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Building Confidence from a Salon Chair

How Eighteen Eight Fine Men's Salons is helping men look and feel their best

At Eighteen Eight Fine Men’s Salons – named for the 18% chromium-8% nickel ratio that makes up a fine stainless steel – there’s a running joke that women send their men to the salon to knock the rust off, but owner Andrew Hulse finds that more often than not, it’s the men that come in looking to be transformed.

After spending decades in the U.S. Navy and then in corporate America, Andrew decided to switch careers to spend more time at home with his family. His goal was to find a business that offers opportunities to build connections and provides something great for the community. He tested a few business models but ultimately decided on Eighteen Eight.

Eighteen Eight’s success derives from three things: quality services, a calming environment, and five-star staff. 

As a full-service men’s hair salon, Eighteen Eight definitely delivers. The core of the business is haircuts, but the salon also offers face, scalp, and nail treatments, as well as shaving, waxing, and coloring services.

"Eighteen Eight is unique in that we carry both a salon license and a barbering license and have both barbers and cosmetologists on staff," says Andrew. 

The salon’s two primary haircut styles are classic and executive. "Both styles revolve around a technique called clipper over comb which focuses on creating a handcrafted haircut that is designed to compliment the shape of a man’s head as opposed to other techniques that follow the shape of a man’s head," Andrew describes. And while a haircut at Eighteen Eight may take a bit longer than at a value cutter, “guys walk out with a better haircut and those haircuts last longer,” affirms Andrew.

The face, scalp, and nail treatments are another feature that sets Eighteen Eight apart from other salons. Two of their more popular treatments include a mini facial and a manicure, both of which can be added to a haircut service. Andrew says the manicure service is very popular around wedding season.

Part of what makes the services at Eighteen Eight so appealing to men is the environment that the salon creates for customers.

With salons in both Maple Grove and Wayzata, Eighteen Eight prides itself on being able to create a masculine environment for men to feel comfortable in. 

Andrew explains, "Traditionally, men go to women’s salons in order to get a higher quality haircut, but they’re doing it in an environment catered to women." So in designing Eighteen Eight, Andrew added semi-private stations and drew from his roots in Naval Aviation to decorate both salons and create a calming atmosphere that men will want to come into. 

“All of our stations are semi-private. When you’re in our salons, you get more of that feeling of being one-on-one with your stylist. And so it provides a little more privacy and facilitates better discussions with your stylist over what it is that you’re looking for,” says Andrew.

While the services and atmosphere Eighteen Eight provides are crucial to the success of the salon, the tremendous staff is what truly makes this men's-focused salon stand out.

As a relationship-based salon, the stylists strive to build relationships with each client to get to know their individual style and hair. 

Above all else though, the stylists are trained to build confidence and transform the men that come through their doors.  

“We take a lot of pride in how we train our staff, and the techniques we use take quite a bit of skill. From that perspective, we find that we get a lot of great feedback based solely on the quality of the haircut.”

Scheduling an appointment at Eighteen Eight is about more than just getting a haircut; it’s about taking care of yourself. “Coming to our place, we don’t view it as a utility. We view it as taking care of yourself, helping your confidence, and also a place to relax a bit.”

Whether you’re looking to change up your look, relax with a mini facial or try out a manicure in the comfort of a semi-private station, Eighteen Eight is the place to go. The services are tailored to every client, the atmosphere is catered to men, and the stylists know exactly how to make you feel confident in your own skin.

“When a guy has a really good haircut, it really does affect his confidence. And one of the things we say is when you look better, you feel better and perform better. And I think that’s absolutely the case,” says Andrew.

  • Andrew Hulse