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Updated: August 24, 2009 17:03 IST

At the spa, and courteous

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BEAUTY AND BEHAVIOUR: Makes for complete grooming Photo: K R Deepak
BEAUTY AND BEHAVIOUR: Makes for complete grooming Photo: K R Deepak

Do you arrive late for your appointment at the spa? Are you unsure of what service you want to avail of? SHALINI SHAH discusses spa and saloon etiquetie.

Without your knowledge, you could be the stuff someone’s nightmares are made of. We’re talking about your role as a salon and spa visitor. To begin with, on spotting you do the stylists or therapists start nudging each other with a “You take this creature” expression, or do they appear genuinely pleased to see you? If you’re the former, you wouldn’t have noticed anyway. You might be the one of the bushy hard-to-pluck eyebrows, untameable frizzy mane and ugly cellulite thighs, but you will be respected and looked-after if you know how, and how not, to behave.

To begin with, do you even know the name of the person who’s struggling hard to file, buff and paint your talons? You might be paying for what you’re getting, but addressing a person by his or her name is better than an “Errrr… excuse me…”

Don’t start glancing at your wrist before you even step into a spa. “Don’t make an appointment during your lunch break. Reach early and also have some spare time after your spa session,” says Vikram Mohan, director of Bounce, Oryza and Cut It Out.

Also, be on time for your salon appointment. “The revenue of salons depends on time. Your being late upsets their entire schedule,” adds Vikram.

For spa appointments, being early by 15 to 20 minutes helps. “This way, you have enough time to discuss your therapy, change and shower. Besides reasons of hygiene, absorption is better when pores are clean,” says Megha Dinesh, brand manager of Aura, The Park.

When it comes to getting a haircut, be clear about what you want. “A little longer here, a bit shorter there” helps neither you nor your stylist. “There’s nothing wrong in saying you want to look like Kareena Kapoor. Specify if you want a bang or a fringe. Get magazine cuttings if you want,” advises Bony Sasidharan, technical head, Schwarzkopf Professional.

“There are clients who walk in and say ‘Hey, do you remember the haircut you gave me last time?’ That’s crazy! An average stylist works with 10 clients daily. You must have last visited a salon three or four months ago. Thousands must have visited in the intervening period. If you liked your last haircut, click a picture and show it to your stylist the next time,” says Vikram.

Be open with your spa therapist. During consultation, disclose any sort of medical condition or allergies you might have.

While a burping spa guest might do for a TV ad about foodies, desist from having a heavy meal immediately before your spa session. This could save you major discomfort.

Don’t drop in at a salon in big groups when just one of you is availing of a service. While the salon staff wouldn’t raise an open objection, they’ll just see a bunch of giggling people poring over their magazines at the reception (and not spending money there) as a waste of valuable space. Fellow clients, too, wouldn’t enjoy the discomfiture of idle eyes fixed on the back of their heads.

As elsewhere, cellphones are a nuisance in spas too – in fact, the most common form of annoying client behaviour. “You come to a spa to relax. What’s the point of the entire exercise if you’re on the phone! Especially during therapies like foot reflexology, when there might be other guests around, cellphones are highly annoying,” Vikram stresses.

If you want the pressure, temperature or music at a spa adjusted, you have the right to speak up, but do so softly.

“Guests should not be accompanied by children unless the spa has a kids’ setup,” adds Megha. “The noise level should be kept minimum. Also, avoid getting into a personal conversation.”

Which means, no “I need this massage because I’m so stressed out because…” You get the drift?

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