Pampering services for men

This story first appeared in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of Columbus Weddings, published December 2018.

Much ado is made about a bride’s pre-wedding pampering: many women opt for massages and facials in the months leading up to the big day, and of course there’s the day-of hair and makeup services. At Bates & Brown in Northwest Columbus, the guys can achieve that same level of indulgence in a masculine space built just for them.

“We have a private party room that they can rent out, and we serve complimentary drinks and a meat and cheese tray along with that,” says manager Brittany Evilsizor. For six or fewer people, that rental includes two hours of time for haircuts and shaves, though gents with larger parties can get additional time. Another option: renting out the entire barber shop for an ultra-personalized experience.

In addition to straight-razor shaves and haircuts, Bates & Brown offers massage services in 60- or 90-minute increments. “They can add on a 15-minute chair massage to the end of their service or the beginning, either way they want, to get more relaxed and pampered,” Evilsizor adds.

The straight-razor shave, which involves two levels of service from which to choose, includes a hot lather, hot and cool towels, and a neck massage with a handheld Oster massager. The more upscale Bates shave also includes aromatherapy, a mini facial and an extended massage of the arms and shoulders.

Haircuts follow a similar format: Both levels of service include a relaxing shampoo and hot lather neck shave in addition to the cut. The top-line Bates cut adds on aromatherapy, a scalp and temple massage during shampooing, a hot facial towel and an Oster neck massage.

Bates & Brown also offers brow grooming and beard line-up services—in short, just about everything a man could need to perfect his look before his wedding day.

During cooler weather, the barber shop’s wood-burning fireplace is put to good use. (The rest of the year, a candle arrangement provides ambiance without the heat.) The shop itself is decked out in dark hues, wood and leather, giving it the air of a cigar lounge or a 1950s men’s club. Oldies or big-band music plays softly in the background, and the shop’s custom scent—a masculine blend made by the Candle Lab—wafts through the air.

“We have a very relaxed, kind of old-school feel,” Evilsizor says. “There’s really no other place like us in Columbus that has the feel and the charm.”