Esquire named Hair M the best barber in Portland in 2010, and CitySearch followed suit two years later. The barbershop has also been featured in the New York Times, Men's Health magazine, and the nightmares of unibrows everywhere. The evidence is plain?a man can get a mean haircut at Hair M. But the business offers so much more.
An environment of rugged wood paneling punctuated with HDTVs tuned to sports channels makes the most style-phobic fellow feel welcome, and the bar serving Widmer beers and fine wines doesn't hurt either. Besides regal grooming services, Hair M performs upscale face and body treatments, and keeps a massage therapist on staff at both locations.
The skilled crew at The Vital Barbershop mollifies masculine manes with precision trims, straight shaves, and indulgent hot-towel treatments. During the half-hour haircut, a trained barber shampoos head hedges, neatly clipping behind the ears and smoothing sandpapery necks with a straight-razor shave. The shop's 30-minute Vital shave upends face fur with a straight razor, and then stalks any remaining stubble with a Mach 3 blade and series of detailed love letters. Throughout the shave, repeated hot-towel applications soothe skin and moisturize pores, and the shop's complimentary beer, wine, and old-fashioned soda thwart thirst and provide tasty aftershave.
The only thing more gratifying than being complimented on one's hair is when the compliment is obviously sincere. Y-Chrome inspires obvious sincerity through the barbering abilities of its experienced hair-crafters. The expert head-shapers will treat your tresses with care either before or after you saddle up to one of the shop's pool tables or dartboards with a crisply purchased microbrew in your fist. A quality hair-snipping ($21 value) will add an extra ounce of jauntiness to your winter driving scarf as you turn down Great Hair Boulevard en route to the less fashionable and always serious I-405. After a cut in front of one of Y-Chrome's sports-broadcasting televisions, your jealous cheeks will go from gruff to smoochable with a hot-towel shave ($25 value) administered with professional diligence.
An independent lab of fragrance alchemy, Escential Lotions and Oils spritzes and daubs scent-seekers with essential oils and coordinating bath and body potions. Long-lasting, botanically based, alcohol-free essential oils ($8+) include intensely floral Bulgarian lavender and cool, soothing eucalyptus, said to ward off insects, stuffy noses, and the koala-allergic. Aromatherapy oil blends ($14 per 0.25 oz.) channel such disparate emotions as Broken Heart and Euphoria. Signature scents ($8 per 0.25 oz.; $15 per 0.5 oz.) such as Hot Peach Pie blend into lotion, shampoo, and body wash for a synchronized shower regimen. Ready-to-customize unscented products include a vitamin A, D, and E lotion ($9 per 8 oz.; $15 per 16 oz.) and a coconut-oil-based body wash ($5 per 4 oz.) with exfoliating ground walnut shells to scrub off fossilized temporary tattoos.
The veteran haircutters at Barber Dan's give men a clean, fresh look with precise tress trimming and shaping. Patrons can come in for maintenance on whatever hairdo they currently have or ask for one of the barbershop's standard clips, such as the military cut, fade, flattop, or Benedictine monk. Each haircut includes a hot lather and straight-razor shave around the ears and neck to clean up southbound follicles. Men's head-pampering sessions wrap up with a splash of bay rum for a manly musk light enough to go unnoticed by friends but potent enough to attract former wives of Captain Morgan. Barber Dan's is a walk-in barbershop, where grandfathers, fathers, and sons can bravely confront their shared fear of haircuts.