Barbering, like a lot of things your grandfather did that were awesome, is making a comeback. And while some barbershops use gimmicks like free whiskey to lure in customers, you’ll find none of that at Baxter-Finley of West Hollywood, California. The shop is classy, clean and, while it has a premium price point, worth every penny.
The best part of Baxter-Finley isn’t just getting a great haircut in a 100-year-old barber chair. It’s getting it from a totally hot babe. In 2011, there aren’t many trades where females are a novelty, but this field is one of them. Lauren Jae Nichols is blazing new trails at Baxter-Finley by being a woman at a barbershop—not a salon.
“I’ve changed a lot of clients’ perspectives while also dealing with a lot of sexism and harassment,” says Nichols, who doubles as a fixed-gear bike enthusiast and bike model. “Guys would ask, ‘How do you know how to cut a man’s hair?’” Still, she was drawn to the simplicity. “I never said ‘I want to be a barber.’ I just wanted a trade. I was working in a café and thought of becoming a stylist, but asked myself if I wanted to dye hair, do makeup and manicures? No, I just wanted to cut hair!”
And Nichols’ take on why men go to barbershops might surprise you. It’s not for the ruggedness—it’s quite the opposite. “The men’s barbershop has an appeal about it. It’s relaxing and soothing and a real men’s retreat. There’s less chatter and more communication about what they want.”
Which made us wonder, what does she want? So before you wander into Baxter Finley or someplace like it, take note of her expert input on several celebrity-favored styles—good, bad and seriously regrettable—on the pages that follow. After all, wouldn’t you like to call a woman like her more than your barber?
It was five minutes before we noticed the bike. (Photos by Matt Lingo, recfail.com)