Local barber wants to cater to men by offering not just a haircut, but an experience
IDAHO FALLS – Since the dawn of time, men have been growing beards. Throughout history, men have also found new and creative ways to groom their beards.
And for Nick Mason, shaving and grooming are a passion.
“There (aren’t) many things more manly than a straight razor face shave,” Mason tells EastIdahoNews.com.
Mason is the owner of Idaho Falls Barber Company, a business currently under construction on the corner of Holmes and 5th Street right across from Idaho Falls High School. It’s one of several businesses slated to move into the 9,000 square foot space later this year.
Mason says his barbershop will cater to men looking for a high-end grooming experience.
“This isn’t just a place to get a haircut. It’s a more refined experience,” Mason says. “It’s traditional barbering techniques. We also offer straight razor shaves and beard services.”
Mason became enamored with the art and history of shaving as a boy growing up in Idaho Falls, but it wasn’t something he considered doing for a living until he went to college.
“I was taking a speech class and I could choose the topic of my speech. I chose the history of shaving,” Mason says. “As I (began researching material for) the speech, I realized this is something I (was) more passionate about than what I (was) studying in college.”
Mason eventually ditched college and headed to barbering school in Salt Lake where he received a barber’s license, something Mason says is almost unheard of now.
“I learned from a guy in Salt Lake who was 90-years-old when he taught me, and he’s as old-school as it gets,” says Mason.
Until last summer, Mason was part-owner of Skyline Barbershop at 1572 W. Broadway in Idaho Falls. He says his experience there has prepared him to go into business for himself.
Another experience that motivated him to open his own barbershop happened in 2013.
Mason was preparing to get married, and there were two things he wanted: a custom-tailored tuxedo and a fresh haircut complete with a straight razor face shave.
Mason got everything he wanted, but the face shaving services took some effort to find.
“Here in town at that time, that (classic barber experience for men) was not something that was offered,” says Mason. “So, I thought that’s something this area needs and I thought other people would be into that, too.”
Beards, historically, have been a status symbol for men, Mason says, and have had a resurgence in recent years.
“The standard has changed in the last 60 years. (There was a time) when, if you had a beard, you were considered a hippy or considered unclean, but now, if you go into any board room, you’re going to see somebody with a beard,” says Mason.
Regarding why beards are trendy again, Mason feels it’s a cyclical thing and wouldn’t be surprised if long hair among men also came back in style.
But regardless of your feelings about beards, Mason says shaving has always served a practical purpose, and for most men, it’s a hassle.
“Most men shave in a hurry. They’re in a (rush) to get to work, so they shave as fast as they can with an electric razor or cartridge razor,” says Mason.
While these types of razors allow you to shave quickly, Mason says they don’t shave very accurately. For a good, clean shave, he recommends using a single blade razor. The best time to shave, according to Mason, is after you get out of the shower, not before.
“From the moisture, the heat, and the steam, your skin warms up and it’s not in shock after you shave it,” he says.
Mason is hoping to open Idaho Falls Barber Company before the 4th of July. Though the business will primarily cater to men, Mason says women are also welcome to come in for a haircut. Once it’s up and running, Idaho Falls Barber Company will be appointment-based only. They will not take walk-ins.
“I’m excited to be able to provide an experience for the men of Idaho Falls, something that is traditional and classy, but also something that — because it hasn’t been around for a while — seems new and exciting,” Mason says.
Idaho Falls Barber Company will also offer a number of office-related products for men. Details about the business’s hours of operation are forthcoming.