Spa and salons visits are a special time that people carve out of their days to embark in their relaxation rituals so an unexpected surprise can really alter the experience especially if it involves an impromptu change in your provider’s gender. Do you speak up and risk losing your appointment or do you face being uncomfortable during your service? Both of these options defeat the purpose of your visit in the first place, so we’ve come up with a few tips to navigate the gender politics of the spa world.

Massage Therapist:

This is the arena that has the most issues because nudity is involved. Women and men prefer women massage therapists over men because they don’t want to feel judged or that their appointment is crossing the line from appropriate to inappropriate (though this rarely happens). This mindset is such a widespread problem in the massage world, that 85% of massage therapists are women. The simplest way to ensure you are always placed with a female therapist is to have the front desk make a note of your preference- this way if your regular service provider calls out sick you won’t be placed with a male therapist. Also, when visiting a new spa, never let the receptionist book you with a provider without specifying their name/gender because chances are if they don’t specify it will be a male therapist as they have more availabilities.

Nail Technician:

Very rarely do we see male nail techs, but they are just as skilled as the ladies, and you will run into one from time to time. If you are a walk in, the protocol is to match you up with the first available technician so if a guy finishes up before his fellow female coworkers, he’s going to be doing your nails. If you won’t be able to relax with a male nail tech just simply say you will wait for a female tech to finish up or to not be so blatantly obvious say you are still deciding on a color and let another customer go in front of you.

Hair Stylist:

The world of hair is the exception to the rule as many women prefer male stylists over their female counterparts because they think that a man will know how to cut and style their hair to make them the most attractive to other men. If it is important to you, once again have your salon make a note of your preference.

The most important thing to remember is if you trust your salon, you should trust all of their employees to live up to their standards, so mix it up your providers (within your comfort zone), and you just might surprise yourself.

Images via Shutterstock.

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