photos by tj turner
When it comes to men’s haircuts, a guy usually has to choose between going to an old-school barbershop or a salon that primarily caters to women. But GENT Cuts & Grooming, which opened its first location in 2011 on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, is one of the few options for men who want a modern but male-focused environment for haircuts and grooming.
There’s been enough demand for the concept that GENT recently opened its third location, just off France Avenue in Edina. The space’s design reflects a decidedly more rugged, masculine vibe than a typical salon. Overstuffed leather chairs, brass fixtures, and dark wood furnishings evoke a classic gentlemen’s club, while a large flat-screen TV and sleek, quilted-leather salon chairs add a touch of the 21st century. “We wanted to bring in some of that old barbershop vibe but make it more modern and relevant,” says GENT owner Michael Boyle.
Boyle, whose background is in accounting and finance, says he started the business out of his own personal haircut frustrations—wanting the quality and service of a premium salon, without the feminine vibe. “I’d wind up at my wife’s salon, with women’s magazines in the waiting area, or I’d end up at a discount haircutter—sometimes it’d work out, sometimes it wouldn’t.”
He set out to create a space that was comfortable and low-key, offering haircuts that were high quality but not too spendy. Services run the gamut from classic to current: For the traditionalist, there’s the straight-razor shave and that old barbershop standby, a hot facial towel treatment. Modern additions include beard trimming and shaping, gray hair blending (a technique to minimize unwanted grays without looking unnatural), brow waxing (for those pesky unibrows), and a scalp-smoothing head shave.
GENT Cuts & Grooming
3865 Gallagher Dr., Edina