When I was very generously offered a cut by John Frieda Canadian creative consultant Dante Perrone this week, I eagerly accepted the offer. Even though I’m always on top of my colour, my hair was in desperate need of a cut (I’ve been sporting a shaggy grown-out lob for far too long). After some further research, I saw that Perrone owns a barbershop in Toronto’s Yorkville neighborhood called Axe & Hatchet Grooming Club. So I’m getting my hair cut by a barber…? Not gonna lie, this discovery made me a bit nervous. Sure, I’ve had almost every haircut known to womankind over the years, but I finally had a bit of length to my hair, and I wasn’t sure a barber would really “get” my style. But, whatever, what could I lose besides a few inches of hair?
Upon arriving at Axe & Hatchet I immediately get a different feeling than when I walk into my usual hair salon. It smells distinctly manly and there’s an overall laid-back vibe right off the bat. No loud blow-dryers, no women scurrying around with trays of dye in hand, just some dudes hanging out (including one getting an old school straight-razor shave). In the waiting area, tabloid mags are replaced with books like, How to be a Man and Handbook of Style. While these selections are educational, I do kind of miss catching up on my hair salon guilty pleasure of trashy tabloids.
I sit in Perrone’s chair and within a few seconds, I feel at ease about my future cut. The man obviously knows hair. We decide on a blunt cut bob and bang trim. First up: wash and rinse. Worrying I was going to get my hair washed with basic man shampoo (think Old Spice), I packed my very own shampoo for the field trip, but Perrone assures me he’s fully stocked with John Frieda everything. He washes my hair with the brand’s Beach Blonde Purifying Shampoo and Detangling Conditioner then sits me down to get to work. A few snips of his scissors and buzzes from his clipper (yes, clipper) later, and I’ve got a fresh new ’do. Another advantage to a barbershop cut? Speed. I was in and out of there in no time at all.
While a barbershop might lack some of the bells and whistles you get from a fancy schmancy salon, it makes up for it in chill vibes, speediness and just general non-pretentiousness. Not to mention the attention to detail and precision you get from someone who typically cuts short hair. If a girl like me who is next-level type A about her strands is obsessed with her new barbershop cut, that’s gotta say something, right?