This morning I woke up and thought to myself, “It’s time to get a haircut.” I figured I would head on over to my barber sometime in the late afternoon. But first I needed to stop by Raven Vanguard Design Studio in Allentown. As I circled around the block, I found myself on Main Street, where I discovered a brand new barbershop that had moved into the former Bloom Floristry space. I was surprised to find that a barber had taken up such a sizable storefront, until I learned who the barber was.
It turns out that the barber in question is Sean Thompson of House of Masters (295 East Delavan). I was familiar with Thompson because a few years back he had brought a barber convention to Buffalo, which I thought was very impressive. Thompson’s new location at 846 Main Street (at The Granite Works) is a different take on barbering in that it is a unisex barber shop that can handle a wide range of cuts no matter the type or style of hair. Thompson, one of eight Major League barbers in the country, is joined by Mary Joseph, who is not only a female barber, she is also a licensed cosmetologist.
As I was just getting into the meat of the story, Thompson informed me that he had to run an errand, but he would be back in half an hour. Hmmmm… well, I might as well get my hair cut, I figured. So I grabbed a seat in Mary Joseph’s chair, and before I knew it I was getting a lesson in barbering, facials, shaves, styles, products, coloring… According to Joseph, she and Thompson can handle just about anything that comes their way, which makes them very special. They really know their stuff, and are happy to show it off. “First, we’re going to start off with Paul Mitchell tea tree shampoo,” said Joseph. “There’s no alcohol – it’s oil based, healthy and natural, which means that it will not dry out your scalp, and will help your hair grow, while retaining the essential oils. We’re here to pamper you. We both have experience in all aspects of barbering – we take care of everything. The only thing we don’t cut is corners.”
20 minutes into my barbering experience, as I was melting into my chair (Joseph was lathering my neck and applying a straight edge razor), Thompson walked back into the shop to attend to a customer. By this point, I was bantering back and forth with Joseph, who was a real whiz at giving a great cut. As she applied a hot towel to my neck, she politely lectured me on the importance of women and men getting hot towel facials in order to deep clean the skin. I told her that I would take her up on it during my next visit. I would make sure that I would make that appointment later in the afternoon, so that I couple also enjoy a complimentary beverage. When Joseph talked about their pampering services, she was not kidding.
The House of Master (H.O.M.) Grooming Lounge services men and women, in a sophisticated setting that is conveniently located near the Medical Campus, Allentown, and downtown Buffalo. “I waited three years to find this location,” said Thompson. “I wanted to be close to the Medical Campus. I have spent years traveling the country setting up barber trade shows. I’m also a supervisor and a proctor for NYS licensed barbers.”
Currently, there are two barbers at H.O.M. Grooming Lounge, but I have a feeling that these numbers are going to grow. Thompson told me that all of the barber chairs were built custom to his specs and design preferences. “Each of the chairs also has its own hair washing sink,” he mentioned. “Everything we do here is designed for convenience for the customer. We want you to relax and feel like you’re being taken care of, because that’s what we’re here for. Everything we do is by design. We’re experts in our fields – we offer a chance for people to relax in our lounge, and get master cuts. There’s really nothing else like it around.”
Not only are barber shops back in Buffalo, they are back with a vengeance thanks to the skilled efforts and accomplishments of barbers such Thompson and Joseph.
H.O.M. Grooming Lounge | The Granite Works | 846 Main Street | Buffalo NY | 716-381-8536