Things To Do At The Spa- Spa Etiquette and Services

Picture yourself reclined back in a bubbling hot tub, cool sparkling water with lemon and peppermint in hand, having just experienced the most relaxing massage, relishing in the fact that several hours of activities still remain- where the only thing you are required to do is breathe.

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Welcome to the spa.

Even working in such an environment a person can be become more at ease.

For those of you who have never been, and for those of you that have and have yet to experience all of the services offered, we will explore a few of the many things to do at the spa in this article.

In a full service spa, there seems to be something for just about everyone, from sauna and hot tub, to manicure, pedicure, and hair styling. And gentlemen, don’t be dismayed.

The stigma of being a man at the spa is no longer, and men make up a surprising number of clientele!

Men are welcome, too. After all, if you gift your lovely lady a surprise day at the spa, wouldn’t you like an excuse to come along?

Types of Spas

There are many types of spas, and I have had the pleasure of working behind the scenes in a few different types.

Some spas offer only one or two specific services, such as massage and reflexology.

Others offer a full range of services from facials, to hair care, to even serving full meals in between your chosen activities of the day.

Have You Been To A Spa? Want To Replicate Some Spa Treatments At Home?

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No, I Don’t Like To Relax. 

Spas can be found at hotels, airports (suddenly your layover is not such an inconvenience after all?), shopping malls and centers, and as independent structures.

Keep in mind that some places do require you to call and make a reservation.

Especially if you are planning to receive more than one service.

So plan to call and schedule your day at least two weeks ahead of time- MORE if you live in a large city.

These places stay extremely busy, understandably so.

If you are visiting a multi-service spa, and plan to be there for some time, be sure to ask when making the reservation if you need to bring anything such as extra clothes.

Better comfy than sorry in these situations!

Decide On Your Services

Now, I can’t speculate what is going on in every area of the globe in this industry, but here are a few of the things that I know will probably be offered at one spa or another in just about every area:

  • Hair Styling. This often means coloring, cutting, hilighting, updo- styling, bridal styling, wash and style, etc. The works.
  • Manicure/Pedicure. Spas have many people working in them, and they usually stay pretty up to date and trend as far as the next big thing in hair and nails. Gel, french, acrylic, powder, classic, etc. There are even some pedicures as of late that, when your feet are soaking, little fish will bite off the dead skin. I hope you weren’t eating. Supposedly painless, yet I’m not sure I would go first if I went with my girlfriends.
  • Facials. I have seen spas that offer EVERYTHING! I mean..you would have to close your eyes and blindly point at an option on the menu because you can’t choose. EVERYTHING. They have blemish prone, anti-aging/hyperpigmentation (dark spots), dry skin, oily skin, rosacea (redness), relaxation, aromatherapy, mud, clay, charcoal, strawberry…I could go on..but for time’s sake just think of anything in your grocery store produce section and some places have a facial using it as the main ingredient. I am a big facial junkie (I used to perform them every day for my clients), so this is my cup of tea. Male or female, I recommend this service.
  • Makeup Application. A professional will evaluate your skin tone, hair color, and eye color, and decide what colors will be most flattering. They will expertly match your foundation shade, and apply makeup in a way that can be replicated by you at home. Usually they will explain the process so that you are able to go home and show off your new look yourself.
  • Waxing. Everything from face to back to bikini.
  • Salt/Sugar Scrubs. This usually takes place in a room much like a massage room, and involves a salt or sugar scrub being applied and rubbed vigorously into the body, exfoliating dead skin. Feels great afterward. This is a service that will most likely require you to be scantily clad, so if you are not comfortable wearing the provided paper undergarments, this is probably not for you, just FYI.
  • Body Masques. These are usually applied after the body scrubs, and may come as a package deal, or sold separately. Again, you will probably have to be sparsely dressed for this one, and some require wrapping in a thick blanket, so keep that in mind as well.
  • Vichy Shower. Oh. My. Word. So..this usually takes place after a service such as a scrub, and it is amazing. You (the client), are lying on a table, and different shower heads with different speeds and patterns are spraying down on you with warm water. The closest ill ever get to the rain forest. Amazing. Highly recommend.
  • Massage. Of course I always highly recommend this one. The options range from Swedish to Deep Tissue to Sports, etc. Some spas offer aromatherapy massage which is a magical experience, and some even do Raindrop Therapy which is a massage incorporating different essential oils dropped down the spine and rubbed in to detox the system. Most spas will offer hot stone therapy which deeply relaxes the muscles through the use of heated basalt stones. These are all great options. Remember to always be open with your massage therapist about pressure and temperature and comfortability.
  • Hot/Cold Therapy. Um, this one is a little uncomfortable, and is usually performed before a massage, but it has proven to be pretty effective. You would get into ICY cold water for a specified amount of time, and then immediately dip into hot water, and the in the process your muscles have been shocked and then warmed into deep relaxation.
  • Sauna. This is the wonderful, hot box made out of aromatic cedar that you can go into to relax, usually in between, or before and after treatments. It is a good idea to bring a swimsuit with you to the spa if you are modest, because there will likely be other people in the spa as well, and I personally don’t like to have a small white towel as my only cover.
  • Hot Tub. Also, a luxury that you will need a bathing suit for.

After Arriving

Make sure to arrive at the spa at least fifteen minutes early.

There are times when a beauty professional will need a form filled out with information regarding history of service performed, pain/tension areas, skin conditions, allergies, etc.

You will want to arrive in time to fill out all appropriate paperwork so that your services may begin on time.

There will likely be a locker room, if you are at a decent size spa, in which you can keep your things and shower, if need be.

You might be provided with a wrap (a cotton garment that will velcro or snap around your body), which you may be able to wear your entire visit at the spa.

From this point on, all you really have to do is relax and breathe!

Everything should be taken care of from the moment you arrive!

Things To Remember…

  • Always feel to free to ask as many questions as you need/want. The professionals are there to help!
  • Don’t be afraid to speak up if something is uncomfortable, ex. the temperature of the room, the pressure of massage, any of the techniques used for any service. You are there to enjoy your time.
  • Bring extra comfy clothes just in case.
  • Try not to wear makeup, and don’t fix your hair. The professionals certainly don’t mind, and you won’t want to worry about messing up your hair or makeup.
  • Turn off your cellphone, or at the very least silence it. Not only are you trying to relax, but so is everyone else around you.
  • Follow all instructions given for post-spa care, ex, drinking water, leaving serum on face overnight, etc. This way all services performed are most effective.

Most importantly…have a great time!

A spa’s purpose is allowing the client to leave the world behind, if only for just a while, to enjoy themselves. Take full advantage and drink it all in!

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