Between destination spas, day spas, medical spas, resort spas, and basically everything in between, it can be difficult to differentiate your spa from the rest. The trick to standing out among the crowd is getting creative. It's important do your research, develop an idea, and then perfect it – don't over do it with too many half-done options. Commit to creating a specialized spa that shines above the rest. To help you boost ideas for the new year, we've created a list of service add-on ideas you may wish to consider to help get your spa on the right track. Some of your add-ons you may choose to charge for, others you will consider a value-added item. Use these tips as jumping off points as you further develop your customized brand of offerings.
1. Hair Creme Baths
Hair beauty rituals are the focus of spas and salons across Asia, and are fast becoming popular worldwide because of conditions such as hair loss, dandruff and dry hair. A traditional hair creme bath is a two-step process. First, you want a custom designed oil treatment to apply to the scalp and roots of the hair. Warm some macadamia oil, or any carrier oil you prefer, with your choice of essential oils at a two-to-one ratio. For hair loss, add rosemary, juniper, or lavender essential oils to the carrier oil; for dandruff, add tea tree, eucalyptus, rosemary or cedarwood; for dry hair, add sandalwood, geranium or lavender essential oils. Part the hair, smear the oils along the scalp lines to cover the entire head.
Next, you need your rich conditioning creme base to apply on the hair. You can use either a manufactured product, or create your own naturally formulated base, experimenting with such ingredients as coconut milk, egg, mayonnaise and others, to arrive at your desired result. You can then spike it with additives for specific client hair conditions, such as seaweed to enhance hair growth; or avocado and aloe vera as hair food. Apply your spiked creme bath from the roots to the tips of the hair. Massage the scalp to help absorb both the oil treatment and the creme bath. Apply a hair cap or steamed towel, and leave on 20 minutes. Shampoo to remove all oily traces. As the hair is drying, consider a hair perfuming, which is smoking the hair with incense.
2. Fridge Facials
Use this add-on idea as a way to introduce your body and massage clients to the facial experience. Imagine having a bar fridge filled with all kinds of delicious ingredients, and pulling them out of the fridge, like you would a feast of gourmet left-overs, mixing the recipe in front of her. Try exfoliating client's skin with cornmeal and natural yogurt. Apply the paste in small circular movements to smooth and invigorate, then remove with warm water. Or, soften and nourish their skin by mashing vitamin E rich avocado into a soft paste and massaging it in upward circles with the avocado stone. Add mashed papaya around the eyes to soften lines. Leave 15 minutes and remove with warm cloth. For a face lift and moisture retention, gently pat liquid honey onto skin and tap until sticky. Leave it on for 15 minutes and rinse with warm water. For a finishing astringent, mix lemon with water and pat onto skin for a tightening effect.
3. Anointing the feet
A ritual in many cultures, this service is often adored as a sacred start or finish to the day. This is considered by some to be a spiritual act of gratitude. You can show your gratitude to each of your clients by soaking their feet at some point during their visit. Adorn foot baths with anything from flower petals, to sprinkled herbs to rubber duckies. Or, toss in a small exercise ball so they can give themselves a foot massage. Complement the soak with a drink to sip while they relax. Try detoxifying with a 10 minute warm soak with two tablespoons of rock salt; or freshen up feet in a warm soak with pine, tea tree and lemongrass oils; or cool hot feet with peppermint and eucalyptus oils.
4. Herbal Poultices
Introduce mini poultices as enhancers to any your treatments. Pack tight aromatic herbs and spices in a muslin parcel weighing about half a pound. Steam for five to 10 minutes and use as 30-60 second compresses anywhere on the hands, feet or body as remedies for any number of conditions. Try turmeric and lemon grass for anti-bacterial and astringent properties during a back treatment for acne; or camphor and chamomile for minor skin irritation or infections on the feet during a pedicure; or rosemary, German chamomile, juniper and lavender for joint and muscle pain and inflammation on the hands during a manicure.
5. Body Splashes
Anywhere your client can stand naked and splash themselves with sensual and exotic ingredients, and relax for 10 minutes to let the experience resonate, can make for an unforgettable add-on to any body treatment, massage, facial or hydro treatment. A cool, creamy yogurt splash will hydrate and nourish; grapefruit, lemon, and mandarin essential oils with pomegranate carrier oil will wake up and re-invigorate; and roman chamomile, sandalwood and patchouli essential oils with jojoba carrier oil will relax, stabilize and ground.
6. Hand Holding
While this service may not be for everyone, holding and massaging hands is a natural way to develop a quiet, meaningful connection. Sometimes, those who are coming in for med-spa treatments can be nervous. You can combine a hand rub recipe with hand-holding and massage techniques and watch a sense of peace and serenity come over your client. Their face softens, their posture relaxes, and their breathing eases. Blend avocado, oatmeal, almond, and olive oils until smooth, and drizzle in warm water until the consistency of thick pudding forms. As you perform your massage, deliberately pause at the end of each movement and hold for 10 seconds. Squeeze and hold your client's fingers, compress their hand between your two hands, cup the client's two hands in yours, intertwine your finger with your clients, and hold. Use your senses to guide you to the level of intimacy that is most beneficial. This treatment will not only calm and connect the participants, it will exfoliate, cleanse, and moisturize too.
7. Facial Steaming
Facial steaming is commonly used during facial treatments, but this can be a wonderful add on to almost any service, or a mini treatment that can bring about instantaneous results. You can clear the sinuses and alleviate headaches with a peppermint and rosemary steam; calm a cough and soothe the throat with a sandalwood steam; or reduce facial swelling with grapefruit, juniper and cypress oils, which all have diuretic properties.
8. Dry Brushing
Wake up your clients to this healthy ritual, and sell them an all-natural bristle brush to carry through the benefits at home. Dry brushing rejuvenates, increases circulation for better metabolic behavior, helps rid the skin of accumulated toxins, improves muscle tone, stimulates cell renewal, smoothes the skin, and more. In some cases it can even be more beneficial than scrubs or exfoliants. Incorporate it into facials, manicures, pedicures, massage, body treatments, or really anywhere you see fit.
9. Functional Beverages
Spas are continually upping the ante with what they are choosing to serve at refreshment bars. Functional beverages were introduced a number of years ago, with a range that encompasses numerous store-bought brands, to recipes you personally formulate in your juicing machine or blender. From a simple squeeze of a nutritional supplement into a glass of water, to a blender drink that is customized to your clients needs, this can become an impressive complement to the treatment she is about to have, or just had. I am always impressed when a spa offers me a nicely presented drink, like an orange creamsicle smoothie made up of orange juice, banana, frozen vanilla yogurt, chopped ice and orange garnish...yum!
10. Provide Something For Nothing
Use free samples from vendors and offer new products as a complimentary upgrade to your standard or signature treatment in order to build excitement and demand, create fun value-add promotions that include specific products, or put together a free sampler kit in a cute cosmetic or organza bag. Be sure to explain how to use the product for best results—how to apply, what quantity to use, how long to leave on the skin, how to remove, and what products follow. Pevonia’s Christian Jurist, M.D., suggests trying this trick with masks, or oils.
About the Author: Leslie Lyon, president of Spas2b online spa education, has evolved with the health and beauty industry for more than 35 years. She has been involved in in many aspects of the spa trade, including cosmetology, esthetics, spa direction and management, spa staff training, educator and business owner. Today, her contributions to the industry are international.