A man needing a haircut used to get a quick shave and a cut at the local barbershop; no appointment needed. He would simply walk in and take a seat in the available barber chair. There was never any waiting because services never took longer than fifteen minutes to complete. Barber shops were sanctuaries of manly conversation and rarely was a woman seen on the premises. There were no frills offered with the exception of a hot towel before the straight razor shave. Generally barber shops didnít even offer a cup of coffee to patrons.
As time went on, men became more concerned with style and design of the hair so they began visiting hair salons and having their hair cut by hairdressers. The salons offered better styling skills and lots more pampering to their male patrons and the guys liked it. However, the overall atmosphere of the hair salon was geared towards women. The dťcor was feminine and the conversation was Ďgirl talk.í Many men were not comfortable in this atmosphere even though they were receiving services that were more to their liking.
Then came the newest innovation in menís hair care Ė the Barber Lounge. Furnished with comfortable leather chairs, rich wood cabinets and flat screen TVs, the Barber Lounge gives the feeling of being in an exclusive gentlemanís club. Patrons of the Barber Lounge receive all the services that are offered in womenís hair salons in addition to expert barbering skills.
The new cutting edge Barber Lounge offers the traditional barber chair along with the traditional haircuts and straight razor shave and even a shoe shine. Additional services include scalp treatments, conditioning treatments and hair color. Patrons can also receive pedicures and a business manís manicure, massage and skin care in the security of private rooms. As if all these services arenít enough, most Barber Lounges offer a complimentary cup of coffee, cold beer or glass of wine to their patrons.
The additional service offered by the Barber Lounge as opposed to the Barber Shop commands an understandably higher price tag. However, the man who wants to run in for a haircut and leave within fifteen minutes can still do so. This no frills traditional hair cut is still offered and still at minimal cost.
I have found Barber Lounges seem to employ more women than the Barber Shops did in the past. Lady barbers were cutting hair in the majority of Barber Lounges I visited. The patrons of the Lounge didnít seem to mind, most of them were too busy watching sports on the flat screen TVs.
Barber Lounges are found in most major cities. They have yet to appear in smaller towns.
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