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What makes a great spa therapist?

This month I am excited to congratulate our in-house beauty therapist, Charlene Oosthuysen, who was awarded the “Professional Beauty Therapist of the year award 2015”. This is such a great achievement for her, as well as for the team at The Spa Warehouse Lifestyle store

and spa in Paarl. It is always great for a spa therapist to get recognition for their hard work and dedication towards their clients. I am like a proud mommy and it is a privilege to be a part of this young woman’s journey.

What attributes does a great spa therapist have?

During the last few years I was very fortunate to be the judge for the “spa of the year award” and was forced to lie for 4 hours at a time in a spa for free treatments to judge the service offering of some of our best spas in the country. Yes I know what you thinking…lucky fish! And yes it was amazing and it was great to experience the South African spa industry from the clients perspective. Someone’s got to do it!

Obviously part of the judging included judging the decor, hygiene and overall atmosphere, but in the end the therapist who performed the treatments on me, were the most determining factor of my experience in the spa. The therapist could make or break my experience and was often the factor that caused a spa to win. They are the true ambassador of the spa and was the window into the soul of the spa.

So how do you know if she is a great therapist?

  • Attention to detail?  I can often see if a therapist love their job by the small things they do in their treatments room. Is their products, trolleys and equipment clean and hygienic? Do they go the extra mile for their clients comfort? Are they aware of their clients need that day or are they more concerned about their own issues. It is the small things like a warm touch, a listening ear and the extra bit of attention to their client that makes us feel like she cares.
  • Is the therapist present? Our clients pay us for attention, healing, relaxation and advise. When a therapist is totally present during the time with you, she will often pick up when you need a extra bit of attention and will be focused on your needs completely.  Her attention should always be totally on you and your needs and should not be discussing her own issues with you. You are after all paying her for her undivided attention.  Therapist who leave the room and leave you alone for a period of time, is not ideal either as you are paying her for the full time and not just for part of it.
  • Does she have enough knowledge?  All beauty therapists have some type of beauty qualifications before working in a beauty salon. Some qualifications are better than others, but it is important for a therapist to keep themselves up to date with what is new and all the latest technology, health advise and ingredients available in the market. The industry is constantly changing and you should not have to trust someone who does not have the latest knowledge at their fingertips.
  • Is she consistent?  Our modern world is constantly changing and I think consistency is the one thing our human beings are craving for. Most people don’t like change and consistent value for money is what we are searching for. We want to know that every time we go to our therapist for a treatment we are going to receive a “great value for money” treatment.  A consistent great treatment that caters for our needs every time.
  • Does she have a caring heart? You cannot be a truly great therapist unless you have a servants heart. Being a therapist usually means working long hours, working weekends and staying behind working when all your friends are away for the weekend. So without a servants heart, giving your all to your clients will be a challenge. A true therapist is a giver by nature and always places the care of the client first.
  • Word of mouth. Speak to your friends. If they are happy with her then there is a great chance that you will be happy with her too.  But still it is always great to test the waters first yourself as your needs are different to those of your friends and she would need to care for yours.


I hope this has helped to guide you in finding your perfect therapist.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our beauty and spa therapist in South Africa. Your dedication to the health and care of your customers is not going unnoticed. You are making a difference in someones life every day.

Be kind to yourself and others.


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