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Who: 18|8 Fine Men’s Salon (Ron Love, Co-Founder of the brand, MJ Patterson, Co-Founder 18|8 Mountain View, CA
What: A distinctive collection of upscale men’s grooming services
Where: 565 San Antonio Road Suite #24 Mountain View, CA 94040 (they also have locations in Southern California and nationwide)
Why: 18|8 claims its name from the original formula for stainless steel, 18% chromium + 8% nickel added to steel. 18|8 Fine Men’s Salons offers its clients that same transformative effect — improving both look and performance. The modern man has evolved in many ways – an evolution that includes the way in which he grooms and takes care of himself. Many more men are now open to the idea of being pampered and spending time at a salon tailored specifically for them. 18|8 is that place, where a cold beer and relaxing grooming services abound.
Why not just go to a unisex salon?
(Ron Love) The term “unisex” salon is really describing a female salon that also does men’s hair. The atmosphere at these “unisex” salons is not conducive for guys. Unisex salons actually came about in the late 60s and 70s when men couldn’t get their long hair cut by a barber. They had to go to a women’s salon, because barbers didn’t change with the needs of their customers. Women’s salons changed their names to “unisex,” but never changed the atmosphere. 18|8 is more focused on creating a male environment.
(MJ Patterson) A unisex salon offers more of a uniform experience. At 18|8, our services are tailored specifically for men and the atmosphere is designed so men feel comfortable. The director of first impressions greets our clients at the door, they have a seat, pick up a male-focused magazine and are offered a beer, soda or glass of wine. Everything is intentionally focused on giving men the best possible experience.
How do you get men to understand the importance of grooming?
(RL) Girlfriends, mothers, and sisters have been trying to get the men in their lives to change. We create the environment where they feel comfortable with the evolution. Our stylists are there to educate the guys, but if it weren’t for the influence of women, men would not have the necessary push. Once they’re in for a haircut, we move on to educating about skin treatments, and so on. They keep coming back, because they see the great results.
(MP) Most of our clients are coming from a high-end women’s salon to get a good haircut and are looking for a place that is designed specifically for them. All of our stylists are conversant in the services and can explain everything to our clients. We also have a blog where we post grooming and fashion tips as well as other social media outlets to help educate them as well.
What will men find surprising at 18|8?
(MP) Most men are surprised that we offer them a beer when they walk in. If a man was designing a place to get his haircut, this is what he would come up with. 18|8 is a place where men can come in, kick-back, read a men’s magazine, have a beer and get his haircut. Men are also surprised by the high quality of the haircuts and services. We tailor our clients’ services specifically for them. Our stylists take into account the clients head shape, hair type and face to come up with the perfect cut. Men are surprised by how good they look when they leave.
What IS the difference between a manicure and a MAN-icure
(RL) Most of what we’re doing in a MAN-icure is clean up. It’s not as in-depth and time consuming as a regular manicure at a female salon. We don’t cut their cuticles or polish them, but just clean them up so they feel confident going to a meeting or on a date. We also include a nice massage to help men relax and rejuvenate.
Do you have a couple of grooming tips you could share with male readers?
(RL) Here are two great tips:
Shaving: Before men put on shaving cream, it is important to always use a moisturizing cream. First rub the moisturizing cream into the skin and then apply the soap or oil. This will help prevent the skin from drying out and allow for the smoothest shave you can achieve.
Hair Washing: Men don’t need the same shampoo and conditioner that women use. What’s most important for men is to prevent baldness. It is essential that men use a scalp cleanser and scalp moisturizer rather than shampoo and conditioner, which actually leaves residue and clogs hair follicles. Scalp cleansers and moisturizers have ingredients that stimulate the blood flow and bring nutrients to the hair follicles.
Why is “manscaping” not just for model-types?
(RL) 18|8 is about transformation. It’s in the name – 18|8 transformed raw metal to look and perform better. We are not focused on model types, because we really help the everyday Joe look their best and feel their best, so they can perform their best.
How is manscaping related to good hygiene?
(RL) The services offered at 18|8 allow men to pay attention to things they never did before. Part of hygiene is really getting a deep cleaning for their face. Men wash their faces when they shave, but it is important to take the time to have a facial. At 18|8, a facial is done within 25 minutes and is very beneficial.
How often should men get manscaped?
(RL) All it takes is every 8 weeks to see a tremendous difference. Men should get a haircut every 4 weeks and they can add in a facial every other time.
Tell us more about your “grooming packages”
(RL) Grooming packages are a way for men to get all of the services they need at a great price. We want to show our clients the results, which they get from experiencing multiple services. The packages are also a great gift for guys. Sometimes men are too embarrassed to ask for additional services, so we need help from the women in our lives. Women have recommended 45-50 percent of our clients, who come out feeling great. They can grab a beer enjoy the stress buster and have a really positive experience. All of the grooming packages can be found online.