Beauty: Virtue Barber Shop

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

There's a new man-cave of cool in Clintonville.

"Barbers and the history of barbering, it's such a unique thing," Mitch Geiser said. The 21-year-old is the guy behind the chair (really, there's just one chair) at the new barber shop in Virtue Salon.

Known for its use of vegan styling products, Virtue expanded into the space of former neighbor Central City Recording and opened the renovated area last month.

Geiser's domain is in the room abutting the original salon. Traditional black and white tiling greets customers as Boyz II Men drifts out from the speakers. There's a clock and chain on the wall that looks like a giant gold pocket watch, and antiqued-looking bottles of aftershave line his workspace.

Then there's Geiser, a Columbus native who grew up near Hounddog's Pizza. Haircutting became part of his life when his mom refused to take him to get trims as often as he wanted. His friends began to take advantage of his skill. A couple of years at the Hair Experts Barber School, and Geiser's talent became a profession.

"It's awesome knowing this is my job," he said, "where I can drink coffee, listen to music and hang out with my friends."

But the Virtue Barber Shop isn't just about appearances. Geiser is serious about making a barbered shave a treat for guys, not just a gruff, wham-bam-get-out-of-the-chair experience.

"Getting a straight-razor shave is awesome," he said. "A shave can take as long or a lot longer than a haircut."

The $18 service includes steam towels, a hot lather, a massage and an aftershave finish with masculine scents of bay rum or citrus.

A haircut at the Virtue Barber Shop is $16, a beard trim is $8, and a haircut and shave is $30. On May 3 and 5, Geiser will offer half-priced shaves for what he's calling Cinco de Stacho (there's "still enough time to get a dirty stache growing," he joked). Many of the products he uses are vegan.

Although he's young, there's no doubting Geiser's devotion to his career choice, as evidenced by the tattoos on his arms representing the tools of his trade: a barber pole and a straight-edge razor.

"I can't think of anything else I would want to do," he said.

Virtue Salon & Barber Shop

3333 N. High St., Clintonville


Hours:9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday