by | MATT DORVILLE
Upscale men's salons and barbers are a popular trend in many urban areas, but most of them have a decidedly retro feel. They tend to look like the kind of place Mad Men's Don Draper would have had his hair Brill-creamed to perfection—wood-paneled rooms staffed by barbers wielding hot towels and straight razors. And while those places get the job done, they're not exactly welcoming.
But at Spiff, a new salon in New York City, men's grooming has been taken up to the next level and into the twentieth century. The atmosphere is modern—strikingly modern in fact—complete with flat-screen televisions tuned to sports and stock reports. The barber chairs are ultra-sleek and comfy, proving the perfect seating to lounge away in. It's a classy environment, with top-notch service and an impressive selection of professional hair care products provided by Redken for Men.
The staff is not only knowledgeable and particularly well-skilled, but they give Spiff an especially friendly and relaxing vibe. They've also mastered the art of knowing who's up for conversation and who would rather be left alone, so if you're not a chatty person like me, you're left to kick back and relax in relative anonymity.
I stopped by Spiff recently for a haircut, manicure, and facial (my first!). Kara, my esthetician, went to work on my neglected face. She pointed out a few dry spots and massaged in a hydrating lotion. Then she gave me pointers on how to maintain a clean and healthy look, explaining the benefits of SPF lotion and moisturizer. The facial was the highlight of my experience and Kara was, in short, incredible in her knowledge and demeanor. I left with a smooth, clean glow that I definitely want to keep up.
Next, I was off to Liz for a new hairstyle and Lyuba for a first manicure—also a first for me. Liz and I agreed on a short, floppy haircut with a full texture before she gave me a shampoo, scalp massage, and rinse. Watching the news while my cuticles were primed and hair tousled to perfection, I could definitely see the benefits of going to a salon on a regular basis.
In addition to their a la carte haircuts ($45), manicures ($18), pedicures ($40), and facials ($75), Spiff offers membership packages designed to help frequent visitors keep up their appearance and save a little money in the process: A six-month package of unlimited manicures, haircuts, and shoe shines is $425; a 12-month option for $750 is also available. That may sound expensive, but it is less than you'd pay for the individual services—and with the package, you won't be tempted to let that haircut grow out or let your hands revert back to their natural, ungroomed state.