when cutting hair takes second at the barber shop

Published on: 9/16/2012

When has all the other amenities become the main attraction at the barber shop and a nice haircut a mere afterthought?

It's been a couple years since I've had a professional cut. My sister and mom-in-laws have done a wonderful job of helping me look my best, but compared to the cut I just got at SportClips on Grandview Blvd. ... I may be getting old, but I don't remember barber shops like this before.

SportClips in the new Grandview Crossing strip mall next to Kwik Trip has only been open three weeks. We're close, just 1/2 mile from the salon, so we received an introductory mailing with a coupon for a free cut. With shampoo, massage and cut it sounded like the ultimate haircut experience so I put it aside for the next time I needed primping.

I'm glad they're open Sundays, because I just found out yesterday that I'm attending Salvation Army's 2012 Annual Civic Dinner at Marriott West tomorrow and hadn't had a cut in months.

They don't take appointments so, riding the bike over, sat and read the Sunday paper while the Vikings played on a large screen plasma. One other person was ahead of me so I only had time for Jim Stingl's interesting article. The gents young and old I was observing as they made their way out appeared to have some mighty fine cuts.

Charlotte, a future nurse, came to get me and sat me down in a chair at her tidy station. I was looking forward to a better looking head of hair, but even more looking forward to the shoulder and neck massage. Just washed the hair three hours previous so that offer wasn't a big one for me, but I'd take it anyway.

As Charlotte trimmed away, a number 2, blended up, she told me about her time working at the Pewaukee SportClips, the free neck touch-ups offered between cuts and the Dunkin Donuts opening soon in this same strip mall.

After hitting the eyebrows we headed to the "showers" for the shampoo. Oddly, the "showers" were on the darkly lit side with comfortable massage chairs at each sink, though was told the shoulder massage was yet to come.Charlotte wrapped a nice-smelling hot towel around my face to open the pores, she said, but the real reason could've been to stop me from talking so much.

I use an invigorating mentholated shampoo at home, but it doesn't compare to the tea tree oil shampoo used at SportClips. Reclining in a massage chair, face damp and warm, scalp tingling while being massaged, the soothing scent of tea tree oil all around, I was momentarily lost in my own little world, a world without cares so to speak.

The shoulder and neck massage came after the blow dry and was done via an electric appliance. I was kinda hoping for the human touch, but it's use was understandable.

The best part of this haircut, besides price? I was so looking forward to the shoulder massage, but ended up enjoying most the one thing I thought I could've done without because I'd just washed my hair. This shampoo wasn't at all about getting my head clean. It was the most comfortable five minutes of my whole week! The next time I need a haircut I may skip the cut and go straight to the shampoo.

Every year there's less and less of my hair to cut, but thanks to this experience I'm glad there's still at least something there.