Barber poll: Knockouts

knockouts interior

It's boxing gym meets bachelor pad.

AOA Greg was in a long-term haircutting relationship for the better part of the last decade. And then he wasn't. Suddenly unattached, Greg was at a loss for where to get his hair cut. So he asked the AOA crowd -- and it had a bunch of good suggestions. Now he's playing the field, in search of a new shop.

OK, let's just get this out of the way upfront -- no, I would probably never go to Knockouts on my own. But the place has gotten a certain amount of attention and the barber poll is all about trying new places. So, here we go.

The before/after pics and more after the jump...

Suggested by: N (or was that dared by N?).

The shop
knockouts fridgeI gotta say I wasn't sure what to expect. Knockouts has a reputation for being for the "Hooters of haircuttting," but it wasn't really that tacky (In all fairness, the last time I was at a Hooters was more than 10 years ago. In Florida.).

The shop isn't that big -- it's tucked in to a strip mall on Wolf Road that also includes a Panera. The space is decorated in a style that mixes boxing (mitts, ropes, framed pictures of boxing) with bachelor pad (lots of black leather, flat screen TVs, posters of women in the Knockouts uniform).

The small waiting area has a mini fridge stocked with sodas, water and non-alcoholic beer -- along with a box of snacks on top. Magazine selection: GQ, Maxim, Sports Illustrated, Men's Health.

There's a flat screen TV at every station, along with a large full length mirror on the wall (perhaps so you can take in... the decor).

There's a station with a massage chair.

I met the local franchise owner, who was working the check-in station at the front. He was friendly.

The stylist
Dawn is the stylist who cut my hair. She's also the manager. She was very nice and pleasant. We talked about small businesses and health care reform.

I was a little worried about getting my hair cut at a place that maybe emphasizes certain aspects of their stylists other than their hair cutting ability. But Dawn was a pro. She said she had owned her own salon up in the North Country for a number of years before moving to the Capital Region.

The experience
The chair is comfy and the flat screen TV is right there if you'd like to watch. ESPN was on and Dawn offered to change the channel to whatever I'd like (ESPN was fine, but without my glasses on, I couldn't see the TV, so it didn't really matter -- it could have been the Lifetime Movie Channel for all I cared.)

I got the "Heavyweight" package, which includes (from the brochure): consultation, relaxing shampoo, haircut, re-shampoo and conditioner with head massage, neck trim, style, hot towel treatment.

In my case, that meant we talked for a minute about how I'd like my hair cut (shorter). Then off for a shampoo (peppermint, tingly). Hair cut. Neck trim. Back for a post-cut shampoo (more peppermint).

The head massage and hot towel treatment were together. The short head massage was nice. I could probably do without the hot towel, which is a warm, wet towel laid over your face.

After that, it was back to the chair for a little bit of product and a touch of styling. Dawn also gave me a free sample of the product.

The cut -- just before and the day after
barber poll knockouts before and after

The price
$25 -- that seems fair for a cut and the two shampoos and head massage.

I think it's fine. I have no complaints.

Mrs. Greg's take
"On a scale of 1-10, it's probably a 5 or 6."

Would I go back?
Hmm. Maybe not. I had a perfectly fine experience, but the whole thing -- the boxing theme, the uniforms, the multiple shampoos -- is probably a little much for me. It's just not my thing.

That said, I could see this place doing well. The experience is nice enough -- a "day spa for dudes" as Dawn described it. And for what you get, the price is pretty good, too.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Barber poll: B'yond Style
+ Barber poll: Jean Paul

Find It

65 Wolf Rd
Colonie, NY 12205

(518) 459-2500


Thanks for the review. I am so recommending this place to R (he, too, has yet to commit to a place).

I think I like the way Mrs. Greg far she seemed most pleased with, ahem, the haircut Greg got from yours truly.

Knockouts? Really...and Kristi..really?

anyhoo..big announcement, I am now at V Salon, so maybe you can add that to your list of places to try, Greg. Technically, you *would* be going to a new salon.....

My barber poll reccomendation: Ritmo, on New Scotland ave.

Owner Joe Ritmo is an authentic Italian, almost to a T. He says things like "Mama Mia!" and "Ciao!" but he's not trying to be gimmiky, it's how he talks. Authentic.

The shop is definately a barber shop, not a salon. It's about as old-school as it gets.

Oh, and you'll get a good haircut, too.

I think I'm w Mrs. Greg on this one dude. 5 or 6 at best.

But that's from a guy who gets his hair cut quarterly. At best...

@daleyplanit - can you get a single edge razor shave from Ritmo's? If so, I'm making an appointment I'll even do before and after shots!

got me on that one.
I can only tip my hat to Ritmo's old school skills. .

I still think you should check out Gerard at Headlines on Lark Street - walking distance from the office!

I took your suggestion from last time and went to Cody from B'yond Style and got a great haircut. In all my years living here, I have not been able to say that.

My sister would love that the stylists name was Dawn. She always used to say that 'Dawn' was a hairdressers name.

"I took your suggestion from last time and went to Cody from B'yond Style and got a great haircut. In all my years living here, I have not been able to say that."

That's great!

You can absolutely get a single edge razor shave at Ritmo.

The way I see it, to be a true barber shop, there are few rules you must follow.

1. All the 'barbers are men.
2. Most, if not all, the clients are men
3. single edge razor shave
4. barber pole

You're a salon if you can't lay claim to all of the above. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but there is a distinction, in my head at least.

A great new place to get a haircut is Uncle Jake's on Campbell ave in Troy next door to Stewarts. All cuts are now $10. Call: 238-3216

How are you going to handle this when it's Dr. Mrs. Greg? I actually got something addressed to Mrs. Mark Anderson, but it was for me! Apparently, since my wife is a doctor, that makes me the woman.

Also, I totally agree with Soon to be Dr. Mrs. Greg.

I have been to Knockouts and it is Great! I was surprised how friendly the staff was and got a great cut. Plus they have all the services you need. Waxing, massage. Well anyway I am going back and it is definatly a place for Dudes!

I think it's hard to compare the 'before' and 'after' pics because in the first pic you look, um, insane, and in the second you apparently have taken your meds.

@Mark: Dr. Mrs. Greg is a possibility, but I would, of course, leave it to her discretion. She is the decision-making expert.

@chrisck: I believe that's the "I really need a hair cut" look to which you're referring.

Must be a result of my age (old hippie) from growing up when men had shaggy hair and ponytails, but I never think any guy needs a haircut. That first pic looks perfectly well groomed to me.

I thought your before picture looked fine too. It sounds like you had a good experience but I can imagine the atmosphere isn't for everyone. There was an article in the Times Union this weekend about a place called Patsy E.C.'s that sounds like an old school barber shop. I've known people that have gone there and loved it!

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