Hey guys, you all know the feeling… it’s been a stressful week at work, you haven’t shaved in days, and you’re dangerously close to sporting a mullet. But where can you go to decompress and shape up? The spa of course! Now don’t run for the hills, we’re not talking about a girly salon. At John Allan’s Men’s Grooming Clubs, you can drink beer, play billiards, and get all “cleaned up.” iMag got the inside scoop from the grooming guru himself…
iMag: How did you come up with the concept for a grooming club specifically for men?
John Allan: The original John Allan’s Club opened its doors in 1988 on Stone Street in Manhattan’s Financial District. I had been in the salon business for many years after having trained under Jean Louis David in Europe. It was upon his return to the states that I saw a void in providing men with a place “they can call their own” as opposed to treating them as an afterthought. My concept was to blend the elements of a modern international salon with the décor, amenities and atmosphere of an upscale private club.
iMag: Who would you say is your typical client?
John Allan: The majority of the client base is in their mid to late 20’s through mid 40’s, although there are many members in their early 20’s and plenty more in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. What they all have in common is respect for their appearance and for themselves in that they understand coming to John Allan’s is also about relaxing and decompressing from the pressures of their careers and lives. In most cases, these are upwardly mobile professional men, from the CEO or owner to the VP or manager. It's a pretty impressive group of men that make up John Allan’s member base, which now exceeds 5,000 with many thousands more as clients.
iMag: If a man has an important event coming up such as a wedding, how far in advance should he begin grooming?
John Allan: The groom should expect to get a haircut about two weeks before his wedding date to let the style settle in. Then if he needs a clean up around the edges he can come in the day before. We don't recommend a facial the week of, we recommend getting a couple facials to get his skin accustomed to it. A pedicure should be scheduled the week of and the manicure can be scheduled with the clean up.
iMag: What are your club’s most popular services?
John Allan: Our signature service that tens of thousands of men have experienced for the past 20 years is The Full Service which includes: A scalp massaging shampoo conditioning treatment, hot towel haircut, manicure and shoeshine. We are also seeing an increase in treatments such as pedicures and massages.
iMag: What makes a manicure for men different than a manicure for women?
John Allan: Manicures at John Allan’s are meant to help a guy maintain his professional appearance. Whether it’s the first handshake or sitting at the conference table, clean hands and nails are essential to looking good. We designed the manicure to be a part of The Full Service rather than a separate treatment so the John Allan’s client or member understands its importance and leaves our club looking and feeling his best from head to toe.
iMag: How often should men get a manicure/pedicure?
John Allan: We have members that get a manicure every week or clients that come every three weeks. A pedicure is often seasonal with men but we try and recommend once a month.
iMag: You offer a pedicure called the “Sports Pedicure.” Can you tell us more about this?
John Allan: Your feet carry the burden of the day so we designed the Sports Pedicure to both clean, relax and relieve. A warm soak is followed by a good scrub, trim and a deep moisturizing foot massage. It’s a great way to end a long day.
iMag: Do you offer any treatments that are targeted at combating the aging process for men?
John Allan: Firstly, we try and educate men on the importance of taking care of themselves whether it’s with our The Full Service , cleansing facials or relaxing massages. Taking care of yourself early is a great prevention for aging. Using our vitamin rich face moisturizer and SPF lotion in combination with our cleansing facial may not stop the aging process but it will definitely help slow it down.
iMag: How did you create your product line?
John Allan: The success of our line comes from the development and testing in our clubs. It was with our thousands of clients who scrubbed, shampooed, shaved and splashed that we developed a very exclusive line of hair, skin and shave products available in over 250 retail outlets around the country.
iMag: You recently launched a new razor, can you tell us about that?
John Allan: Our ‘63 R Series razor was in development for over two years so we are very happy with all the reviews it’s been getting. When we first conceived the idea we knew it had to have superior function and style. By designing it in zinc the extra weight provided perfect balance along the shaft and more in the head which allows for natural pressure against the skin. This provided a closer shave without the guy pressing down hard on his face. The sleek style is unique to anything in the market.