Salon Review: The Barber Shop
The first thing we noticed about The Barber Shop, the new gents’ hair salon in Santa Cruz, was that instead of old copies of Filmfare and Stardust, they had the latest issues of the Indian editions of such men’s magazines as GQ and Men’s Health. The next thing we noticed was that the month-old salon looks like a cross between your neighbourhood nai and an American barbershop. The layout is similar to that of your average cut-price salon but the teak paneling, black-and-white checkered flooring and plush black swivel chairs give the place a decidedly international vibe, along with the slightly random portraits featuring Elvis Presley and his famous quiff and Bond-era Sean Connery and his receding hairline.
Something about the electronica soundtrack and the all-black attire of the staff made us think of the Juice chain of salons. There was good reason for this. The Barber Shop is owned by the same people who run Juice, which when it opened about a decade ago, was one of the first salons in the city where guys went to get their hair “styled” and not just “cut”. The Barber Shop offers the same services as Juice, but is a men’s only establishment, and is a tad more pocket friendly. While a standard haircut could set you back Rs550 and above at a Juice outlet, at The Barber Shop, you can get a hair trim (“for those who want to maintain their current hairstyle”) for Rs150. The “service menu”, which is in the form of a laminated leaflet, offers haircuts, hair colouring, hair treatments (for hair fall and dandruff), hair texturing (straightening, for instance), beard shaving and shaping, facials, manicures, pedicures and massages.
We tried out the 20-minute hand reflexology treatment, which turned out to be just a fancy term for an arm massage. The Barber Shop’s massage room is, metaphorically speaking, the size of a matchbox. We were thankful for being spared the scent of any-sneeze inducing aromatic candles, while the masseur sequentially applied pressure on our shoulder, arm and finally palm. It was all right, we suppose; the repetition of the movement gradually inducing us into a stupor. But like at most spas in the city, don’t expect your masseur to answer any questions about the techniques they use, or which parts of the hand relate to which parts of the body. Traditionally, hand reflexology treatments are done only on the palm, and without oil, which The Barber Shop will use if you so choose.
Authentic it is not, but it is an alternative. A mid-price option between your crew cut specialists and your fancy stylists, The Barber Shop may be worth a visit if you live in Santa Cruz or Khar and are the kind of chap who feels a tad embarrassed getting his hair done in the company of women.Tags: Hair salons, Juice, The Barber Shop
The Barber Shop
Location7, Kings Acres
Opposite Podar International School
Santa Cruz (West)
HoursDaily, 9am to 9pm