City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Making Guys Look Good

Personal attention and a focus on details are what set Nobles & Misfits apart from other barber shops

nInside The Hive, a sort of mall for beauty parlors, are a half-dozen or so women’s hair salons – and just one dedicated to men. It’s an ideal location for Brian Perez’s Nobles & Misfits barber shop.

“The ladies send their guys to me,” says Brian, whose customers travel to 9002 W. Huguenot Road in Bon Air from all around Midlothian and as far away as Chester, Hanover County, Mineral and Louisa County.

At Nobles & Misfits, personal attention is the degree of difference. Brian works by appointment only, delivering a custom hair- and beard-trimming experience. This one-by-one approach has the benefit of allowing Brian to limit the number of people in his shop to just him and the customer, and to clean and sanitize between appointments, now a mandatory business practice in these days of COVID-19.

The salon, whose name came out of a brainstorming session to devise a creative yet inclusive brand, does a steady business in haircuts and beard trims. Each appointment begins with a consultation that “sets the base for the appointment” and often requires diplomacy. A customer may request a style that will take several appointments to achieve, for example, and require an “interim” style or two while short hair grows out, Brian explains.

“I have a lot of customers who have been buzzing their hair their whole lives,” he says. These customers must understand that any other cut will be longer and require more styling time and grooming products than they may be used to. “It’s all about interpretation and details,” Brian says.

Chris Arquilla has been coming to Nobles & Misfits for nearly three years, driving first from Louisa County and now from Palmyra for haircuts and beard trims. “It was just a coincidence that I found Brian,” he says. “After that first visit, though, I knew I’d found my barber. Brian has amazing skills, truly a generational talent. He works very hard to include you, the customer, in the process to make sure you get the exact look you want. He’s very thorough and meticulous, and has a great eye for style.”

A barber since age 15, when he cut friends’ and family members’ hair in his native Puerto Rico, Brian started training as an apprentice in his cousin’s barber shop at 18. Then he gained more experience at a succession of shops in Puerto Rico and later, in the U.S. He eventually went to barber school for certification, and relocated his business and his life to the U.S. after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017.

“We were looking for new opportunities, and the hurricane was a deciding factor,” says Brian of the choice he and his wife, Damaris, made to leave Puerto Rico. “The country wasn't in a good place then. And my brother was already here, so that made it easier.”

Now, Brian’s one-chair shop is the place for men as Brian tames unruly locks, sculpts thick beards, and introduces guys to styling (“I use ‘messy’ a lot – it’s in, and it’s easy to do”) and styling products (he carries two from the Layrite line).

“I love what I do and I love my customers,” Brian says.

And customers love Brian. “He has a friendly and comforting personality,” Chris says. “I have never left his shop anything less than impressed and with the exact cut and style I'd envisioned. Never have I gotten as many compliments on my hair and beard since I began going to Brian. Great barber and great guy all around!”

  • Brian Perez