When opening the first Happy Head location a few years ago, selecting the Happy Head name obviously had some inherent risk. Friends thought we were crazy for choosing the name. Crazy or not, the name was one of the reasons that catapulted our success.
When researching all the other massage parlors in San Diego, we polled individuals to what they liked about them and what they didn’t like about them. We kept the good and threw out the bad.
We also went undercover to many of the local massage parlors to experience on our own what was good and what wasn’t. And in the process, we discovered all the little dirty massage parlor secrets that they don’t want you to know about. This may get us in some hot water, but we’re going to share those with you. There will be no punches pulled and no censorship.
For the first time ever the Happy Head is revealing the dirty massage secrets that massage parlors don’t want you to know about.
1. Why do they make me get a membership to get a discount?
Did you know that some massage parlors make most of their money by locking you into long term memberships? You know the drill. You come out of your massage feeling relaxed and stress-free, and then the pitch begins.
They ask you how often you plan to get a massage, how much you plan to spend, and then they take you through the sales routine. They show you a comparison chart of how much you’ll save by signing up for their monthly membership.
I never understood why they would force to lock you into a membership until I discovered that most people who paid their monthly membership fees never would get a massage. They would essentially take your money whether you got a massage or not. That’s absurd.
We don’t feel like you should pay a membership fee to get a discount. And that’s why we never plan to charge membership fees. You should be entitled to get a great massage at a great price because you want to, not because you have to. If you end up with a pinched nerve or a sore shoulder, we don’t want you worrying about membership fees; we want you to feel better, NOW!
2. Are those sheets clean?
This shouldn’t even be a question, but the harsh reality is that some massage parlors think that flipping the sheets in between customers is the same as cleaning. It may be ridiculous but it’s a harsh truth.
Ever see those Chinatown massage parlors advertising a $15 massage? I’ve checked out some places that only charge $10 for an hour. Have you ever heard the phrase you get what you pay for? I didn’t know that my 10 bucks was for dirty sheets.
It’s absurd but when a company has no systems in place, doesn’t hold their employees accountable, has no consistency, and doesn’t care about their customers, you end up lying on dirty sheets. Yuck!
3. That guy looked a little too happy. Do they do happy endings?
You think happy ending massage parlors are just a myth? Check out the body rubs section at backpage.com and you’ll find hundreds of massage parlors advertising everything from “come enjoy our young Asian girls” to “sensual massage with all the perks.” Remember little fact #2 about using clean sheets? Combine fact #2 and fact #3 and let your imagination run wild.
Hey, our name is Happy Head but we’re making a joke about it. However, happy ending spas should be shut down and are nothing more than prostitution rings. End rant.
4. What’s the masseuse really thinking?
When the masseuse has his or her hands on your naked flesh what are they really thinking? Some people think that the relationship between massage therapist and client is an intimate one. Well, the answer is yes and no.
When a therapist first starts working on clients that certainly may be the case. However, after working on hundreds of clients they start seeing more with their hands. There’s a good article at http://www.oprah.com/health/What-Masseuses-Think-About-During-a-Massage that I found pretty informative on the topic.
The fact is when you go to a massage parlor and the therapist is fresh out of massage therapy school, they don’t have enough experience to separate the emotion from the massage. That’s why at the Happy Head, we have a strict policy of hiring licensed massage therapists that have at least 3 years experience and have done at least 3000 massages (3000 hours) in addition to their schooling.
5. Why are massages at some massage parlors so inconsistent?
Do you know how some massage parlors hire their therapists? They give them a bunch of massages and if there are no complaints from customers then they assume the therapist is good.
What they don’t realize is that customers don’t like to complain, they just don’t come back. They may have received a high-pressure massage and ended up with some slight bruising or post-massage pain (which aren’t actually bad things!). Or, maybe they felt that they didn’t get enough out of the massage. Regardless, that’s all it takes to go from return customer to constant avoider.
Most massage parlors rely entirely on new customers and pay no attention to their existing clientele. They never learned that the success of a business is driven by their existing clients. And that’s why they totally ignore their customer base.
When we hire our therapists, they’re at first stunned to discover that we test their skills. They must pass several technical exams, perform massage on mystery shoppers, get thoroughly trained on our style of massages. After establishing that they are qualified, they then go through the entire process again on a regular basis to ensure that their massage is consistent. This is the only way to make sure that each and every massage is great for each customer.
That’s it for now. Some people may find these findings shocking. Some may know of these already. One thing is for sure: many other massage companies will not like us revealing these secrets that they don’t want you to know about.