How One New York City Salon Is Changing the Men's Grooming Experience

photo courtesy of brand(Barba, New York City)

Xavier Cruz was having lunch with a friend one day when the idea for Barba—which translates to “beard” in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian—came to him. After years in the beauty industry, Cruz realized it was time for something fresh and new, particularly in the men’s grooming space. Rather than jumping into the oversaturated barbering industry, Cruz decided to open a men’s boutique salon in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood.

“I wanted to open a high-end space where guys could be themselves and talk freely while getting highlights or a manicure like women do,” Cruz says. “Some men might feel intimidated, uncomfortable or even judged getting these services done with a woman sitting next to him, so I wanted to create a safe place for my boys.” It’s worth mentioning that Neil Patrick Harris and Marc Jacobs are just a few of the clients Cruz works with regularly.

Barba aims to combine the comfort of a traditional barbershop with the conveniences of a luxury salon—allowing men to enjoy a personalized, high-end experience every time they visit.

However, unlike traditional barbershops that only offer haircuts and shaves, Barba offers an extensive portfolio of services for the modern man, from scissor cuts and skin fades to single- and double-process highlights to gray blending, beard grooming and waxing.

What’s more, the Barba team is always looking to expand their offerings. “We want to transform the men’s grooming industry,” says Barba partner JP Gomez. “We bring 30 years of expertise in the industry to our clients while always staying up to date with the latest and greatest treatments—many of which can be found at no other men’s salon in New York.”