As a massage therapist, waxing technician, and aesthetician, Daniel Francoeur knows a lot about skincare. But it wasn't until his male clientele grew substantially at his previous spa that he took notice of the demographic’s lack of aesthetic products, let alone services geared toward it. It was with this epiphany that Daniel went on to establish the first Bodé Spa for Men in Ottawa, followed by a med spa–focused location in Toronto in 2012. Since then both spaces have gained praise from a host of media outlets, including Toro Magazine, Spa Life Magazine Escapes, and CTV Morning Live Ottawa, where Daniel explain why male-centric services are necessary. "We produce about 30 to 40 per cent more oil than women do, so we have a lot more issues when it comes to things like [acne],” he said. “We have to be careful even with waxing and manscaping, how our bodies react afterwards."
The only thing gritty and rough at Bodé's Ottawa location are the unfinished concrete walls that wrap around the spacious spa. This coarse, earthy element, complemented by a robust fireplace and metal accents, gives the space a refined yet manly feel as highly trained technicians pamper gentlemen inside private treatment rooms. The hydro room—described by clients as a "rainforest grotto"—fosters relaxation as a registered massage therapist or massage practitioner eases tension and knots from bodies with a custom massage. Masculine tranquility is also found in a tailored foot and hand fixes, full-body hair removal using waxing and sugaring, and specialized skincare treatments, which offer exfoliation via chemical peels.
At daya organic spa, even the receptionist's desk is carved from recycled wood. Its knots and grains mirror those of the shelves, chairs, and pedicure bench, radiating a rustic vibe that jibes with an eco-friendly philosophy. The spa's furniture may be the most visible sign of its commitment to the earth. Others—its eco-friendly light bulbs, live plants, and exclusively organic products—aren't as immediately apparent, though they all serve to immerse guests in a serene, green environment.
The highly trained staffers use organic Éminence products for their skincare services, nourishing pores with extracts of Hungarian fruits and herbs. Clients get particularly close to the land during a Hungarian herbal detox, which cocoons them in a body wrap of herbal mud before a hydrating shower and application of body lotion. Mani-pedis, meanwhile, include the exfoliating effects of one of four sugar scrubs: geranium, frankincense, Chinese jasmine, or ginger. Customized facials treat skin concerns from aging to sun damage, and Daniel Thompson mineral makeup accentuates features without irritants such as talc, oils, and the artificial fragrances that can get your compact pollinated by confused bees.
Styling stations, pedicure chairs, and lounge areas pop up throughout Noir Salon & Spa's large studio amid sandstone accents and wall tones plucked from a pale dawn. The wall colors, like the products used during hair, skin, and body treatments, were chosen for their eco-friendly components as part of the salon's dedication to environmental responsibility. It is also a member of the Green Circle Salon Group, which promotes green salons and recycling. During each haircut, manicure, and foot massage, Noir specialists employ products free of toxic fillers that have never been tested on animals. As part of its commitment to environmental responsibility, the salon also conserves energy with low-energy lighting, automatic shutoff sensors, and hair clippers powered by their own appetite for stubble.
Determined to make their spa into a local escape for men and women, the team at European Flair Hair & Spa fosters a tranquil environment where skin, hair, and nail treatments join with massage therapy to soothe from the inside out. Using only salon-trusted products such as Paul Mitchell, Moroccanoil, and ammonia-free Chi Ionic Permanent Shine, stylists' access to superior tools gives them greater range and depth when styling and treating tresses. In further executing the spa's philosophy of personal gratification, registered massage therapists balm clients with massages that make muscle fibres sing as harmoniously as a barbershop quartet, instead of screeching like the lead singer in a Norwegian death-metal barbershop quartet.
Vivianna Sigurdson started in the beauty industry more than 30 years ago, and for the last 13 years she has channelled her burgeoning body of knowledge into building a brand. In the spa, aestheticians and registered massage therapists also draw upon a host of other earthy elixirs. Herbal wraps and brown-sugar scrubs nourish weathered bodies, and minerals and essential oils infuse warm soaks during manicures and pedicures. Cushy seating throughout the spa enables patrons to sip a beverage and catch up with their laps before continuing into a hot-stone massage or one of 11 facial treatments.
Like the backstage area of a theatre, the ceilings in Pierino Scarfo Salon's waiting room extend high into an intriguing darkness. Artfully sculpted chandeliers dangle from the shadowy rafters, illuminating walls shelved with colourful product lines. In the styling area, hair artists and technicians consult with each client to discuss desired styles and current hair trends. They perform cutting, styling, colouring, retexturing, and nourishing treatments at each station with products packed with pure flower and plant extracts. Lively green accents offset the sleek colours and mod decor while also emphasizing a commitment to the natural world and the salon's enthusiasm for the Shrek franchise.