Although it is standard practice in Melbourne to stay fairly well-groomed, it is not a city that requires hours of slavish devotion to your looks before you step out the door. There is a great mix of styles (and lifestyles) in Melbourne – from ultra-groomed to bohemian.
Having semi-regular haircuts is considered normal and appropriate, but having regular facials, manicures, pedicures and so on is not as common. Certainly, you will not be seen as odd if these things are a priority of yours (although you might hear soft sighs of envy from those whose budget and time commitments do not allow for it). However, don’t feel as if you are breaching cultural norms if you forgo a weekly beauty treatment.
More Melburnians are having regular massages, though, to combat stress and promote well-being. Determining the difference between a Health Massage and one that is a little more X-Rated is pretty simple. If you are looking in newspaper classifieds for your local massage therapist, look for the ads that specify “NON-SEXUAL” (usually in capital letters).
In every suburb of Melbourne you will find an abundance of hair dressing salons that cater to both genders and usually have a manicurist on-site. Many beauty therapists work from a salon in their home (a very comfortable and friendly way to have your legs waxed) or operate a mobile service that comes to you. These will almost always be advertised in your local community through the classifieds in the free papers, or on noticeboards in local shops.
- Always phone ahead for an appointment, no matter what the treatment.
- At a spa, always turn off your phone when you arrive.
- Let your therapist know if you are uncomfortable with nudity if you are having a massage.
- State all of your preferences: lighting, hair colouring, everything.
Toni & Guy
A well respected chain that employs some very talented stylists, but known for their above average prices ($150+ for cut and colour).
311 Smith St, Fitzroy
03 9419 5507
Brilliant colourists, eerily intuitive when you can’t quite explain yourself.
10 Mcilwrick St, Windsor
03 9529 1179
Ask for Ray, he’s the best.
151 Carlisle St, Balaclava
03 9531 7868
Favourite of those in St. Kilda.
The following provide massage, and minor cosmetic procedures like laser hair removal, waxing, mani/pedicure.
1100 High Street, Armadale
03 9500 1166
Unisex, great atmosphere, and reasonably priced packages. Aroma Steam and Swiss Shower plus 60 min Full Body Relaxation or Hot Stone Massage over 90 minutes, $145.
Lime Six Day Spa
Level 2, 71A Grosvenor St, South Yarra
03 9826 0966
Very modern and relaxing atmosphere. Specialises in rejuvenation by addressing all senses with massage, aromatherapy, and soothing aural stimulation.