A Private Salon, A Personal Experience
Immediately upon entering A Private Salon you get the feeling of warmth, acceptance, enthusiasm and you know you’re in store for a dying form of personal interaction. The barbershop. You know the one from the movies, the fables of our pre-cell phone, pre-grunge days. The classic barber shop where, typically, men sat around with a drink in hand and a smile on their face. The one that has long been endangered, the place where long talks delve into philosophy, the genius of musicians, and the happenings around town all merge into an hour long session where you just so happen get a great haircut.
The atmosphere is set right when you walk in. Music fills the place with an ambience not of a day-spa where a chime is occasionally heard but rather blues, rock, and jazz. But the name doesn’t fool you, this is equal parts salon; a place of relaxation comfort and stress relief, as it is a barbershop; where the idea of having a real, personal conversation and interaction is alive and thriving.
The main attraction here is Freddy, the enigmatic, eclectic hairstylist dancing to rock and roll on his way over to you to give you a firm handshake and a warm welcoming smile. The standard operating procedure here is to give him an idea or picture of what you want done to your hair, discuss whatever quirks you may have about it, and then you get to sit down in a comfortable chair and he gets to work. But you learn rather quickly that it’s so much more than that. The uninitiated don’t know how to react at first, I didn’t. He begins talking with a southern accent that at times is hard to understand and he knows this, he isn’t afraid to repeat himself and will given the opportunity. It isn’t the typical conversation that you would expect; how’s classes, what do you do for a living, how’s your day, etc. A song may come on and he’ll talk about that one time in Germany that it was playing, or the time in China, or the time in Vegas. Then he’ll beckon you into the conversation and soon you’re talking about things you forgot happened to you and your both laughing while he takes a second to let you talk. And he’s not just waiting for the next time he can talk, he wants to know what you have to say and then the conversation ends up changing into something unrecognizable from the beginning. In a good way. It’s mesmerizing and exciting to meet a genuine person. He’s the emotive and animated character that you may meet once or twice in your life, or read in a book, or see in a movie, and now he’s cutting your hair.
He begins to set up with a tool belt of scissors and combs, all the while dancing with tight jeans and boots on which reminds you of a bygone era even if you weren’t a part of said era, and it becomes a fun experience rather than the worry stricken, at times panic inducing, experience that can come from a haircut. You trust this lovable southern man with your hair because at any given time someone will walk in all smiles and talk affectionately and happily thank him for a great job he did for them, their daughter or son and then leave just as quickly and leaving you just as bewildered asking yourself, ‘what did I get myself into’.
By the end of the visit you have a stellar haircut, you’ve had a conversation filled with everything from music to philosophical theories, and the strong urge to come back. Because you just found a hairstylist that has life stories that you can relate to and want to hear more of, you have a haircut that people will graciously compliment, and you have a place where friends are made in less than an hour. Be warned this isn’t a supercuts haircut, it’s going to cost a little extra because you’re paying for what you get. And it’s more than a haircut, it’s an experience.