We opened what was one of the country's first upscale Men's Salons/Barbershops & Spas in 2002. Since then, in the Washington, DC area and beyond, destinations dedicated to men's grooming have popped up everywhere at an amazing rate. This is great news, as such outlets provide handsomeness-seeking men with a plethora of options and price points for taking care of their personal grooming.
But, if you're in the Washington, DC area and are looking for a great men's salon, barbershop or spa, how should you choose where to go? Our default answer would be to come visit our DC Men's Salon/Barbershop and Spa, because of course, we're real biased and our people are the best. But, stepping outside our bubble of Grooming Lounge love, here's some other pointers for what to look for in your men's salon and what to ask for when you get there.
HOW TO PICK A BARBER/MEN'S HAIR STYLIST
Go To A Male Stop:While a guy can certainly get a fine cut and style at a unisex salon, the best possible results are usually obtained by visiting a men’s-only destination. The barbers/stylists at such establishments definitely have a broader range of knowledge on male-specific styles, issues, options, lifestyles and more – and – the quality will be more consistent amongst different barbers/stylists.
Use Your Words:Personal recommendations and word of mouth are a great way to find a superior barber/men's stylist or men's salon. If there’s a friend, or even an acquaintance, with a great cut, ask them where they got it. That “friend” will certainly appreciate the compliment and it’ll lead to a solid recommendation.
Availability Isn't Key:Although it may be more convenient for scheduling, the shop with the most openings isn’t usually the best choice. A shop with lots of barbers/stylists standing around is that way for a reason. At Grooming Lounge, we schedule haircuts via reservations -- thus setting aside you and your service provider's precious time.
Demand Some Style: It’s not a total deal-breaker, but finding a barber/stylist with a great personal style is essential. Just like they say “never trust a skinny cook,” men should never trust a messy or disheveled barber/men's stylist.
HOW TO INSTRUCT YOUR BARBER/STYLIST
Hire A Consultant:A hallmark of a men's salon that gives a truly great haircut is the depth of the consultation. If the client is on the exact same page as the barber/men's stylist in terms of the desired look, the results will show it. Men should provide as much detail as possible, and bringing in a picture, although it might seem odd or obsessive, really helps the barber/men's stylist (it’s not frowned upon). Present a celebrity with the same hair density and texture desired -- and a stellar service is within reach.
Be Realistic:Don’t be offended if your barber/ men's stylist tells you they can’t pull off the cut you want and recommends an alternative. He/she is doing the client a favor as some hair textures or head shapes just don’t jibe with certain styles.
Accentuate the Negatives:A barber/stylist can learn a ton when the client talks about the reasons they “didn’t” enjoy their previous haircut. It provides a guideline of things to avoid and pays real dividends in the outcome.
WHAT ARE YOU REALLY PAYING FOR WITH A HIGH-END CUT?
Think Ahead:A well-done haircut will always grow in better and last longer. A lower-quality haircut will lose its luster after about 2-3 weeks, but a well-constructed cut, with natural looking edges that complement the shape of the face, will look good for a solid month or even longer. So, although a higher-end cut might cost more up front, the long-term might see some real savings.
Hop On The Train-ing:For the most part, more expensive cuts will be done by barbers/men's stylists with lots of experience, great training backgrounds and those who participate in ongoing education. The benefits of such are more than “cookie-cutter” styles and instead, cuts that are appropriate for ones face shape, hair texture and lifestyle needs.
Avoid Rush-Hour:Often one pays more for the amount of time a barber/stylist spends with them. Shops that operate as “conveyor belts” and get folks out in 20 minutes are often less focused on quality and more focused on numbers. A good haircut needs the reverse. Creating a great look shouldn’t be rushed.
It just so happens Grooming Lounge checks off all the above boxes. So, if you're in the Washington, DC area and are searching for a men's salon... we've got a great choice for you.
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