Growing up, my father used to cut my hair. It was really easy—I’d sit on a high chair out in the garage, and Dad would shave my head with a trimmer. It’d take about 20 minutes, then we’d vacuum the floor and be done with it.
Then came college. Freshman year, most of the guys on the floor didn’t want to pay for haircuts, so we helped each other out. It was a good bonding experience, even though it was a little odd to be touching another guy’s hair. Even though it’s out there in the open, it’s a rarity that you touch anyone’s hair…isn’t that odd?
Sophomore year, I learned how to cut my own hair. I used two mirrors for the back. A tricky procedure, but the results were decent. No matter the mistakes, my hair would grow out evenly within a few days, so it was never too bad.
About a year ago, I got a raise at my last job, and I decided that for the first time in many years, I would pay for a haircut. I went to Great Clips, and $15 and 15 minutes later, my hair was cut. And it was nice. It wasn’t as short as I had to cut my hair with the clippers, so I actually looked normal instead of small-headed the next day.
However, when you go to Great Clips, you get what you pay for. The people there charge through their haircuts, often racing back to the register afterward to get back in the queue for the next customer. Thus, the haircuts were hit and miss (usually miss). So even though I returned there after 7 weeks or so (yeah, I had a reminder in my calendar to tell me the last time I got a haircut), I wasn’t quite pleased with the consistency of quality haircuts.
Last fall, I had a horrible haircut at Great Clips. There was a huge chunk of my hair in the back that had been left untouched, so it was about an inch longer than the rest of my hair. I was pissed. Sure, I could have gone back and had it fixed, but that’s my time. I didn’t want to waste it on them.
So the next time I got a haircut, I did it myself, and Caroline helped me in the back. It turned out pretty well. I’d do it again.
However, a week later, a friend of mine informed me that he had discovered a new place to get haircuts. I say “discovered” because it’s tucked away in the basement of the Chase Park Plaza—it’s a place that you’d never stumble upon unless you turned the wrong way while looking for the Café Eau bathroom.
Let’s call it Shangri La.
The place is called Cutters & Co (subtitle: “A Man’s Place”). As the slogan suggests, it’s a place for men to feel like men while getting a good haircut. It’s not a salon. Real men don’t go to salons. Real men go to barbershops and get their hair cut by war veterans wielding razor blades and a propensity to cut your scalp. It’s not a real man’s haircut unless you shed a drop of blood.
But now, there’s an alternative to the pain. Cutters & Co (or “Trim & Tits,” as my coworker called it today) is essentially Hooters for haircuts. But more tasteful.
When I walked in today for a 6:20 appointment, the first thing they asked me was if I wanted something to drink. They pointed to a frosted mini-fridge and told me to help myself. After a long day of work, I was happy to down a Select while getting my hair cut (I wanted to look clean-cut for the Gala).
Now, I should say that the women at Hooters freak me out. They’re all Botoxed and spray-tanned, and those tights that look like skin unnerve me. They seem too eager to please.
Thus was not the case with Angie, my barberwoman. She was cute, mind you, but it’s not like she was scantily clad or overly made up. If anything, she reminded me of a geisha. Geisha’s are slightly seductive, but mostly they’re just really, really good at making you feel at ease through the art of conversation. Angie fit the mold. Often when I was at Great Clips, I felt this great pressure to either (a) be interesting while talking and trying not to get hair in my mouth or (b) be really good at staying quiet and dutiful. Not the case with Angie. It was just really…easy.
The best part of the whole deal was the post-haircut shampoo. Sweet Jezubel, I had forgotten how good it felt to get a shampoo. The last time I had one of those was as a kid at the salon my mom used to take us to (I’m talking 15 years ago). Angie covered my face with a warm, wet towel (the kind you get at nice sushi restaurants before you eat) and proceeded to wash my hair twice and massage my scalp. No rush, no hurry, just good times for my hair. I almost fell asleep. Did I mention the chair was super comfortable?
In the end, Angie was just as easy on my wallet as she was on my eyes. $10 for the first haircut, plus a free bottle of shampoo. It’ll be $20 hereafter, but it’ll be worth it.
The only real downside was that it’s actually quite tough to drink a beer while getting a haircut, so I had to down it afterward. The timing would have been perfect if I needed to wait in the lobby before getting the haircut.
Overall, I highly suggest this place to all men in St. Louis.