I recently discovered the Made Man Barbershop in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. This tonsorium is nostalgically designed with sleek, clean lines, retro barber chairs, bright lights and Americana bric-a-brac. It’s a booming business. Under the tutelage and watchful eye of the shops proprietor, Sam Chulpayev, all of the barbers are highly skilled and trained. Made Man Barbershop opened last year and has grown in popularity to the point of cutting the ribbon at its brother shop directly across the street from the flagship store. “We start with asking each client what they are thinking in having their hair cut and styled, from there all of my barbers are trained in making consultations, we follow the directions from the client to keep them in their comfort zone yet continue to consult throughout the entire process, says Mr. Chulpayev. “The final outcome works and creates repeat customers. That is always my goal.”
I took a seat in his chair and told him that I trusted his professional expertise. He draped me in a barber cloth while an assistant handed me a hot towel to wipe my face and hands. The consultation began as Sam picked up his scissors and more men filed into the shop; he politely invited them to sit in the lounge area.
The history of the barbershop dates back to ancient civilization (as early as 3500 BC). The ubiquitous barbershop pole also has a rich history that wasn’t just a red, white and blue swirling beacon for a shave, haircut and a little masculine bonhomie — it symbolized a place for bloodletting, amputations, surgeries and trepanning (a process in which a hole was drilled into the skull to release evil forces caused by mental illness.
Do not fret, my ladies and gentlemen.
Times have changed and while Made Man Barbershop captures the essence of a grooming parlor of yesteryear, the services and styles are anything but barbaric or old-fashioned. Sam and his team can perfect any style from razor wispy cuts, edgy faded cuts, long layered styles, and sharp lined-up styles. “I would enhance your sideburns and keep your hair a little longer at the crown so it will give your head a better shape for your face,” offered Sam. “You are lucky to have a full head of hair.”
I observed the other barbers giving equal guidance and attendance to the now standing-room-only shop. “We adhere to our appointments and understand that our clients have very busy schedules. On average a haircut with consultation lasts approximately 20 minutes,” said Sam. He offered this as two satisfied customers left the shop and two new clients filled the vacant chairs. I noticed that you offer hair products, can you tell me about them? “Yes, I recently agreed to carry Baxter of California. I only want to sell products that I believe in and their line of skin and hair care products are exceptional. I must tell you, P.K., your hair is dry and I recommend Moroccanoil. This product will add shine, moisture and manageability. I think you will notice a difference,” he said. I could only agree.
With that, Sam put down his shears and whisked off the cloth from me like a matador. “Would you like a rinse thru?” I didn’t know what that entailed but agreed to it anyway. I was put in the capable hands of his assistant and my head was rested into a sink. All of the clipped hair follicles were washed away and my head was towel dried. A few drops of the Morrocanoil were massaged into my hair and scalp and then styled.
As I exited the shop and thanked Sam for his work, I noticed in the mirror that my haircut was perfect with meticulous sideburns and sheen to my salt & pepper locks. It then hit me that this experience would make the perfect gift for all men during the holidays.
If you are looking for a unique present for the men on your list this season, this is better than “a little off the top” of Metro Man’s picks.
Call or visit for gift certificates:
Man Made Barbershop
169 West 23rd Street
New York, NY
170 West 23rd Street
New York, NY