In case you haven’t seen me lately (or ever), I’m about 16 months deep into growing my hair out, which has increasingly become a pointless and comical experiment gone wrong. You know when your hair gets longer and goes through “awkward stages”? Well, it has pretty much been awkward every step of the way for me.
When my hair isn’t down/taking the shape of Darth Vader’s helmet, I’ll often put it up in what’s known as a “man bun.” Or, in my case, “thousands of frizzy hair strands stretching outward as if to literally run away from the devastation that is my head.” My own mother makes fun of me.
Anyway, you get the point. Luckily for me and everyone around me, I got word of this place in Austin called SHED Barbershop and decided to book an appointment. I thought I was going in to get a haircut, but what I actually got was an unbelievably fun night at one of the hippest joints in town. Don’t worry; I got the haircut, too.
SHED Barbershop & Supply
Owned by ex-bandmates Chris Applegate and Michael Regino, SHED is not your typical get-in-and-get-out barbershop. It feels like a tightly-knit yet welcoming community, and that’s exactly what it’s intended to be.
In speaking with Applegate, he emphasized the importance of the community vibe. “We want [SHED] to feel like it’s been there forever. It definitely goes beyond just getting a haircut.” One way they’re building a community is by partnering with local microbrewery Hops & Grain. I was actually offered a free beer at check-in. I know, right?
Their dedication to community goes further. Located in a popular area on South 1st Street, SHED hosts monthly “Old-Fashioned Friday” events inside the shop after hours. In addition to serving free Old-Fashioneds (made the right way, I might add), they bring in a DJ and food from a local establishment.
I attended an Old-Fashioned Friday after my cut, and there were easily 150-200 people there throughout the night. As you might have guessed, the same community feel carried over from my earlier experience getting a haircut, and I had no trouble making new friends and socializing.
The Actual Haircut
After all this talk about Old-Fashioned parties and free beer, keep in mind that we’re still talking about a barbershop. It doesn’t matter how cool your shop is if you can’t cut hair.
SHED Barbershop offers what Applegate describes as “classic services in a modern environment,” and it delivers just that in a simple, yet sophisticated, manner. The staff is next-level talented, and are all carefully screened for not only their styling abilities, but for their customer service savvy, as well.
I personally booked online ahead of time with Brandon, one of SHED’s stylists who also has long hair. My goal was to have my hair styled so that I could keep growing it out and be allowed in public at the same time. I half-expected him to decline my appointment after seeing my head and the unrealistic task at hand. Thankfully, Brandon is a nice guy and, like the rest of the staff, extremely knowledgeable and talented in the ways of hair care.
During my appointment, conversation flowed throughout the shop in a casual and inviting way, backed by a high-quality record player spinning a diverse library of vinyl. It was like everyone in there, myself included, had been friends for years. My barber would intermittently throw in tips on how to make my hair not look like it got stuck in a blender on pulse mode, and would make it a point to include me in other conversations that made their way to his chair.
The trim itself came out more immaculate than I ever could have imagined. Just when I thought my situation was unsalvageable, I look in the mirror to not only see my face, but hair that actually looked…good? And to help keep it that way, I was shown to SHED’s extensive collection of hair products for sale. I don’t really know what I bought, but it works great.
What’s Ahead for SHED
Co-owners Applegate and Regino spent a ton of time researching the market prior to opening, and it shows in their early success. Since launching in March 2014, SHED has grown faster than expected, to the point that they’re getting ready to secure a second location on the eastside of Austin.
“We did a lot of research on timing, audience, location, branding, etc. Based on that, we figured it would do well, but it’s definitely blown up a lot faster than expected. We definitely want to ride that wave and keep pushing for more locations and partnerships,” explained Applegate.
Regino added, “We’re trying to adapt with the city and its growth. The barbershop in itself is known for consistency. We want to always provide consistency, however we’re always pushing ourselves to progress.”
Whether you’re looking for a regular haircut, or always look like you just went skydiving with no helmet and are in dire need of a cosmetic miracle, SHED Barbershop has you covered. SHED offers high-quality haircuts in a modern environment that always puts customers first.
In addition to the wide array of products and services they offer, they stay true to their community through local partnerships and monthly events that bring people together in a unique way. You can check out their upcoming events and book an appointment on their website.
@andychuckchase wants to know:
What is your favorite local barbershop in Austin?