I walk into The Spa at Halo [for Men] and an up-tempo song instantly sets my mood to perfect. A friendly front-desk staff greets me with a beverage and a seat in a waiting room that mirrors a well-decorated pad. I settle into leather chairs, surrounded by candles, and face a giant plasma television (Reminder: this is just the waiting room). Ahead, the salon is bright with more televisions, books and masculine-colored walls. Adjacent to the salon is the spa, set in a low-lit, Buddha-inspired space.
I’m led to a vintage barber’s chair that the owner, Bob Patrizi, scored off eBay, for my very first professional shave. The shaver, Janell, places soothing hot towels on my skin between each exfoliation, lather and moisturizing step. She uses a sharp blade you’d see in olden days. No nicks, and instantly I have baby-smooth skin. And, apparently, her close shaves take longer for hair to grow back. Awesome. I’m a lazy shaver.
Next, I gear up for “The Man.” This service includes a shampoo, haircut, style, scalp massage, paraffin wax on hands and a hot-towel facial. Seriously. My stylist, Kelly, chats with me while she snips. That’s the thing about this place: if you want to talk, great. If you don’t, it’s cool too. Every station has a plasma television so you can zone out if preferred. Next, Kelly takes me to the peacefully Zen spa for my five-minute back-scratch. Yes, a back-scratch. I sit in a massage chair and rest my head in an o-shaped pillow while she uses metal sculpture-like tools that relax my muscles to a jellyish state.
Last, I get my pedicure. Eva tells me to relax while she places my feet into a large basin with hot stones and bubbles. She meticulously cleans cuticles, trims nails, exfoliates the bottoms of my feet and massages along the arch, over the heel and up to the calf. A paraffin wax finishes the act. On the way out, I pick up a few of the hair and skin products (tailored clothing is also available for sale) recommended by Patrizi. I leave feeling like Halo is heaven. (Byron Flitsch)
The Spa at Halo [for Men], 21 West Elm, (312)642-4256, halochicago.com