Some salons giving more bang for buck

January 14, 2007 

Perhaps the funniest thing about the trend of Hooters-style barbershops sweeping the country is that at least one of the chains, Bikini Cuts, offers a children's cut for children 10 and younger.

Somehow, I'm having trouble picturing the beleaguered mom of three, Starbucks stains on her sweatpants, claiming a few moments of me-time while her kids get haircuts and squealing with delight when she realizes there are current issues of "Guns & Ammo" AND "Maxim" on the table in front of her.

And what message does this send the tow-headed 8-year-old boy? Is he going to objectify women as in: "Yo, blondie, go fetch my 'Highlights'; I wasn't done reading TheTimbertoes yet"?

Men's magazines are just part of the package at chains such as Paradise Cuts, where gorgeous, scantily dressed haircutters are trained to make "sports small talk" with male customers.

As in: "Soooo, how about that Boise State?" coos the leggy stylist with the rambunctious rack.

Yeah, girls can say stuff like "rack," too.

But kids' cuts? You're cracking me up.

One of the chains brags that you can sit in a "state of the art" massage chair (I always think art when I think massage chair, how 'bout you?) and watch "the latest flicks."

OK, your cool quotient just dropped dramatically when you use a word such as "flicks".

At Bikini Cuts in Salt Lake City, you can even check out your stylist online. The girls, all wearing the equivalent of three cocktail napkins, have a wide range of interests. A typical stylist likes old people, vanilla lattes and the movie (er, flick) "Braveheart."

Just call 'em GIRLS GONE MILD!!!

The concept is catching on all over the country, because as one trend watcher told "The Washington Post," men want the pampering emollients of a nice salon but they want it surrounded by other manly men.

In other words, not quite sharing ranch-hand duties in a pup tent at Brokeback Mountain but more in a "Whoa, check out the calzones on Amber Dawn" kind of way.

I thought about this hot trend last week while I waited for my 84-year-old father to get his hair trimmed at Great Clips, where everyone's clothes were kept on, by the way, and I thank God for it.

There was no sports talk - only four other men of varying ages discussing their back problems and a very nice selection of "Vanity Fair," "Newsweek" and "Family Circle" which had a fascinating article about ways I can spice up my hearty winter soups and stews.

Heaven.

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