The significance of salons and barbershops and the role they play in our culture is rather obvious: everyone is expected to uphold basic grooming and hygiene, and honoring these expectations requires visits to a barber or cosmetologist. With a variety of franchises, companies and cosmetologists out there, how does one find the best fit? And how do you find an option that provides a little bit of fun mixed with being able to check off an item on your to-do list?
When it comes to haircuts, how great would it be if masculine sensibilities could be tapped into from the comfort of a relaxed environment? Some customers do not feel in their element when surrounded by the pretention of an upscale beauty salon or the traditional rigor of an old-school barbershop, and these are the customers San Antonio businessman and Diesel Barbershop founder Shayne Brown is trying to serve with his franchise business, which hosted the grand opening for its new Frisco location on January 16.
The concept of Diesel Barbershop is simple: customers get their haircuts in an environment that feels like a mancave (think great music, beer, sports, etc.). Mr. Brown’s vision for this retreat for dudes entails the professional capacity of a traditional barbershop or hair salon combined with the grit and character provided by garages, tattoo parlors, record stores and vintage arcades. Diesel Barbershop is part barbershop and part arcade. Customers can watch sports, play videogames, listen to music and kick back with a cold one while getting a haircut, trim, shave, massage or brow wax. The barbershop provides a great atmosphere with a masculine “no drama, no gossip” take on the art of cutting hair. Exceptionally trained and talented barbers and stylists help customers express themselves and bring their traditional or unique vision for their hairstyle to life.
Back before Diesel Barbershop, after moving away from his own hometown, Mr. Brown had to find someone else that could cut his hair … without the typical gossip and stereotypical environment of a salon that he had been witness to so many times in the past. It seemed like trendy, cool barbershops where guys could get a haircut while being themselves were nowhere to be found. The lack of diverse men’s barbershops would soon change though, thanks to such a strong, unique vision and the desire to bring his business concept to life. Even if most customers did not recognize the gossip, feminine environment and strong smells of hair dye as problems the way he did, the prospect of drinking a complimentary beer and playing a game of Frogger before or after a haircut would seem rather innovative and enticing!
Richard, Edward and John Harvey are local brothers and entrepreneurs who are responsible for bringing the brand new Diesel Barbershop to its Frisco location. The team of brothers understands that their business is all about local people and that it will bring numerous jobs to the local industry. They have hit the ground running and plan to bring the Diesel Barbershop concept to life throughout the metroplex.
Now, while Diesel Barbershop does actually have classic arcade games, the integrations of record stores, mechanical garages and tattoo parlors are simply decorative and mimicked. No, customers are not able to buy phonograph records, but they are able to listen to classic rock and watch old music videos on the television screens. And, no … customers are not able to actually get tattoos on the premises, but some of the tattoo parlor décor and vibe exudes a similar feel as an episode of “Ink Master,” the same way the toolboxes where hairstylists store their salon and barbering equipment provide a sense of nostalgia similar to what you would feel in your dad’s garage.
As for the future growth of the unique concept, there are currently plans in place for additional locations throughout the metroplex. As worthwhile as it may be to ask why Diesel Barbershop should pick Frisco, perhaps a more community-oriented question would be why should Frisco pick Diesel Barbershop? The answer will vary from customer to customer, but it may be dependent on your knack for gossip … or lack thereof.
Every consumer is different, but some may identify with the frustrations that compelled Mr. Brown to bring this concept to life in the first place, and if that is the case, his solution is as permanent as the one you smell every time you visit his competitors.
Garrett Gravley is a Dallas-based arts and entertainment writer, journalist and music critic.