Looking Sharp

Leaving the Corporate World for the Life of an Entrepreneur by Helping Men and Boys Look Their Best.

Article by Michael Beightol and Stephen Neilson

Photography by Stephen Neilson

Originally published in SW Lake Lifestyle

Since 2015 a fine men’s salon in the middle of downtown Barrington has transformed the traditional barbershop experience for scores of area men and boys.

It’s also changed the life of the family who own the shop.

Jeff Eggert had a long career in corporate finance, reaching the pinnacle of success for well-known Fortune 500 companies, including Snap-On Tools, Pactiv and Reynolds Group Holdings. With success, however, came the realization that there might be something else he wanted from his career.

After leaving Corporate America, Eggert worked with a business coach to help him identify the best path for the second half of his career. What was revealed was both surprising and intriguing. He started exploring different franchising options that would allow him to stay closer to home, flex his strength in financial management, and give him the freedom to chart his own course.

After about a year of due diligence he settled on opening a franchise barbershop at 120 S. Hough Street for a national chain, 18/8 Fine Men’s Salon. It was a new approach to barbering that elevated the experience of getting a haircut: a clean modern salon, highly trained stylists, better hair care and skin products and an overall relaxing experience for customers.

Sue Dahl, who has often been the first person customers meet when entering the shop, said this recently about what customers experience: “Customers enjoy complimentary beverages, a relaxed atmosphere and upscale experience, but most of all, they like the way they look with a fantastic haircut. Our staff genuinely cares that you are leaving here with a precise and exact haircut.”

Fast-forward to 2020 and Eggert was faced with another opportunity; separating his salon from the franchise with a name change to follow. In late 2022 a new name was adopted – 1924 Fine Men’s Salon. The salon’s original name served as a metaphor for the transformation; according to Eggert, the combination of 18% chromium and 8% nickel turns the metal into a more enhanced and better performing stainless steel. This is also what Eggert’s salon does for its clientele – transforming them into men who “look better, feel better, and perform better.”

So why “1924” now that he has a standalone shop, no longer associated with a franchiser? A little history lesson provides context. The 1920s was a transformational decade where modern America experienced innovations in transportation, the arts, media and technology. Also, in 1924 an Englishman by the name of W.H. Hatfield patented what became known as 18-8 stainless steel, an alloy that would soon become the most popular version of stainless steel used for cutlery (and barber’s razors).

While the name has changed, there’s been no change in the range of services and customer experience. With a dozen stylists, each highly trained in the barbering arts, customers can choose from 1924’s signature executive haircuts, color treatments and touch-ups, straight razor shaves and rejuvenating skin treatments. There is even a menu of hair replacement options for a gentleman to choose from to get the hairstyle he wants.

Eggert is rightly proud of the skills exhibited by his team: “Our stylists are better trained intensively in barbering techniques than anywhere in the Chicago area.” More senior team members were schooled at the 1924 Academy in California, and all of them participate in on-going training and assessment through American Crew International All-Star Educators. Men’s hair grows differently, so specific training in barbering techniques for men and boys is a critical differentiator of 1924.

When Eggert turned the page on his career to become an entrepreneur his wife, Cathy, after a career in healthcare, made the same leap of faith. Together the Eggerts continue helping area men and boys look sharp.

To learn more about 1924 Fine Men’s Salon, and to schedule an appointment, visit or call 224.633.2188.

“Our stylists are better trained intensively in barbering techniques than anywhere in the Chicago area.”

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