The top 10 spa and salon treatments for men in Toronto
The top spa and salon treatments for men in Toronto will make any fella feel like a million bucks (while only spending maybe about one-thousandth of that). Facial treatments, body scrubs, manicures - you don't have to be some Bay St. boardroomer to treat yourself like a king, and tons of Toronto's spas and salons have either geared themselves toward an all-male clientele, or introduced services that cater to men and their specific needs. (That includes men's skin, which differs from women's in a number of ways.)
Sure, there might be some outmoded people out there who will give you hell for spending more than $12 a month on a grooming regimen. But I'm willing to bet those naysayers are walking around with raggedy cuticles and blackheads the size of Jupiter, while you and your moisturized beard and glowing complexion are killing it. So go ahead. Pay someone to spruce you up. You won't regret it - I promise.
Here are my picks for the top spa and salon treatments for men in Toronto.
This men's-only Annex spa, an offshoot of the original in Ottawa, tempers its classy, super-sleek atmosphere with a dash of friendly unpretentiousness. The list of treaments include their "wildly popular" one-hour "bacial" ($150; to get rid of your bacne, obviously), as well as a "beard burn" facial ($110) for razor-damaged skin. If you're new to skin treatments, skin products, or skin anything, they'll do a 45-minute consultation ($25) assessing your skin's needs and the best way to care for them, then send you home with some product samples.
This salon/barbershop, with locations on Richmond and Eglinton, is geared exclusively toward guys, with a wide-ranging menu of services. Their "Alpha Male" treatment ($45) includes: a haircut and style, shampoo and conditioning treatment, a scalp massage, a paraffin hand wax treatment and hand massage, a hot towel and facial toner, and free touch-ups for the next two weeks. As a woman who's been conditioned to pay $60 for a wash, cut and style, I'm kind of jealous. A straight razor shave is $55, and if the word "pedicure" freaks you out, you can go in for some "foot detailing" ($30)
Saul's Beauty Shop
This pretension-free salon opened on Dundas West earlier this year. Their menu of facials, spray tans and waxing are available to all, with identical pricing to boot (though there are a couple of ladies-only waxing options). Favourite treatments among the fellas include a $25 "emergency zit killer" service, which zaps a zit in about 15 minutes' worth treatment, as well as their free beard-conditoning add-on to any facial. (After all, why pay for a full facial when it only gets to half of your face?)
In addition to their hot-stone massages and cranberry body scrubs, Yorkville's Novo Spa has a whole slate of specialty services geared toward men, including a number of waxing offerings, a manicure and pedicure, and a 75-minute facial ($115) using Eminence Organic skin care products. (You can still get that hot stone massage, though.) They're also big on couples' treatments, if you'd like to use your anniversary as an excuse for a spa day.
ManCave Barbers Lounge
This Annex barbershop is the latest to reinvent the golden-age barbershop with a bro-hangout atmosphere. They offer all the classics - straight razor shaves, cuts, styles, grey blending - but shake things up with their 007 package (see what I did there), which includes a cut, style, paraffin hand treatment, a hand and arm massage, and a mini facial treatment with a hot towel for $39. Oh, and like Garrison's Barbershop, you also get complimentary drinks with your treatment.
The Ten Spot
The Ten Spot's no-muss philosophy on beauty and skin care will likely appeal to low-maintenance dudes. Their facial for gents ($75) focuses on men's skin concerns, including beard ingrowns; the relatively in-and-out procedure packs cleansing, exfoliations, steaming, blackhead extractions, massages and mosturizing (among other things). The salon's other specialties are waxing and manicure/pedicure services; they've got you guys covered there, too. Points for convenience: The Toronto-bred chain now boasts 10 (!) locations around the city.
A stalwart fave of spa-goers in Toronto, Elmwood markets its men's offerings toward guys in need of de-stressing and relaxation (the complimentary use of the whirlpool and steam room goes a long way). Their men's essential facial ($109) promises to clear blackheads and alleviate ingrown hairs (plus a bonus hand massage and your choice of foot or scalp massage). If you want to make a day out of it, they also offer package deals that include including 50-minute massages, a facial, and a "MANicure".
Pure + Simple
This chain of spas has locations on King West, at Yonge and Eglinton, and in Yorkville - as well as a following of guys who love what the place does for their skin. Fans rave about their facials, which use their own all-natural products; their Pure Man facial ($105) will steam, exfoliate, and de-gunk pores. (Plus, you get a shoulder, scalp, arm and foot massage.)
Original Grooming Experts
Another shop in the upscale-barber category, this Richmond St. shop aims for the middle ground between a luxurious spa experience and that 50-year-old Greek barbershop you've been going to your whole life. All the traditional barbershop offerings are there, but their haircuts ($45) come standard with a hand-smoothing paraffin wax and a hot towel treatment. There's also the "hangover package" ($19), which includes a shampoo, hand wax treatment and hot towel face wrap. (Does this work? Someone try it and report back to me.)
If you're in the mood for something particularly luxurious, head underground to Hammam Spa, a grotto-like spa at King and Portland, for their men's facial ($130). They use Dermalogica's wide, wide range of products to tackle your skin concerns, steam and exfoliate, throw in a face, arm, neck and hand massage, then send you off to bask in the heat of their namesake hammam steam room. There's also men's manicures ($30) and pedicures ($45), which focus on shaping, buffing and callous removal; paraffin treatments are extra.
Did we miss any? Leave your favourite spot for men's salon or spa treatments in the comments.
Photo of ManCave by James C. Lee.