I admit I was a tad timid venturing into Maison Privée, the latest contemporary barbershop in Old Montreal, since it was my first time getting a cut in a barbershop but I had walked by it many times on my walks with the dog and was curious to give it a try. The name is a bit daunting, implying exclusivity, but I was greeted courteously and with respect by Chris Marzzo, one of the houses’ resident barbers.
Once I was set up in Chris’s chair with a hot pink barber’s cape, a young lady offered me a choice of beverage: water or red bull. Chris then asked me how I wanted my hair. I asked for a fade on the sides and back, more definition to my side part and to keep the length on top. He picked up his clippers and got to work, meticulously executing my hairstyle. It took a good hour and the bill came to $34.50 with tax, before tip. A far cry from the $70 I’m used to paying at hair salons.
With the popularity of the TV series Orange Is The New Black and Wentworth, one can easily anticipate a slight rise in edgier haircuts for women. It was partly because of OITNB that I was inspired to try a more androgynous look, but I have always admired strong, shorn females like: Sinead O’Connor, Annie Lennox, Grace Jones and Tilda Swinton. I’ve never liked to stick to one hairstyle either. Change is good and hair always grows back.
I was starting to get seriously excited about my new do when I was taken aback by another client in Oliver Kult’s chair who asked “You guys don’t do Westmount moms do you?” while shooting me a look. Oliver replied No and then I didn’t hear what followed next, but I preferred to tune the sexist jerk out. Dude, if the presence of a woman in a barbershop makes you that uncomfortable, then just zip it. And if a Westmount mom wants a men’s haircut, that’s her right. And FYI, the Human Rights Commission’s offices are just two streets up from Maison Privée.
Fortunately, I had a great experience at Maison Privée and as I was leaving, a guy said to me “Sick haircut!” Shout out to that dude and if any of my Westmount ladies would like to get an undercut – it’s on me!