Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Here Come the Groomed

Posted on

Two guys walk into a joint and ask for…a microdermabrasion? These days, that’s not the start to a bad joke. “Men look in the mirror every bit as much as women do,” declares Manhattan plastic surgeon Gerald Imber. “We just make sure the door is closed.” Not anymore. Men whose dads drew the line at Aqua Velva and a styptic pencil are signing on for pedicures, eyebrow-shaping, even body-hair waxing. Men now account for about 25 percent of all spa visits, sales of men’s skin-care items have risen 10 percent in each of the past five years (to $79 million), and spas are not only increasingly marketing to men but catering to them. Male-only spas include the Grooming Lounge in Washington, D.C., where the waiting room serves beer and ESPN. The trend “is an extension of dress-for-success,” says Michele Probst, founder of Menaji, one of a handful of companies now offering makeup—that’s right, makeup—for men. “It’s about putting your best face forward.”

Preferably exfoliated.

Andrew Clark, personal trainer

What he gets; highlights, facials

What he spends: $150 a month

As a teen, Clark got called a geek for using hair gel. “It was a huge no-no,” he says. Wonder what his old friends would say today: In addition to facials every four months, Clark, 36, gets his hair lightened every two months at Privé Salon in Los Angeles. “It helps maintain my all-American kind of guy look,” he says. So does strategic-eye-brow plucking, which his wife, Lorri, 40, a colorist at John Frieda salon, does for him. Admits Clark: “I’m too wimpy to get them waxed.”

Carlos Pizarro, police officer

What he gets: Microdermabrasion, face peels, botox in forehead

What he spends: $500 a month

Pizarro, 33, can’t stand the red bumps shaving leaves on his face, or the scars on his shoulder left over from a motorcycle accident. “As you get older,” he says, “you want to look better.” Regular visits to Boston’s Exclusive Skin Solutions for chemical peels and microdermabrasion (above), in which the top layer of skin is sloughed off (“kind of like rubbing sand into your skin,” he says), have been his secret weapon—but now he’s blown his cover. “He’ll be the laughingstock of the station!” says fellow cop Roberto Puledo. Fortunately, Pizarro doesn’t face ridicule from girlfriend Michele Joyce, 40, a former bank manager; when he told her about his salon visits, “She said, ‘Go for it.’ ”

Michael Golani. bodyguard

What he gets: Eyebrow shaping, salon tanning

What he spends: $260 a month

Even the grueling military training this ex-Israeli secret service agent endured didn’t prepare him for plucking. When Golani, 31, first sat in Robert Bolaños’s chair at Beverly Hills’s Gavert Atelier (gripping wife Lydia’s hand), “tears came out,” he admits. But the agony—and getting called “pretty boy” by pals—is worth it. While on red-carpet detail, Golani says, “people mistake me for a celebrity.”

Kaan Erdem, student

What he gets: Facials, manicures, brow waxes

What he spends: $400 a month

When Erdem’s girlfriend Monica Olimpiew, 25, met the George Washington University senior in a bar two years ago, “the first thing I noticed,” she says, “is that he has really good skin.” Erdem, 25, keeps it that way with facials every three weeks. His healthy sheen doesn’t come cheap—but there are big benefits. “Girls buy me free drinks when I go out,” Erdem says. “And my college adviser helps me more than she helps my friends!”

David Hazan, student

What he gets: Back waxing, body hair trims

What he spends: $100 a month

Three months ago Hazan popped into Tucson’s Gadabout Salon for a haircut—and ended up getting much more. “My stylist said, ‘Your leg hair is long,’ ” recalls Hazan. “So he starts clipping at my legs. Everyone was hooting and hollering, but they loved the results.” The University of Arizona junior, 20, now trims his legs twice a month, and has even had his back waxed at the adjoining Gadabout Man spa. “It looks cleaner,” he says. “You feel more confident.” Once the sting fades, that is. “Waxing on the neck bone,” Hazan says, “really hurts.”

Ronde Barber, NFL star

What he gets: Facials, body scrubs, pedicures

What he spends; More than $400 a month

After Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl victory in January, the defensive halfback left the party early feeling “like an old man,” he says. “I couldn’t wait for a massage.” Since 1997, Barber, 27, has treated himself to regular pampering—including honey-almond body polishes and minty pedicures. “I love being touched and groomed,” he says. (His twin, the New York Giants’ Tiki, is also a spa fan.) Barber and wife Claudia, 31, an event planner, even indulge in pedicures à deux. Other Buccaneers might want to follow suit. Says Barber: “I see a lot of nasty-looking toes in the locker room.”

Allison Adato and Galina Espinoza

Reported by: Joanna Blonska, Amy Baumgartner, Anne Driscoll, Alison Singh Gee, Liza Hamm, Mary Hart, Beverly Keel, Linda Marx, Debbie Seaman, Marisa Wong and Katie Wright