A Notch Above
Josh Nichols new salon-meets-barbershop hits The Grove with a uniquely old-fashioned approach to mens grooming.
With nearly 15 years' experience as a professional stylist, Josh Nichols has made the move to expand his salon offerings from Clayton’s KINK to The Grove with Notch, KINK’s brother salon. Although Notch is a full-service shop for both men and women, the salon specializes in catering to the style-conscious man.
“When a man walks into the salon, I want him to know that he is going to get an amazing haircut and targeted experience,” says Nichols. “We wanted to create a place where men can get pampered in an environment that is catered to them.”
Equipped with an interior that’s equal parts rustic and fantasy bachelor pad, Notch has claimed its place directly across from hipster-hub Rise Coffee and adjacent to The Demo and The Ready Room. Customers entering the salon are greeted with a feeling of classic cool: A vintage wooden buffet serves as a front desk for discussing each stylist’s “menu.” Men can choose from a variety of barber services, along with oil treatments for beards and moisture masques; ladies can opt for extensions, color and blowouts.
Nearby, a seating area makes a wait worthwhile by boasting antique leather chairs, a flat-screen TV and tree-trunk end tables topped with a stack of fashionable reading material. Well-curated products line the walls from the likes of Uppercut Deluxe, Kevin Murphy and Baxter of California, and customers can even peruse Notch’s house brand of beard oils: variations include “Hipster,” “Lumberjack” and “Prince Charming,” among others.
But it’s when you hit your stylist’s station (repurposed vintage work benches) that the experience really begins. Guests can order a complimentary cocktail (manhattan, perhaps?) to sip during their stylist consultation.
Keeping the focus on getting to know clientele for the long haul, Nichols says he has grown accustomed to providing his clients with all sorts of advice. “We talk to men about everything from grooming tips and hair products to what they wear and places they can shop,” says Nichols. “We want to personalize service and take things back to the way they were before everyone was in such a rush.”
Notch has also infiltrated the wedding market with “Groom the Groomsmen” packages encouraging men to make the most of their wedding day prep. Guys can choose from the “James Deen,” the “Marlon Brando” or the “Fred Astaire,” which all include special occasion services from a signature cut to a deluxe shave. Each groomsman will also receive a take-home gift with product samples to maintain their dapper new look. After all, guys need a little love on the big day, too. 4187 Manchester, The Grove, 314.764.5113.
Photo by Victoria Lafferty.