Esthetician Julio Mendez opened Wax Man Spa & Salon in Chicago in 2013 with a clear agenda: Give male clients an anxiety-free place to address all of their grooming needs. “The idea came about from listening to clients at spas and salons I’d worked at in my early years,” says Mendez. “The most consistent complaint from male clients was that they felt intimidated walking in and asking about spa treatments—and it didn’t matter whether it was a women’s salon or a men’s spa offering cigars and whiskey.”
To counter than challenge, Mendez built a grooming destination for men on the promise to provide services with zero attitude. “That means when you walk into Wax Man Spa, there isn’t a front desk team that blurts out that you’re late for your butt wax,” says Mendez. “We keep it professional, one by one, by appointment, so that we focus 100 percent on the client.”
The menu is clear and focused: Wax Man offers a full range of facials, many of which focus on exfoliation to address men’s typically thick dermal surface, and eyelash tinting is also available. But it’s mainly all about hair trimming and removal—and no stone is left unturned, so to speak. Asked about Wax Man’s most popular services, Mendez doesn’t hesitate to reply, “Male Brazilian; Shaft, Sack & Crack Wax; and Just the Crack & Manscaping have consistently been our most requested services since we opened.” And there’s no lack of business: Wax Man reportedly takes care of about 2,000 consistent clients.
That loyalty speaks volumes about Wax Man’s services, but also the owner’s commitment to taking men’s grooming seriously. “We educate our guys on issues such as sun care and skin cancer, and how skin is their body’s first line of defense,” says Mendez. “Besides that, I am super-strict about keeping a clean, sanitized, neat spa.”
Having recently renewed his lease for another four years, Mendez is grateful to continue to provide a valuable service for his fellow Chicagoans. And the business continues to grow. “After four years it still makes me laugh when someone calls and asks, ‘Do you do waxing for men?’” he says. “We couldn’t be more transparent or upfront about what we offer!”