Revitalizing spas: Local relaxation havens

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The line between who does and doesn’t visit day spas is, well, relaxing. The definition of traditional spa services seems to be loosening up a bit, too.

Forget the notion that day spas serve only adult women. According to the International Spa Association, a network for spa industry professionals, men comprise nearly one-third of the spa clients in the United States. In  2006, the association pegged multi-generational services as a burgeoning trend among spas.

The Lowcountry hasn’t escaped the grip of these spa trends. But despite the new fads, spa visitors still seek one particular service. Guys make up 31 percent of the American spa-going population, according to Jones and the ISPA Web site.

At Faces Day Spa in the Village at Wexford, male clients are the fastest growing population of its visitors, said the spa’s owner Patricia Owen and general manager Jennifer Brewer.

Catering to the spa-shy dude, however, has required a little massaging … of words. Men who visit the Hilton Head Island spa can choose from services on the facility’s specially-labeled “Men-U”: a list of treatments available to all customers, but named differently to attract men.  On Monday evenings, the spa is open to men only. Sports magazines, peanuts and pretzels dot the lounge, and sports videos play on a television from 5 to 8 p.m. 

The spa isn’t just for grown-ups anymore, either. According to ISPA, the offering of multi-generational services was one of 10  noteworthy spa trends last year. Spa Soleil at the Hilton Head Marriott Resort  & Spa provides treatments geared toward teens age 16 and younger. Moms and daughters have signed up for the side-by-side massage on the teen spa menu,  Silverthorn said. Some spa visitors just want a little something different. ISPA predicts another trend on the horizon: Spas will enhance their offerings of one-of-a-kind services, especially those that draw on other traditions and native cultures.

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