Ottawa’s exclusive spa for men offers such indulgences as facials for the back, straight razor shaves and razor-burn treatments.
Bodé Spa, now nearly nine years old, is the brainchild of Daniel Francoeur, a veteran Ottawa aesthetician and massage therapist.
“Everyone always questions, ‘Are you a gay spa?’ No, we’re not a gay spa. I always say if you’re green, purple, blue — it’s your place,” Francoeur says. “It’s a safe space.”
Francoeur has recently teamed up with aesthetician Inirida Zerpa to open a Toronto location of Bodé. The partnership happened by circumstance; Zerpa wanted to open a men’s spa in Toronto and Francoeur was hired on as a consultant.
The signature service at the Toronto location is the straight razor shave.
“We’re helping to bring back the real shave, which is stylish right now,” Zerpa says.
A straight razor shave is from the old-school barbershop — a 30-minute procedure that gets the face smooth as a baby’s bottom.
Although the straight razor shave has become popular, other spa services for men can be hard to come by, largely because aestheticians just aren’t taught about caring for men, Francoeur says.
“In textbooks, the most I’ve seen is a paragraph and a half about how to take care of men,” he says.
Body hair, higher oil production and common lifestyle choices, like not protecting the skin with makeup or sunscreen, make a man’s aesthetic needs different than a woman’s.
Francoeur has developed a treatment called the “bacial,” an exfoliating and moisturizing facial for the back, an area where he says many men have trouble with “bacne” and ingrown hairs.
In developing his treatments for men, Francoeur relied largely on feedback from male clients.
He built a large male clientele at the Ottawa spa he owned before opening Bodé, Little House Spa.
“It was predominantly a female spa. But it was out in the country and in a log house, and just because of the way it was, a lot of women felt comfortable bringing along their husbands and boyfriends. So our male clientele grew to 40 percent. That’s really unheard of in this business,” he says.
Francoeur says Bodé emphasizes education. A good example is Bodé’s Beard Burn treatment, a one-hour lesson for men with facial-hair problems, such as acne, ingrown hairs and razor burn.
“Women are always educating each other because they talk to their friends about hair, skin, waxing. Guys, they don’t do that,” he says.
Grooming is a much more private topic for men, Zerpa and Francoeur agree.
“How do men learn to shave? You hit that age, and your dad or your brother throws you a razor and a can of shaving cream, gives you a few instructions and walks away,” Francoeur says. “Many men just keep shaving whatever way because no one ever teaches them how to do it right.”
A BODÉ SELECTION
Therapeutic foot fix
Any number of foot conditions affect not only how you move through life, but your health. Let’s figure out what’s going on, address it and get you on the road to recovery… fast. This is 911 for your lower 10!
1.5 hours: $75
Ingrowns? Bacne? Dry? Itchy? We’ve got your back. A Deep Cleansing Facial for your back. This wildly popular treatment is designed to give the hardest-to-reach and largest expanse of your body the care that everywhere else gets. The treatment includes a professional cleanse, customized exfoliation, extractions (if needed), customized masque and a massage tailored to your skin type.
1.25 hours: $120
The Royal Flush
Up the ante, this is the jackpot! With the skin so thoroughly prepared… relaxed and receptive… we seize the opportunity to infuse even more nourishment into the skin. Customizing everything from aroma-therapeutic hot towels and personalized massage elixirs, to serums and complexes that maximize your desired results. Eye and lip treatments are also included in this powerhouse treatment.
2 hours: $130