Gender-Neutral Design

Creating an inclusive space & experience at the spa

What can I do to attract male clients? What can I do to elevate my client experience? How can I get raving reviews? If you’ve ever asked yourself any (or all) of these questions, then it may be time to go back to basics and revisit the aesthetic of the workplace itself. The answer? Create a place where everyone feels welcomed and comfortable with a gender-neutral design.

What are gender-neutral spaces and designs? This concept tackles the bias and aesthetic of typical spas or skincare studios. These spaces are designed to banish any hints of bias towards a particular gender. Typically, spas may be splashed with pink and other pastels, even a floral accent wall. Now insert the male client. He may feel out of place and on edge – probably unwilling to come back. Or maybe a space is harsh and completely sterile in esthetic, there too someone may feel uncomfortable. This outdated concept allows subtle gender discrimination to go unnoticed.

A gender-neutral space is needed to ensure these designs will not favor one gender over another and force rigid gender energy on clients. As a result, this concept enables all clients to feel safe and comfortable in their surrounding environments and wanting to come back. Trying to balance a space that satisfies both of these perspectives can appear difficult, however, with these tips, you can absolutely achieve this vision.

A gender-neutral space is needed to ensure these designs will not favor one gender over another and force rigid gender energy on clients.

1 GO NEUTRAL & MINIMAL

You may not always realize how important treating a wall is but it will set the stage for the entire space. Whether it’s wallpaper or a space for tasteful wall art, wall treatments can create an ambiance that transcends genders. Think with a neutral color palette in mind – white, beige, brown, cream, even black. The beiges and browns will add great warmth to a space and can really soften or breakup any existing harshness. Also, keep in mind not to clutter wall space for a more minimal aesthetic. This will help achieve the look of sophistication and order. No one wants to go to a clustered and messy establishment, especially one meant to relax them.

2 MIX MATERIALS

A neutral palette doesn’t mean it has to be boring – play around with materials Dark metal, light woods, textural fabrics, and greenery with plants. With all of these different combinations of materials and textures, a space becomes more dynamic, cozy, and well put together but doesn’t lean towards one side or the other in terms of gender. Although neutral tones are great, a space can still remain gender-neutral with clever bursts of color through accents that are on brand with your business. This can be in the form of wall art, lamps or even chairs.

3 LIGHTING, MUSIC & SCENTS

Often unclaimed real estate, the atmosphere in a space can really appeal to the senses. Different levels of light can soften a space and make it feel inviting. If the ceiling height allows, a simplistic light fixture draped over any space can act as a classic centerpiece that everyone can enjoy.

An easy and affordable option to create the ultimate space is through what clients hear, and can set the tone for the visit. Choosing soft music over fast paced runway music will instantly relax anyone entering your spa. Enjoying the sounds of jazz or tranquil instrumentals will put anyone at ease. Same goes for a beautiful fragrance! The first thing anyone will notice is what they smell when they walk into your business, so make sure it’s a great first impression. Diffuse luxury scents through your lobbies, communal areas, and treatment rooms. Mix floral scents with more woody tones to create the perfect gender-neutral ambiance. This touch will improve the whole ‘customer experience’ and it’s been shown to increase loyalty and brand awareness.

4 SERVICE MENU & RETAIL DISPLAY

Though many spas offer specific “Men’s Facials”, its only putting a limit on what a male client may feel they can receive and, in some cases, even maybe perceived as offensive. Instead, create a completely customizable menu of services and use the term “treatments” rather than “facials” so it’s not so intimidating.

Remember to simplify – this way no one feels left out, forgotten, or limited. The same goes for any retail products or items on display. Less is definitely more! Display retail without any distractions or unneeded items. For example: Maybe you have an ocean theme for your business – avoid displaying seashells with your retail, that’s what a dynamic color is for. Keep it clean and simple.

Creating a welcoming space for everyone with a gender-neutral space is key to a truly successful business, especially for a service-based industry like Esthetics. When dressing a spa practice, consider using a neutral color scheme with pops of color while keeping a minimal approach in mind. Incorporating some of these tip and tricks may help elevate your practice to the next level in a much-needed way.

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Marconi Rodas
MRodas@lne.com

Licensed Esthetician and owner of Marconi Castle Skincare, Marconi Rodas has become one of Boston’s most sought after facialists. Since his arrival in the industry, his reputation as a skincare expert has exploded - landing his hands on Hollywood’s top actresses. With training in countries like France and Australia, Marconi has designed his treatments to stand out in a world of enhancements and quick fixes, inspired by his own skin struggles.



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