Before anything else, yes, Chappaqua has a personal grooming scene. Spas, tanning, and nail salons all fit the heading, but for many years men’s barbershops have fallen off the radar. Chain and unisex hair salons have been on the upswing, but they lack the atmosphere and specialized services of a classic barbershop.
“I want people to just come in and hang out at an old-school barbershop like they used to,” says Mike Masi, owner and proprietor of The Gentlemen’s Barbershop. “We’ve got the lounge area so they can hang out for a little while and feel comfortable in more of a homey feel than a business feel. It’s something different.”
Masi began cutting hair when he was thirteen, and has been a professional barber for as many years now. A graduate and Master Barber of the Atlas Barber School in Manhattan, Masi specializes in scissor cuts and classic straight razor shaves, complete with hot towel. Why bother going out for a straight razor shave in the age of quintuple-bladed disposables?
“It’s more relaxing. With a hot towel you get to lay back, relax, close your eyes, and get a nice clean shave. It’s more of a relaxing feel, more of an experience, more of a spa treatment.”
If you’re wondering whether barbers see a pronounced dip in traffic during playoff season or during “No-Shave November,” actually, the opposite is true. According to Masi, a large number of men are surprised to find they like their newly freed follicles and want keep them around another month or two, while still looking businesslike and professional. A nice defined line at or above the neck keeps even a bushy beard looking clean, Masi recommends. He also suggests a bit of beard oil in the mornings as a way to reduce frizz. “The oil keeps the hairs down and softens the hair in your beard.” It works far better, he says, than “putting hair gel in your beard.”
In terms of haircutting, Masi says it’s still typically celebrities and athletes leading the latest trends.
“A lot of the styles start in Europe before they come here. The new thing is the side-part with the line, and tight on the sides.” He waves his hands about his scalp to illustrate his point. “That all came from Cristiano Ronaldo. He was the first person to do that, and then suddenly kids see it and want it, and from there it just expands.”
Customers are welcome to come in and relax in one of The Gentlemen’s plush leather couches, read a paper, and enjoy a coffee or cold beverage to get in the mood for a nice relaxing shave and/or haircut. Prices are very fair, but do please expect to pay more than two bits.
The Gentlemen’s Barbershop
37 S. Greeley Ave., Chappaqua
Mon-Wed 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Thurs 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Fri 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Sat 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.