Austin Barbershops, Men’s Grooming Products and Spas Worth Trying
A Grooming Guide to Help Guys Look and Feel Their Best
By Neal Baker
From the daily ritual to the once-in-a-while treat, it’s good to have a plan for taking care of yourself. When you know the places to go and the products to use, looking good can be not only easy, but a great experience as well. Here are our picks for the Austin guy who needs a new go-to.
Need a trim? A shave? A style? These Austin classics won’t let you down.
How often can you walk into a business and expect to come out restyled from head to toe? Shed Barber and Supply conducts a triple venture, dealing cuts, clothes and excellent vibes. So, if you’re about to overhaul your look, this should be your first stop. And not to be overlooked is a special ingredient in Shed’s formula—keeping their stores stocked with favorites from Austin Beerworks. With two distinct but equally fun atmospheres to be found between their Bouldin and Holly locations, it’s all about creating a kind of elevated experience out of what could otherwise feel like an unremarkable part of your monthly routine.
Birds is about as Austin as it gets when it comes to barber shops. Founded in 2006, they have been consistently recognized as one of the best places for a cut ever since. Reliable but always adventurous, Birds is responsible for some of the cleanest and classic-est styles as well as some of the most off-the-wall cuts and colors to be seen on Austinites. With nine locations in town, there’s bound to be one near you. But with an entirely unique atmosphere in every store, not to mention complimentary sips from Independence Brewing Co. and Rambler Sparkling Water, you might want to try them all.
When you get down to it, the barber shop experience should be about a few fundamentals: a comfortable place to sit, a relaxing atmosphere and some sharp tools in practiced hands—all so you leave feeling fresh and confident. If clean and classic is your thing, Finley’s does it right every time. No frills, but no cut corners either. Take advantage of free refreshments, a scalp massage and a hot towel with every cut. An Austin original that has found success across Texas (and recently as far as Denver), Finley’s is for anyone who wants to feel truly taken care of.
“The Devil is in the details” wisely proclaims Scruff’s Barbershop. It’s the truth, and you should only trust the hairs on your head to someone who takes this seriously. Located in East Austin, Scruff’s means business. They operate with an ethos of professionalism as well as inclusivity, and they bring a quality of service that is often trusted for weddings and photo shoots. Of course at Scruff’s even the everyday cut gets extra care, and after all, looking good is an everyday activity.
Feeling good and looking good go hand-in-hand – especially at these spas.
If you are worried that spas aren’t made for men, you could really be missing out. An Austin favorite, Viva Day Spa has a whole range of treatments specifically for guys. Whether you need a sports massage, facial, mani-pedi or the works as a part of their Mandatory Spa Package for Men, you’ll be in good hands at any of their three locations.
Beautiful and long-recognized as one of the best in Austin, Milk + Honey should be high on your list when you need a place to relax. You’ll find every treatment you can imagine, including specialty treatments for men and for couples. Of course, good spa care is never complete without good products, and this is where Milk + Honey really has it down. Emphasizing natural, clean and organic, Milk + Honey has spent time developing their own line of products, which you can take home for when you feel like treating yourself to extra care.
It’s important to unwind. But sometimes taking care of yourself requires more. Downtown Austin’s Mecca Gym and Spa brings fitness and relaxation together in a splendid package. Consider their café as well and you have a fantastic spot for all your daily rituals. But you might add something new as well—in addition to exercise and massage therapy, Mecca offers and truly believes in the importance of bodywork. Especially important for those who keep active, their sessions are built around maximizing your stretches and improving mobility. Simply put, Mecca is a beautiful place to build a beautiful body.
These supplies for your face, beard or mop standout in a crowded field.
Austin-based skincare brand Disco offers a complete but concise collection of products for face and body, specifically with men in mind. Amidst a market that can be confusing and overwhelming, the beauty of a brand like Disco is that they don’t overwhelm you with options. With just seven products for both in and out of the shower, you can cover all your bases with no extra noise. Feeling dry? Pick the moisturizer. Feeling like you need a transformation? Get the whole package. And best of all, if you like them you can set up a subscription and never worry about running out.
If you want to take your barber’s or salon’s hair care home with you, Verb is worth your attention. Founded in Austin, the young company has attracted an extraordinary following for their clean, animal-friendly and inexpensive products. Their color-coded collections are easy to shop according to your needs. And their trial concept guarantees you won’t blow it on the wrong product for you. There’s extra good news for guys with curls: Verb recently put out its long-awaited curly hair collection to help you get the most out of your locks.
Born out of a New York barber shop that wanted the goods to match its services, Fellow is a line of shaving and styling products made with the goal of leaving your hair healthier than before. A real standout in their collection is the Winter Wash, tailored to the dry season when your regular shampoo can be devastating for your already-depleted natural oils. Lucky for us in Austin, their multitalented products can be found at Birds Barbershop, so you might ask to be styled out with a Fellow formula after your next cut.
Sometimes the best in the world is made just down the street. Since Austinite founder Jeremiah Newton started distributing his handmade products by himself in 2011, The Bearded Bastard has earned heaps of praise from the bearded community for their beard balms, oils, washes and wax. Recommended for their quality but really loved for their nostalgic scents, they look to provide you with the right product for your beard and for your personality. And at The Bearded Bastard they know how well beards pair with tats, so they’ve introduced a tattoo balm to nourish your skin and bring your ink to life.
There are a few good reasons to go old-fashioned with your shave. Many of us spend a fortune on razor cartridges that have too many blades and dry out our skin with aerosolized foam. But Supply is a Fort Worth-based company that is bringing a truly good shave into the future. They build modernized safety razors that get you there with one adjustable blade that is gentler on your skin and cheaper to replace. Get their shaving cream and brush as well, and you’ll have all the magic of a traditional shave with the edge of modern-day engineering.