Spa Etiquette :Answers to Questions You may be Afraid To Ask

If you visit a spa only a few times a year - or even if you're a constant spa-goer - you apparently still have some questions unanswered about “spa etiquette” that you want answers for. Feeling bored on the customary codes of conduct at the spa, but too ashamed to clarify?

Before you book your next massage, wax or facial appointment, read these spa etiquette questions (and answers) that you’ve been too scared to ask.

Should you shave before a spa treatment?

This is a general question and the answer depends on the sort of treatment you are receiving. For instance, it’s recommended that men shave the day before undergoing a skin care treatment. For women, to shave before certain spa services can cause irritation. It is wise to enquire with the spa receptionist on what kind of at-home preparation is required before you show up for your appointment.

How far in advance can I cancel my spa service?

Some spas have a 24-hour cancellation policy, so if you want to cancel, ensure to inform your spa beforehand, else you might be asked to pay.

Is it okay to ask for a male or female therapist?

If you want a female or male therapist – then just ask! This is a common request you can make when you book your first appointment.

How early should I arrive for my appointment?

The law of punctuality may seem simple, but to arrive on-time actually sets the pace for a relaxing spa experience. Arriving 15minutes early at least allows you to sit back, relax and unwind while you sip on a cup of herbal tea, fill out the required paperwork and change into a spa robe if necessary. Many spas also offer the use of their complimentary amenities like a sauna to their customers and arriving early to your appointment lets you take advantage of those spa perks.

Is it OK to use my phone while at the spa?

There’s nothing more disconcerting than hearing a cell phone ring as you are trying to enjoy a refreshing spa treatment. Be a little considerate of your spa experience as well as the experience of other visitors by switching your cell phone off. Don't forget that you’re there to relax and unwind, and so are the folks around you.

Will I be nude during the treatment process?

This is probably the most frequent question that spa-goers are so afraid to ask, but don’t be. Your therapist will help you feel comfy and give you instructions about what you should be expecting when it comes to disrobing. If the treatment demands you removing your clothes, your therapist will leave the room so you can privately do so. As a general custom, most treatment process requires that you are draped and some spas will provide a robe in the changing room. You can put on underwear during a massage, but for most massage and body treatments, you might also be asked to unclothe completely. If you’re unsure on what to expect – simply ask!

Is it inappropriate to speak up during my spa treatment? 

Your therapist’s duty is creating the most enjoyable experience possible, so it’s imperative to speak up if you have any questions, concerns or complaints. Before the commencement of treatment, let the spa staff know if you’re nursing, pregnant, or you have any medical conditions or allergies. 

It’s also notable letting your therapist know if you're feeling uncomfortable at any point in time during your spa service. Be it the room temperature, massaging pressure, or even if you want more quiet time with less talk, let your therapist know. You’re paying for a service and your esthetician will be more than glad to entertain your needs.

Should I leave a tip?

In most cases than not, tipping is optional, never mandatory. When it comes to you tipping your therapist, a 15-20% tip is the standard in North America and always welcomed, especially when you received an excellent service.