the present, I thought ‘Okaaay…’ But it was great.” Rumor has it the couple have made the treatment a monthly ritual.