A salon just for men right here in the Silicon Valley.
A couple weeks ago I was presented with the chance to stop by a new hair salon in Mountain View, a city here in the Silicon Valley. The reason I agreed to the visit isn't because I needed a haircut (though this was also true), rather it was the fact that this new salon is intended for primarily men. 18|8 (pronounced "Eighteen Eight") is a fine men's salon whose basis is to provide a high quality salon experience to men, similar to that of women's hair salons. What a great idea, right?!
Speaking from experience, it's never comfortable feeling being the only male in a salon full of women. Sure I get along with women, but sometimes I like to chum it up with guys, too! As I walked into the salon, it was a welcomed greeting and friendly staff. My eyes sort of did drift from a wall filled with product, up to the giant mounted flat screen, then focusing on the completely awesome chandelier hanging from the industrial ceiling.
After about a minute or two of filling out the new client cards, I was greeted by the owner, MJ. He was a really nice guy, but to be honest, I'm always afraid to meet owners/Presidents/CEO's or any other type of high-ranking business official. Nonetheless, MJ was not like the rest of 'em. He was a friendly, sincere, well-rounded, and experienced professional who decided to open up a men's salon with the hopes of providing other guys the opportunity of a stellar salon experience.
Once I toured the new 18|8 and was shown all its amenities, I was shown into the changing room where I was to change from my street clothes into the robes provided. Once I toured the new 18|8 and saw all its amenities, I was shown to the changing room where I was to switch from my street clothes into the robe provided. This was great because it eliminated my first concern of, 'How itchy am I going to be walking out of here?' After I changed, I was walked over to my stylist Lisa's station and began the process.
I expressed an extreme need of a new style and the importance of me changing up my look to keep things interesting and myself from keeping the same Justin Bieber hair curse I've had since high school. Lisa, being the genius that she is, talked over with me some points on why she felt my hair should remain longer in the front and shorter in the back. I just smiled, nodded my head, and said, 'I trust you.' The fact that I was able to trust a stylist so easily was beyond me, but I did and I'm happy that it happened that way.
Lisa started me off with a hot rock massage as part of the Executive Cut ($49) that I was receiving that day. It included a 5-minute neck & shoulder massage, cut, wash / condition, and hot towel finish. 1) The massage was heavenly and I'm still dreaming about it, 2) I didn't have to move from my chair because each station has its own sink for washing, 3) I felt like a king. The special treatment and accommodation 18|8 is founded upon was definitely noticeable in every step of the styling process. I felt completely spoiled and I was okay with that.
I spent some time there getting to know more about Lisa, her background, family, and the like. She apparently owned her own salon, retired, missed styling so much that she decided to get back into it. After some time chatting it up, Lisa completed the styling and started me with the scalpmetics treatment ($35). It was essentially exfoliating my scalp, removing buildup (similar to that of facial buildup), and it brought a cooling sensation that was extremely enjoyable.
Before I knew it, it was done. The cut, styling, and scalp treatment left me melted in my chair. I didn't want to get up considering I was half asleep from how relaxed I felt, but I had to. Before leaving, I spoke with MJ and learned some more on his background in technology, his overall experience as a businessman, and some of his hair nightmares. A great note to end on after such an awesome experience.
So, here's the finished product. I took the photos you see above immediately after my visit to the 18|8 Fine Men's Salon here in Mountain View. Pretty slick, huh? I got so much positive feedback from all of those that follow me, it really makes me glad to know I made the right decision. The best part is, I can honestly tell you all that this is the happiest, most confident, and satisfied I have ever been with my hair. One piece of advice I would give you is this: if you're in the market for a new 'do, consider visiting an 18|8 salon at least once. You won't regret it and the experience is definitely worth every penny. I've already set my follow-up appointments for myself and my boyfriend.
To find out more about 18|8 Salons, book an appointment, or see more of the services they offer, check them out on their website (www.eighteeneight.com). To book directly with 18|8 here in Mountain View, CLICK HERE.
**Many thanks to 18|8 and its amazing team for giving me the greatest haircut I've ever had!**