Barber Poll: Mensroom

barber poll mensroom exterior

On Columbia Street, around the corner from B. Lodge.

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.

I had heard some good things about Mensroom -- and it describes itself as "a contemporary barbershop with an 'old school' feel." So, it sounded like a good candidate and I was looking forward to checking it out.

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

Suggested by: irisira. Sort of. She said her friend raved about the Mensroom at 1 Commerce Plaza. That location isn't open on Saturdays, so I went to the Columbia Street location. (There's also a Vorheesville location, which is open Saturdays.)

barber_poll_mensroom_interior.jpg

The shop
barber poll mensroom yankee seatThe Columbia Street Mensroom is in downtown Albany, just off Pearl Street. If you work downtown, this would be a super convenient spot.

The shop is a modest size. Three chairs along one side; a comfy couch, modern front-loading washer/dryer combo along the other; desk along the back wall. Big windows in the storefront.

The interior design is a little spare, but nice -- black leather, red, slate-colored floors. The seemingly ubiquitous flat screen TV. The small waiting area has a comfy couch. There's a seat from the old Yankees Stadium between the couch and washer/dryer. The place is a bit like a bachelor pad.

The stylist
Dina cut my hair. She's a pro -- she's says she's been cutting hair for 20 years. And I recognized her from a few other places I've gotten my hair cut in the past (I don't think she ever cut my hair, but it's possible.)

We talked easily -- about George Steinbrenner, the haircutting business, the weather.

The experience
It was good. No frills. Have a seat. Get a cut and be on your way. I'm finding I prefer that to the salon-like experiences at some of the other places.

I waited for all of a minute for my appointment (granted, it wasn't busy) and Dina worked fast. It was an efficient, pleasant experience.

The cut -- just before and a day-and-a-half later
barber poll mensroom before after

The price
$17 -- a good price.

Results
It's fine. A solid haircut. And I gotta say, Dina had her work out for her -- my hair was extra bushy after two months without a cut.

Mrs. Greg's take
"On a scale of 1-10, 6.5. It's a little bit too poofy or something on top. It's not bad, though."

Would I go back?
Yes. The cut was solid. The price is good. And I liked the no-frills, but pleasant experience. If I worked downtown, I'd probably go here.


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

Find It

Mensroom - downtown Albany
54 Columbia Street
Albany, NY 12210

(518) 449-1400

Comments

There's one "stylist" at the one on Washington Ave that is awful...I'll never go back because she butchered my hair so badly.

She's also screwed up a friend's buzzcut...literally didn't have to use scissors at all, and she screwed it up.

I go to the one in 1 Commerce Plaza. Amy does a fantastic job.

Ryan at the Mens Room has been cutting my hair for more than a few years now. I highly recommend him.

I'm more interested in the skill of a particular barber/stylist rather than a shop or a salon.

Anyone else getting tired of the sports theme with these hair places? Just cut my damn hair, I don't need to watch SportsCenter or sit in a stadium chair while I wait.

You forgot to mention the free beer and soda in the fridge...

The after is really nice. Looks good on you. I'm with you, I don't need frills to get my hair cut. Soda in the fridge is good though. Dina is talented. It is hard at times to conquer the bush!

Haven't researched the prior posts in this series, but what about tipping -- that is, what about managing tip expectations and final cost?

When the price is $15 and all's good, I'm leaving $20. When it's $17, I might still leave $20. Mine recently went from $15 to $17 (price increase, same place) so I left $22, just to preserve my rep.

There's a class of tipping circumstances that probably should be token-based, and not scale with the bill.

What do you suppose in the minimal token-based tip for an unpretentious men's haircut that you might want again, and what's the "I want you to remember me" number? I think they're $3 and $5 right now, around here, but could be wrong.

LQ

I recommend checking out Uncle Jake's Barber Shop on Campbell Ave in Troy. Excellent cut for $10 - (includes a neck shave)

u guys r doin a great job. im proud of u and god bless u and ur staff

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