Investigative Blogging: Inside the World of the Man Salon!

Posted: April 30, 2011 in The Funny

Ayep, I have boldy gone…

SO, yesterday amid all my doctor crap, it became evident that Mr. Evolution was in serious need of a hair cut.  I am pretty sure Mr.E has worn his hair in the same style since birth, or at least actual observation and photo evidence has led me to beleive so.  And that style is military short…not buzz cut or flat top, but I guess what one might call “officer hair”..short in the back and on the sides, very short actually, and a bit longer on top and in the front…hell, kinda like this dude, but even a wee bit shorter.  And I will also say this, for a dude who is in his 40’s, Mr.E still has ALL his hair, and it is thick and kinda wavy and has a mind of its own, so once it gets past the Officer Hair stage, it becomes…well, very special really.  Well, yesterday it was in special stage, so whilst between doctors he decided to get it cut, and went into what I now know is a Man Salon.

Now, they would NEVER call it a “Man Salon”, because that would be girly and shit…but believe you me, that is exactly what they are, and have been, I suspect, since their inception.  They code and hide themselves under the name “Barber Shop”, and while others have taken the term, there are a few indicators that a Barber Shop is indeed that and not some prentender, a few signs include:  The Pole.  They do not cut Women’s hair.  The presence of several well-groomed fellows about the shop, and at a least one well-groomed or about to be well-groomed fellow outside the shop, often smoking some kind of tobacco product.  So it was yesterday that Mr. E found himself in a Man Salon…er…I mean barber shop, and since I did not feel like roasting in the car, I went in with him.    Now, I have been in a salon or two in my time, and I know what occurs there: hair cutting, hair dying, manicure and pedicures, waxing, facials, sometimes tanning, pampering, things of that nature.  And while the Man Salon, er, Barber Shop, is different, the level of pampering is…dare I say it…even higher?

So I sat and bore witness.  Mr. E and one other fellow were in there at the time.  Mr.E was merely there for a hair cut…and sure enough his hair got cut…but with the hair cutting service he also got  a hot towels on the neck, head and face to relax him and work on his skin, his hair styled beyond the cut, offered coffee and…a head and neck massage…that was like for 15 minutes…and this all just goes with the 16$ hair cut!!!  But Mr. E was totally getting the slack treatment compared to the other fellow in the shop.  He wore his hair…ok…wrong term, he had his head shaved, which was then followed by a cleaning solution for his scalp, hot towels, a lotion for the skin, more hot towels, the head and neck massage, more hot towels, then he got a full shave, with the foam lather and a straight razor and then conditioner for his skin…more hot towels, then his nails clipped and filed to look nice (yet still manly)…dude, this AIN’T a mere place men go to get hair cuts…the old school shaves, the hot towels, the massages….this is a damn Man Salon…and believe you me…all that man-pampering?  A heck of a lot cheaper than the woman-pampering that goes on a Woman Salons!

Needless to say, Mr.E loved this place and will be going back.  And it made me think of the stunning loyalty my father and brother both have to their respective Barber Shops….and now I know why.  It’s not merely about a good hair cut  (ffs, both my father and bro wear flat tops, not much artistry needed there), it’s about the man-pampering:  the Old Fashion shaves, the hot towels, the friendly service, the chat and massage….hell, if gals could spend under 30 bucks and get equivalent woman-pampering we’d have such strong and fierce loyalties to our barbers…er, I mean stylists…too.

But believe you me, the sign may say “Barber Shop”, but what those places really are is Man Salons…and the pole and manly sorts hanging about shall never fool me on that matter again!!!

  1. Gaina says:

    😀 I do like a man who takes care of himself like that. OK, to be honest I go further and say I am a sucker for a guy who knows his way around a tube of eyeliner and isn’t afraid to work it but that’s just me :).

    I think women’s salon’s get away with charging more because the advertising that goes with our beauty treatments hinges solely on exploiting our insecurities. I pay the equivalent of about $40 for mine and that’s at a cheaper salon. They can go into silly money even in small towns and you’re usually just paying for the reputation of the salon, but let me tell you, the more expensive cuts are not the best I’ve ever had.

    • Ren says:

      I can even see charging more for LONG hair (be it on a man or woman) because well, its a lot more hair to deal with…but yeah, I went to a REAL SALON once in my life for a cut and color change (my hair is long) and 110$ later I said NEVER AGAIN…I also used to get my nails done, but havent in awhile because I would rather spend that money on other shit…as is, I get my hair trimmed about once or twice a year and do everything else at home on my own….but If I could get the Barber kinda service for 16$ HELL YES I would do it.

      • Schala says:

        As a kid, I went to the barber’s for my haircuts (when my mother didn’t do it herself, she has a stylist formation…even if it’s now 30 years old), though it wasn’t exactly my choice to have it cut in the first place. It was quite fast and cheap. Bowl cuts mainly, then long bowl-like cuts.

        Then I stopped cutting my hair (at 17ish). I mean no trims, even. For years (try 4-5 years). I got a trim or two from my stepmother and my mother afterwards, but not regularly. I was (maybe justifiably) wary of going to any haircutting place, as a visibly trans woman.

        A few years later, post-transition, my father invited me to go to a salon since I mentioned wanting to try a salon hair dye have streaks (and he was going anyway with his girlfriend and her daughter). I wanted pink initially, but they said it wouldn’t take. So I went with blonde streaks. It took two hours, it was painful, it cost 120$!! That included a washing and small trim and layering.

        And then I looked like I was wearing a wig instead of my natural hair. Never gone back to a salon since. That was 5 years ago.

        My full length is terminal at tailbone length or so (since 2003), and I grew my bangs back recently. So I get a trim every year, maybe, from my mother. No need for more. Cost 0$ (well, I offer her coffee and we talk a lot). It’s always been better to me than anything those overpriced salons offer.

        Funny anecdote: People sometimes tell me my nails are too long…yet manicure ads, and fake nails…are that length. Mine are just free (natural). I just don’t see the point in paying 20-30$, per month, for stuff that grows naturally.

        Also: No hair gel, no flat-ironing, no perming, no spray net, no mousse, no silk thingy. Hair washed every 2 weeks – that is plenty. No special deep-revitalizing whatever thingamajig. My shampoo lasts 15 months per bottle. Same for conditioner. It’s 3$ bottle each (not a 2-in-1 though). Shiny, healthy hair is the result. It’s also easy to style if I want to (though I don’t *need* to, to look presentable, either).

        It seems that the hair industry is making billions out of *making* women insecure. And now, with Axe commercials, they want to make men insecure too.

        …the sad irony, is that people are scared of trying it this way (washing every 2 weeks, for example) – so the industry succeeded.

        • Ren says:

          I wash mine about once a week, actually….and not much in the way of products either lol.

          • Schala says:

            I looked up through google about washing frequency as keywords.

            And found dozens of places with people saying they *have* to wash every 2 days, every day, or even twice a day, with shampoo, or it’s “too greasy”.

            And apparently, you can’t convince them that washing them too much is what causes their greasy state in the first place.

            They’ll think that waiting “too much” between washes is not only bad for the grease, but that your hair is going to smell like a dumpster or something. Something about associating unwashed hair with homeless, and homeless with garbage. Totally false too, unless you’ve actually been in a dumpster.

            After two weeks, I have some grease in my hair, but not disgusting or gunky…it’s natural styling mousse, produced by my scalp. Actually funny to make my hair stay put moderately with it (nothing like a do though, the hair’s weight is a bit much for that). Like I can put strands in front of my eyes a la emo look, or calm down frizz if I got any.

            Not everyone can last two weeks, but a week minimum. Some last months.

            Keep in mind, I don’t even wet my hair during that time. If I did, I could probably last over 2 months.

  2. Carson D Carson says:

    Heh. There is a “Man Salon” in these parts. It’s called Hair M.

    But we also have good barber shops:

  3. Kim says:

    Bob AKA The Moonman is NUTS for a good barber shop. Loves ’em. And I just spend $62 with tip for Mia and I to get our hair cut — give me $16 cuts any day!

  4. rootietoot says:

    There’s this local place Terry and the boys go to-same thing, $15 for a cut, massage, hot towels, and Terry gets his beard trimmed as well, no additional cost. Mine costs $50 and while I get a scalp massage I sure don’t get hot towels or my mustache trimmed. I say good for them, that they can get a bit of pampering and not have their manhood impugned for doing it.

  5. I used to go to a barbershop actually. It was nice not to have to explain what I wanted because it wasn’t feminine enough. But the problem was that the barber decided I was “one of the guys” and started telling me some really sexist shit about his own daughter, kind of *wink wink nudge nudge* because if I’m butch I must understand it. I was really disgusted and I’ve never gone back.

    • Ren says:

      yeahhhh that would be….eeew.

      • Yeah it was. I was really uncomfortable, because before I heard it I actually kind of liked the barber. Oh well.

        • Richard says:

          I had a similiar situation a few years back with this one barber who had a shop near where I was working at the time; it was hella convenient to pop over there on my lunch break, but I had to stop going because his anger- not only at his ex-wife and daughters but women in general- was creeping me out and not wanting him near me with sharp objects. I found out later that his older daughter was a girl I had dated while we were both at the local community college; made me understand why her one comment about her father after I’d met her mother and stepfather had been “Yeah, he’s around. He’s a fucking asshole.”.

  6. ernest Greene says:

    Do love an old-fashioned shave with a straight razor. Getting to be a fad here now with several establishments offering the classic barbershop experience.

    Of course, this being L.A., it’s not quite the bargain it might be in other places.

    • rootietoot says:

      I learned how to use a straight razor when working in a nursing home, and one of the men living there taught me. He was like shaving a bulldog, but I never even nicked him. it could be a fall back profession, if my current career requires supplement.

  7. polly says:

    Oh don’t get me started. For ages I cut my own hair, but then I decided I wanted an actual style (as opposed to self cut with clippers). I go to a unisex salon, I have a similar style to a lot of men in there, and I get charged more! Why? Why?

    Not to mention it is actually illegal to charge women a different rate over here, but still they do it…

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