I guess you could call this "Before"

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Damon's Facial

So this past Wednesday I had my scheduled facial at Misbehaven Spa and Salon, which most men (and women) would think is really not a “men’s service” at all. But you, of course, would be wrong if you thought that. Now, I am going to preface this all with the statement that this was not my first facial. Think what you want but my wife insisted that before we got married I needed to “try it” once, if nothing else to get rid of the dark circles under my eyes for pictures (can’t have you looking like you just worked 18 hours on set). So although I do not consider myself an “expert”, I do consider myself pretty well versed in a good facial. What to and what not to do. Like everything else in the world it comes down to the details. How closely does someone pay attention to the little things that can make a good experience, a great one. Misbehaven is known, as I have mentioned previously, for its attention to the details. They go that extra step of putting themselves into the customers shoes and see what it is like from the other side of the table. 
So my session began with Kael much the same way that most of these have gone. Semi lit room, massage table, mood music and the gentle sound of the fan humming along quietly. Usually with a massage I don’t like conversation, I think that a massage is about the relaxation not about knowing what your masseuse is doing. However, with a facial, I usually prefer to know what it is that they are doing, so I can follow along and take notes on what products I like/don’t like on my skin (sorry ladies, I have a sensitive grille). Kael was all business, not that that is a bad thing and I think that most people who come in for a facial are there to relax too. Just my personal preference. 
On the plus side, it made for a very relaxing facial and involved very little thinking on my part, which is a luxury for me and something I quite enjoy (not thinking). What I did notice is that she was very precise and very conscious of her movements, making sure to work the cleansers and other ointments in the same way, so that there was not anything jarring about the experience. Sometimes during a facial, the esthetician will goop your mug up one way several times and then switch it up with another way later which can be a bit jarring if you aren’t ready for it. Call it a mood killer. Kael was very precise and exacting in her routine. 
At the end, I was again disappointed that it ended so quickly, but did enjoy the neck and shoulder massage very much and my face looked much better, the dark circles under my eyes from lack of sleep (thanks to my 4 yr old), gone. So, you have to ask yourself this one question, do you need a re-do on your mood, your outlook and/or your appearance? If so then a facial might just be the thing you need. Now, I know that all of you men are thinking that is “sissy stuff”, well the results speak for themselves and believe me, I thought the same way as you do, but learned the error of my ways. Trust me, you’ll love it. If nothing else it will take away some stress, some acne and those dark circles under your eyes, and let’s face it the ladies love a baby soft grille. . . . cheers.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Damon's Hot Stone Massage

(word from kimberly)
Hot stone massage was one of my favorite services, so I was excited to hear what Damon had to say about it.  Below is his take on a Hot Stone Massage. 

Damon's experience:

Ok, this if for all you dudes out there that have not been paying attention and still don’t think that getting a “spa treatment” is ok or cool. Trust me it is. Allow me to elaborate and enlighten you to this fact, if nothing else remember that there is someone rubbing you down with oil and massaging the knots out of your muscles (How bad can that be?).  Now this is not to take anything away from the professionals that do this nor to cheapen it but let’s face it guys, we are all a bit dumb when it comes to enjoying the finer points of life that do not involve, firearms, big and or noisy pieces of machinery (especially ones that are for destruction), cooking meat with direct flames and sports. 
So I had the pleasure recently of getting a “hot stone” massage. Note that I was skeptical and even slightly sneering at the idea when it was first mentioned. 
Being inner monologue “Hot. Stone? Really? How could anyone possibly believe that rubbing some hot rocks on your body can do anything for you other than possible scald your skin? What idiot thought this up? Someone who invested too heavily in pet rocks back in the 80’s . . .ha!”
So I think I’ve set up the initial reaction to this a few months ago when these were all being offered. Now, having said that, I must say that as the day approached I grew more intrigued and interested if only because Margo had done such a great job with the two previous half hour massages. So usual intro for the day, “hi how are you? Can I get you some water while you’re waiting? The usual pleasantries, and very much appreciated. Again, I know I have said it before, but it is worth mentioning again, it is the attention to detail that I really appreciate here. 
So the hot stone differs from a regular massage in that they actually use, hot stones. Crazy, right? So the masseuse rubs their hands with oil then grabs a hot stone and uses that to massage the muscle. The stones are hot, but not unpleasant, in fact it is very warming and soothing. The stones are used to create a bit more pressure on the muscle as well as heat to help loosen up the knots and kinks. This also allows the muscle to be worked more deeply so that long term muscle pain and problems can be alleviated. 
All of the major muscle groups are worked, neck, arms, legs and while I won’t go into detail (I hate spoilers) I will say that it was not the same kind of relaxing that the other massages were. The hot stone is something unique and must be experienced to fully understand. I am sure that there are some people that would walk away having fallen asleep during the process, but I was very much interested in what was happening and how it affected the feeling of each muscle that was being worked. What I will say is that when I finally walked out of the room I felt like I had just taken a nap AND worked out all at once. An interesting sensation to say the least. 
What I really enjoyed was that I did feel very relaxed and I also felt a bit sore from the muscles being worked so deeply. The part that really worked for me, everything was great, but the extended scalp massage (thank you Margo!) really put me in the trance. Nice way to start a Wednesday morning. 
The whole experience from start to finish was wonderful and highly recommended to anyone who has an hour and half available and needs to work out a few months stress and anxiety. This will reset your inner stress clock, I promise. Make sure that if you do get one of these that you drink PLENTY of water for the next 24 hrs. Deep massages can release stored toxins from your muscles into your blood and those need to be flushed from your system quickly, trust me. So, guys, there are really no excuses for not going and getting a massage. Your friends won’t laugh at you. If they do it’s because they just don’t know how good it really is. I think it is fair to say that I will be going back in for another hot stone at least once more this year and I think it will be a once a quarter thing for me if I can fit it in, it really is worth it. No joke. 
Once again the folks at Misbehave have taken me from skeptic to believer just through demonstration. If they can change my mind, I think it is safe to say that you will become a believer to if you just try it. If nothing else you get an hour and a half off from life and a nap. Cheers.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Damon's Haircut

Last Wednesday was my scheduled hair cut at Misbehaven Spa and Salon, and I must say I was indeed over due, so good thing. For the haircut (hair appointment) I was scheduled with Hailey as I am assuming that Margo is more of a massage specialist and not a stylist, (it's all very confusing to me too boys).  Now, I grew up going to barber shops with my dad, and I hated  it most of the time. First time, the dude nicked my ear, then jammed a pair of scissors into my scalp. Did my best not to cry but, sorry to say I was 5 and the tears just came, dad was not understanding and thought I was being sensitive. Yes sensitive to the fact that some dude just jammed his scissors into my head and it friggin’ hurt. So going to a “salon”, while a bit more “girly” is much more welcome and there is usually not the stench of old cigarette smoke.
Now, I am going to get all of this out of the way up front so that we can set the stage for how things went. I am sure that it will come as a shock to many of you, but I am not the most extraverted person that you all might assume that I am, in fact I am quite shy and quiet normally and am horrible at making small talk. I am also a very private person as a result and am not terribly comfortable with being in the lime light. All true, ask my wife. So you can imagine how I am at a hair appointment or even worse the dentist’s office, and I love my dentist and his staff.
Few things I hate more (no offense intended here, and to be honest I find it mildly amusing now) than sitting in the dentist chair with my mouth agape and someone rummaging around in there while asking you questions like, “so how is your day going?”, to which the usual reply from me is “ho-hay, ah Hess”.  And at the salon the usual small talk ensues as well and I am sure that people think that I am grumpy or anti social, but really I just have nothing to say usually. 
So I really appreciated it when Hailey did not try to engage in small talk or idle chit chat. Her questions were direct , “so, how would you like it cut?” and so were my replies, “short and boring”. I did apologize for not having a more stylish look about me and or ready to go, can you imagine me in some new kinky summer doo? Yea, me neither. So off she went and the conversation was minimal and not too obtrusive, thank you Hailey for making me more comfortable, it is appreciated. 
Now I know in a previous post I mentioned the hot lather shave, and so I will again. Any salon that wants to really hit the “men’s haircut/salon experience” nail on the head will add this feature EVEN if it is only  for the back of the neck and sideburns, ladies trust me when I say this it is underappreciated, ask your man. Add in a true hot lather shave and you have yourself a serious business and a seg way to get men into a facial as well. Enough about that. 
One of my favorite things about getting your haircut at a salon is the wash. Which the barber shops never did, sad. What about the wash? Well specifically it’s the not the wash but the scalp massage. Yes, I said it, it’s the scalp massage. You could skip all the other wash and rinse stuff and just do that. In fact you could sell JUST the scalp massage and you’d make a killing with men, ladies are you paying attention? Imagine a salon that offered 15min scalp massages to men? You could even mention that it helps promote blood flow around the brain and to the hair follicles and thus promotes hair growth. How about that? 
So Hailey did a great job with the cut, but the scalp massage really sold it for me. Incredibly relaxing and I actually felt like I had some real down time, and this is a big bonus for me, as a haircut is usually something that I have scheduled in between other things. It is something that is done because it is needed not because it is wanted. Not this time. After the scalp massage (it could have lasted for 20 more minutes in my opinion) we went back and finished the haircut and I must say, very nicely done, even for my boring head and its lack of style. And let’s face it if Hailey can make me look good, she is obviously a miracle worker. 
Thank you to Hailey for making a simple haircut that much more enjoyable, bravo. Thank you to Misbehaven for continuing to pamper me and make all of these experiences very enjoyable. From a man’s point of view the salon is an intimidating place and not one that most men are comfortable in. I appreciate the staff at Misbehaven taking time to explain things and make it less awkward for us guys. If I could recommend anything I would say for men’s services, add the hot lather, even if it is only the back of the neck and sideburns. If you can get a full hot lather shave, even better. And sell the scalp massage as a service, when you do I will be making regular appointments. . . . .Cheers.

photos by kimberly miner, kimberly ink photography, owner of this blog.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Damon's 1/2 hour Deep Tissue Massage

So on Wednesday April 11, I had my second appointment with Margo at Misbehaven Spa and Salon. While I thought this was going to be an hour long deep tissue, I was mistaken and it was a ½ hr session, my mistake. Having said that the experience was still fantastic.

Now I have been getting massages for almost 20years and they are usually sports massage or deep tissue so I am familiar with the process. What I enjoy about Misbehaven’s treatments is that they are aware of the client and work to make sure that the client is relaxed and enjoying the experience without constantly asking how you are enjoying the experience. This is a difficult thing to learn and to teach. There is a fine line that must be walked between being aloof and being annoying. I think it speaks volumes about the quality of the business and its staff that they can seamlessly make you feel at ease and be attentive.
What you first notice when you step in to the treatment rooms, is that you are probably not noticing anything. There is a small fan/heater that is running, blowing in warm air, but softly and hardly noticeable except for the soft whoosh of air coming from it. There is music, barely audible but there in the back ground taking away any awkwardness that would come from total silence. The room is lit well, not too bright, not to dim so that your eyes can adjust to the darkness properly. There are no strong smells of perfumes or oils or worse, patchouli, (God bless them for that). Again, someone has paid close attention to the details here without making it obvious to everyone.
A deep tissue massage is not for everyone. There is some actual stress that is induced in the muscles to help relieve tension and tightness. And let’s face it sometimes, they can be painful, uncomfortably so. I have had a few in the past that have left me feeling like I have just been visited by the Spanish Inquisition (nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!), seriously. Happy to report that Margo, once again has delivered a great massage without the pain. Now, do not think for a minute that she took it easy on me, she did not. Margo was able to find some kinks and knots in my shoulders and get them removed. She has strong hands but a gentle touch so that there is no discomfort but all of the muscles are worked through and free of knots at the end of the session. Even, a half hour session.
I think my only disappointment from this session was that it was only a half hour. As I stated before, I was thinking that this was going to be a full hour and was enjoying it so much that when she said we were done, I was really hoping that we still had another half hour. A good massage should leave you feeling like you have just had a nap and a workout all at once, this one did not let me down. My muscles were supple but felt worked. I felt tired and energized all at once. And I was given a cool glass of water upon my exit from the treatment room, thank you very much.
If you are feeling a little tight or stressed, my recommendation is schedule yourself a massage. Sometimes all you need is a little time away from the day to decompress and work out the knots and kinks. It will do wonders for your body and for your outlook on the rest of your week. Cheers.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Damon's 1/2 hour Swedish Massage

Here's what he had to say about it!

"On Sunday I had my first appointment with the folks at Misbehaven Spa and Salon, a half hour Swedish massage. Now, half hour massages usually don’t get my motor running as they are usually too short to get some real relaxation going. So I was prepared for a quick “massage” that would be semi painful and not really relaxing at all.
When I arrived, I was promptly greeted by Margo, my masseuse for the day who kindly offered me something to drink, to which I said no thanks, I’m good. She led me to one of several “treatment” rooms and then stepped out while I lay down on the table. Now a half hour massages usually only covers one specific area, such as neck or back and or legs and arms. Today we would be focusing on the neck and back. Again, my hopes were not high, but still Margo seemed nice enough.
So Margo began by working the muscles around my neck and shoulder blades, pretty simple and not painful at all. I was sure that there would be some pain soon though. I was wrong. Not only was it not painful, like some previous massages I have had elsewhere, but it was totally relaxing. I even found myself slipping into a sleepy; trance like state the height of relaxation for me.
The massage was so good that I really was totally surprised. No joke. Margo is very adept and is able to walk the fine line between pressure and relaxation which many masseuses fail to do. It is either all pain or weak hands that cannot get into the muscle groups and stretch things out.
So my first experience was in a word, amazing. I am seriously thinking of calling Margo up and having her book me for a full 1 hour Swedish, on my own dime. Yes it was that good. If you can stop my mind from thinking for even five minutes, then you have seriously succeeded in making me relaxed. Best half hour massage ever."

Monday, March 12, 2012

What does Damon have to say about all this?

“adventures in metrosexuality”

So I am not a “fancy” guy if you will, and please read on before you make any snap judgements about my choice of words. I do not wear suits. I do not wear ties. Unless I am going to a funeral or a wedding, in which case I might do both and will probably wear socks too. my mother told me it shows class, whatever. Most days you will find me sporting a pair of shorts, usually well worn, and flip flops (same). I frequently do not shave for several days at a time, I have other things to do in the morning. So when I say I am not “fancy” I mean I am not a guy that really takes a lot of stock in his personal appearance, day to day. That is not to say I am a slob (do not ask my wife this question) nor that I do not like to look “presentable” (again, don’t ask my wife). So when Kimberly Miner asked me if I would be willing to come to Misbehaven and get some “spa treatments” done and then write about them, I was at least intrigued although I pictured in my mind several women standing over me and wanting to “tweez” my brown and airbrush my nails. . . uh, no.
Kimberly thought that if men had a chance to hear it from another man then it might take some of the “scare” out of it. Ok, I am all about trailblazing so why not? Kimberly and I met at Misbehaven to run through the different spa and “grooming” (guys don’t do “beauty”) packages they offer. The list is extensive and although my wife and daughters have forced me on occasion to get a facial or pedicure, I am not too familiar with all of the different items.
I decided to take the menu home and run through all of the different services so that I could compile a list of what I thought that most guys would be willing to endure, I mean, enjoy, yes . . . .enjoy. . . . I did find a few items that I had questions about and after visiting the Misbehaven web site, I have to say that I was not any more informed, unfortunately. I would love to see a detailed description for each service so that if I had a question about what the difference between a Swedish massage and a Deep Tissue massage was, I could at least get an idea from the site. I also noticed that most of the site is geared toward woman, no surprise, but that there is no list of Men’s services listed, this would be a nice touch for those looking and for those who’s spouses or significant others wanted to get something as a gift or do a “couple’s day” at the spa.
After talking it over with Jeanese I decided that we would try out the massages, facial and the mani and pedi (sorry just saving words here boys). I would also set up a men’s haircut. The only other item that I thought would be nice for men would be a hot lather shave. I have had a few of these in my time, thanks to my father for pointing out how nice these are, and how rare these days, and the experience of a good hot lather shave is something that is not to be missed at least once in life. Gents add it to your bucket list and make it happen.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

What's Next?

What's next?

i thought it would be interesting to have a man go through all the Men's Services at Misbehaven as well. it was a little challenging getting photos of the services that i had so i thought this would also give me the opportunity to observe and take photos. but the primary objective of having a man come in and get services done is to see if we can show people that Spas and Salons are not just for women.

i met Damon Burke when i first took photos for him at his business "Salumiere Cesario", here in Walla Walla. i have also taken family photos of him and his wife, Colby and their two girls. Colby and Damon had read about what i was doing at Misbehaven and one day when i was in their shop, we got on the conversation of men having spa services. Damon mentioned he likes to take his girls for manicures and that he had even had a facial, due to Colby's coaxing.

months later, i approached Damon and asked him if he would be interested in having the services that Misbehaven offers, that we felt men were most likely to have done. in turn, he would blog about it, share his experiences. he agreed, and last Friday we met at Misbehaven and scheduled all his appointments. we will be meeting in two weeks for his first service...a swedish massage.