Men are finally morphing. When Garrett Munce was lounging in a spa in Las Vegas, he couldn’t help but notice that he was surrounded by guys.
The primary allure of Sin City is unrelenting debauchery. Men stereotypically visit Las Vegas to indulge in sex, booze and gambling. But there was Munce, the men’s style and grooming editor of GQ, surrounded by men of all walks of life booked for sand and foam treatments, hydrotherapy facials and stone massage with aromatherapy.
Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack are rolling over in their mausoleums, but that’s evolution, baby.
Munce, 35, who is the author of the insightful and entertaining “Self-Care for Men: How to Look Good and Feel Great,” was taken aback since the majority of clients in the Roman-style spa were of his gender.
“I’m in the ultimate dude hangout city, where guys typically are off at strip clubs or on the casino floor, and the spa was packed,” Munce said while calling from his New York apartment. “I couldn’t have imagined that scene a decade ago, but things are definitely changing for guys. Men are finally understanding that it’s important for self-care.”
Guys no longer have to worry about appearing soft while shopping for moisturizers and visiting nail salons. Munce explores skin care and stress relief throughout his book.
Munce details why it’s essential for preventive maintenance and how guys can treat themselves without breaking the bank.
Skin care is still an alien concept for most beyond the millennial range. How do you convince men of a certain age that skin care is essential?
It’s true that a lot of older men think of skin care as a new concept. They need to be educated. They need to learn that the sun causes damage, and they should wear suntan lotion every day. Conversely, women are drilled from an early age to embrace anti-aging products.
Many men seem to understand it as soon as damage is done.
Exactly. They’ll see wrinkles on their forehead, and they don’t know what to do about it.
What’s the best advice for men who have yet to realize how vulnerable their skin is?
They need to know that preventive maintenance is essential. It’s so important because if you take care of yourself for years, you’ll limit damage. It’s not complex. Follow a routine. Each day, you wash your hair, your body and apply deodorant. Make an appointment to see your dermatologist.
Isn’t a huge part of self-care visiting your doctors annually to see what is happening physically?
Definitely. Most men don’t do that.
I can’t help but go. When I thought I had a hernia and visited a surgeon, he told me that my hernia was the earliest self-detected hernia in his career.
You are in the minority. Most men avoid hearing bad news, and they try to live up the stereotype of being tough. All our lives, guys are told to suck it up and deal with the pain.
That’s the opposite of self care, so it makes sense to visit the doctor, the dentist and specialists so you take care of your body. Some men equate visiting the doctor as something feminine like taking a bath with rose petals. It’s time to get over that.
A good point you get across in the book is that men are already involved with self-caring activities such as working out. Men just need to take it to another level.
Exactly. Men are already going to the gym. The usual reason we go to the gym is to lose weight, but our self-care should be about more than that. It should be about de-stressing.
A little indulgence goes a long way. For years, I was loyal to a hair salon. I was usually the only male client, but for an hour I drifted away with a shampoo, a glass of wine and endless sports talk with my stylist.
Your example of getting a longer haircut is like the experience of getting a pedicure. I’ve noticed more and more men getting pedicures in New York City.
What we consume is another facet of self-care.
We should approach eating from a point of holistic wellness. We’re learning a lot more these days about what we should put in our body.
What new supplements or herbs make us feel better or de-stress us? The phase we’re in now is eating clean, local, fresh and organic.
Again, people look at it as a way to lose weight, which is fine, but all of that is more than a number. We need to know what makes our body feel best.
One size doesn’t fit all. For instance, I have friends who are on the Paleo diet and love it. I lose weight and my body feels great on Paleo, but it’s as if I’m experiencing the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
One size doesn’t fit all with diets or self-care. What works for your friends may not work for you. Everyone has to discover what works for them.
Spas can be expensive. What do you suggest for those on a budget?
You can do a pedicure, which is $20. A great option is meditation, which is free. Don’t get bogged down. Be good to yourself.
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