When founding the original 18|8 Fine Men’s Salon in Southern California a decade ago, the owners looked to an unusual source for the business’ name. “Harry Brearley was the inventor who figured out that the addition of 18-percent chrome and 8-percent nickel to steel eliminated rust, and allowed for a better-looking and better-performing product: stainless steel,” says Joe Bryan, owner of the newly opened 18|8 Fine Men’s Salon in Creve Coeur. It was those proportions that inspired the name 18|8. “The salon strives to transform its clientele to look and perform their best. A man who looks better and feels better about himself performs better.”
The salon provides an alternative to typical strip-mall barber shops and upscale women’s salons, offering a relaxing environment that caters specifically to the needs of men, Bryan says. “We say there are two things a man should never do: go through a woman’s purse, and visit her salon. At the end of the day, guys don’t want to be in that environment, and the women don’t want them watching them with foils in their hair.”
The décor at 18|8 is masculine without copying the mood of either a sports bar or a board room, Bryan notes. “There’s not a TV tuned to ESPN; it allows them to just sit and relax and enjoy the services.” Clients are privy to a fully-stocked bar and lounge, and are offered use of a changing room should they desire a robe, Bryan says. “If you’re there during the business day, you want to make sure you’re not walking out with hair on your clothes; and if you’re having coloring services done, you don’t want to walk out with hair dye on your shirt.”
Services are provided in semi-private stations, each equipped with plumbing to eliminate the need to move about the salon. “If you want a pedicure, we have a portable foot spa that sits at the base of the barber’s chair,” Bryan says. “You can have all of the services in one location. It’s semi-private, with walls on three sides, and we’ve angled the line of sight so you’re not looking at the guy in the next station.”
That’s ideal for men who might be trying new services for the first time. “Especially with the younger generation, a lot of them have been raised around spa environments or have had exposure to places like The Art of Shaving,” Bryan says. “They’ve been introduced to the idea that it’s OK for men to be pampered, and it’s not such a bad thing. It’s pretty cool and relaxing to have those services done. What (we) create is the ability to experiment and try those services in an environment where they’re comfortable and don’t feel people are watching them.”
And those services—be it a haircut, coloring, a shave with a straight-edge blade, or a nail treatment—are performed by trained professionals with three to 15 years of experience, Bryan says. “We’ve put together an amazing team of stylists, and two are barbers, which allows for a classic shaving experience.” He adds that new Groom’s Party packages offer grooms-to-be a private party with complimentary beverages and a range of services to get the men looking their best for the wedding. “We had people ready to sign up as soon as we had the package ready.”
Are you ready for a grooming service tailored just for you? Then come in, enjoy a beverage and have a seat. The rest is taken care of.
On the Cover: 18|8 Fine Men’s Salon recently opened at 10901 Olive Blvd. in Creve Coeur, offering a full-service salon experience tailored to men’s unique needs. Pictured on the cover: Joe Bryan, Rebecca Hern, Lauren Milner and Amanda Perkins. For more information, call 755-1988 or visit eighteeneight.com. Photo by Wesley Law.