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September 2015

Healing Waters

By Hermione Wilson

The spa has long been associated with the healing qualities of water. The word itself is derived to the Belgian town of Spa, known to the ancient Romans as Aquae Spadanae and renowned for its healing spring waters. Certainly the value of a soak in mineral-rich natural pools is well-documented and has been for centuries. But water is a popular element in the spa for more than just its physiological benefits. The very act of being in and around water seems to have a positive effect on the wellbeing of spa clients.

Water at the spa touches more than just the pools and Vichy showers; it takes the form of water-based treatments as well. Take Thalassotherapy for example, which involves using seawater, ocean minerals and clay, and other materials found in the ocean for healing purposes. These treatments have had a noted positive effect on stress levels, skin, pain management, and the overall health of spa clients.

Water is clearly as inextricably linked to wellness as it is to the spa industry.

To find out more about Thalassotherapy, read Sherina Jamal’s article in Spa Inc Magazine’s Summer 2015 issue. For more on the use of water in the spa, look out for our Fall 2015 issue.

July 2015

What Makes You So Special?

By: Hermione Wilson

DIY spa treatments are all the rage these days. The Internet is full of tutorials for mixing your own detoxifying facial mask or soothing foot soak. Whether it is driven by a desire to save money or to keep things natural and organic, potential spa clients are opting for home remedies over professional treatments. How do you convince them that what your spa has to offer is worth the price?

Here are some ways you can get potential clients to choose a day at the spa over a spa day at home:

  1. Be experts in your field. Make sure spa staff is educated about the newest trends, technology and products in the spa business.
  2. Service with a smile. It’s something clients can’t do for themselves at home. Whether you are offering the client tea while they’re waiting for a treatment or making conversation with them during a body treatment, friendly professional service elevates the spa experience.
  3. Inspire loyalty. Reward frequent spa visitors through loyalty programs and customer appreciation specials.  The goal here is to build a community of loyal clients who feel comfortable and well cared for at your spa.

Visit our website at for more great spa business tips.


June 2015

Body Positive Messaging in the Spa

By Hermione Wilson

Spa staff has a great responsibility to create an environment of inclusiveness and body positivity for their clients. For some people, coming to the spa and stripping down for treatments can put them in a very vulnerable and sensitive state, and cause insecurities about their bodies and appearance to bubble to the surface. This raw state can be a great opportunity for a deep and meaningful experience, but it can also leave clients open to negative messaging, whether actual or simply perceived.

Early in March, Spa Inc magazine participated in a Twitter live chat about body positivity hosted by European spa recommendation service Spa Breaks and positive body image charity Body Gossip. During the discussion, it was asked how spas could facilitate a discussion on body positivity, and how they could be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

Here’s what Spa Breaks had to say: “It’s a lot to put in 140 characters. We promote spas for all people, and we think the more spas that get involved with these initiatives the better. People are supposed to feel comfortable at spas, and if it’s the choice of single-sex spas, or even something as simples as robes that fit everyone, we can start to combat body confidence issues.”

In Spa Inc magazine’s Summer 2015, we talk to social worker Trixie Hennessey of Looking Glass BC about what spa staff can do to create a more inclusive, body positive environment for their clients.

April-May 2015

Red Carpet Looks at the Spa

By Hermione Wilson

Awards season has come and gone, but the reverberation of the beauty trends that graced the various red carpets will be felt throughout the year. Don’t be surprised if your spa clients come to you asking for Lupita Nyong’o’s sheer champagne manicure or Jenna Dewan-Tatum’s sophisticated low ponytail. They may ask you to incorporate colours and themes they saw on the red carpet - like glittery metallic gowns and dark red lips – into other beauty looks.

The key to translating these looks for your clients is to stay informed about current trends and ensuring that your spa staff is prepared to recreate them. Invest in training for your staff, listen to client feedback, and make sure you have the right tools and products on hand. You can even develop a red carpet package that combines on-trend looks and star-worthy pampering for added value. And when you achieve a client’s desired look, don’t forget to share the results on your various social media platforms!

Learn more about adapting red carpet trends for your spa clients in Spa Inc Magazine’s upcoming issue.


March 2015

Body Hair Woes

By Hermione Wilson

You shave it, wax it, zap it or laser it, but body hair ultimately grows back. You can either choose to ignore it or become very good friends with your local aesthetician.  We’ve spoken before about the importance of insuring you’re being handled by a certified professional, especially when it comes to laser and electrolysis treatments, but what is the best method for getting rid of unwanted hair?

There are a variety of reasons why this might happen. There are certain genetic and hormonal conditions that can cause excessive hair growth, like polycystic ovarian syndrome. Some ethnic groups also tend to be more hirsute than others. When clients come to Calgary-based dermatologist Andrei Metelitsa wanting laser hair removal, he first determines whether their excessive hair growth can be controlled with medical treatments.

But of all the hair removal treatments available, Metelitsa says laser is the most effective in most cases. As long as you take the necessary precautions in vetting the clinic you go to, he says laser hair removal “should always be considered the first treatment option.”

You can read about hair removal in Spa Inc Magazine’s upcoming Spring 2015 issue.

February 2015

Going Au Naturel

By Hermione Wilson

Spa products with artificial ingredients and hard-to-pronounce chemicals are out. Clients don’t want anything on their skin that they couldn’t safely put in their mouths. But when you go shopping for natural products for your spa, make sure they can live up to their name.

Natural products:  In Canada, products that have been assigned a Natural Product Number or NPN have been assessed by Health Canada for quality, efficacy and safety. However, cosmetics and skincare products don’t need an NPN to make a natural claim.

Organic products: With organic claims, it’s a little different. In order for cosmetic products to be certified as organic in Canada, companies must undergo a rigorous examination of their “ingredients as well as production process, facilities and even packaging,” and prove that their products are virtually free of synthetic ingredients, according to a Certech Registration press release.

So be sure to read the labels closely before you decide to add a product to your spa menu.

Check out Spa Inc Magazine’s regular Fresh & New feature for exciting new spa products and equipment.


January 2015

Gentlemen Callers: Attracting Male Clients

By Hermione Wilson

It comes as no surprise that men like to be pampered just as much as women. The challenge is convincing them to be pampered in a place that has traditionally been seen as an exclusively feminine domain. With that in mind, Canadian spas and spa brands have gotten creative about the way they market to potential male clients. Borrowing themes and imagery from traditionally male pursuits like spectator sports and beer drinking, the spa industry is drawing in a growing number of men.

At Eforea Spa at Hilton’s Second Annual Bro Bash in June 2014, dads were invited to watch a baseball game on the big screen while enjoying massages, facials and refreshments in honour of Father’s Day.  Stillwater Spa at Park Hyatt Toronto has introduced a Special Men’s Package, which offers treatments such as the Essential Swedish Massage and the Sports Care Manicure and Pedicure. 

There are more ways to get guys into the spa besides encouraging them to accompany their significant others. Men will feel comfortable at the spa when treatments and marketing are tailored to their unique needs and interests.

Read more about how Canadian spas are appealing to men in Spa Inc. Magazine’s Fall 2014 issue.


2014 Spa Inc Article Archive



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