There was a time not that long ago, relatively speaking of course, when a young man’s trip to the barber shop was a sort of rite of passage. It represented that he was growing up, becoming a “little man.” Before then, mom would always cut his hair and he would look forward to the day when he could sit in the big leather and chrome chair and listen to the barber shop chatter as his hair was groomed to resemble the style of someone much older than he was. This was a special time, indeed, and it’s not surprising, considering that, historically, a man’s visit to the barbershop has always been a very macho thing to do. That’s right, the barbershop has always been a special place for men to be men, do what men do, and talk about what men talk about. As time has passed, the traditional barbershops have slowly slipped away, like relics of a bygone era, and been replaced with salons that cater more to the feminine sex. That’s why, to have one in your hometown is such a special treat. Then, if you are lucky enough to also have one that looks and feels like the original barbershop style, but with contemporary updates that fit the era we live in today, it’s truly a special find.
Lucky for us, we’re fortunate that on Knollwood Street in Winston-Salem there is such a place. V’s Barbershop opened its doors in April of 2013 and has been providing men in this area that special place that reminds older gentlemen what it used to be like, and provides younger gentlemen the opportunity to experience their own rite of passage, just like in the old days.
Adam Thomas is the owner of V’s and he couldn’t be happier with the response he’s received from the community for his traditional and exceptional service. One visit to V’s and you’re hooked. It makes the experience of a haircut or shave take on a whole new meaning. Adam didn’t start out in this business. After graduating from high school and attending Georgia State University, he took a job with Amana Refrigeration and began a career that would span 15 years. Having grown up in the small town of Austell, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, and gone to the local barbershop as a child, he always had fond memories of that time in his life. Then, in late 2012, Thomas states, “I was semi-retired and looking for a new opportunity and learned of this franchise.” It incorporated all the things he remembered fondly as a child and more. “Once I found this, it reminded me of days gone by, when I went to the barber shop with my dad, and that was a guy thing to do. It was cool to me then, and still is today.”
So he opened up his shop at 380 Knollwood Street in Winston-Salem and gave it his own personal flair. Thinking of the features he liked best in his own experiences, he wanted to incorporate those unique and special touches, making his shop not just traditional, but a step above. You feel it as soon as you walk through the doors. History, combined with a touch of extravagance and bonus amenities, that let you know immediately you’re in for a treat.
As you enter the shop, you immediately notice the black-and-white diamond-shaped flooring. The walls that surround you are classically painted in emerald green and taupe on top, and accented with a brick veneer below, with dark wood trim. They’re adorned with a wide variety of enduring photographs of various sports legends, like Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Bart Starr and Terry Bradshaw. There’s also a renowned picture taken of one of the famous Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier bouts; baseball legends, including Babe Ruth; basketball highlight photos and too many more to mention. Local favorites Wake Forest and Winston-Salem State are well represented on the walls, along with UNC and Duke. The lighting includes classic chrome fixtures with green shades and old-style ceiling fans that provide a gentle cool breeze from above. No less than five flat-screen HD televisions hang on the walls, allowing each patron to see just what they want to see. Note for younger customers: they even show age- appropriate cartoons to keep them entertained during their experience. Each station consists of cherry wood with granite tops, complimented with plush, thick, rich leather barber chairs with chrome accents and footstool attached. No doubt, this is even better than you remembered it being in the old days. Everything about this place speaks of class and casual elegance, even down to the soft, contemporary jazz music that surrounds you, the burgundy capes emblazoned with V’s insignia and the old-fashioned red-white-and blue-striped barbershop light that hangs on the back wall. Thomas describes it this way: “Once you step inside V’s, you immediately know the difference. It is a nice place with a great ambience. A place you want to call your barbershop’—one filled with great aromas and lots of hot towels. Of course, we are one of the few shops that offer old-fashioned hot lather shaves, shoe shines, and even an awesome facial.”
Thomas adds, “We are fortunate to have a great staff of both male and female Master Barbers with many years of experience.” And their services are second to none, including haircut styles ranging from traditional to the latest trends, and a complimentary hot lather neck shave and relaxing shoulder massage to top off the experience. They have individual and packaged services that include shampoo, straight razor shaves, beard and moustache trims, facials and facial massages, and shoe shines. There’s even a Big Day package for grooms and groomsmen that includes many of the services mentioned and completes the experience with a complimentary cigar. They use only the finest products like American Crew, The Art of Shaving, Jack Black, Lucia Bay and more. You can make an appointment, and walk-ins are always welcome—after all, this is your personal barber we’re talking about here.
Now, as for the experience itself, that’s something you’ll have to try first-hand. But I can give you a little taste of what it’s like. If you have never had a straight razor shave, then you simply must give it a shot. The process involves first preparing your skin with the hot towels Thomas spoke of earlier. Next, a variety of different solutions are applied to the skin to both soften and prepare it for a clean, close shave. After the shave, more hot towels are applied to your face to clean any remaining shaving cream and residue from the surface. Then, more delicate skin solutions are gently rubbed into the skin to soothe the surface while cleansing the pores and providing a soft, relaxing facial massage at the same time. Finally, one last hot towel is applied to cleanse off any excess, and you finish up with a cool towel to close the pores—and, quite rankly, wake you up from your experience! You awaken from this peaceful, relaxing experience feeling refreshed and ready to take on the rest of your day. Imagine, with that type of remarkable experience from the shave, just how calming and tranquil the full facial would be like. Having a rough morning? Try calling ahead and scheduling a shave or facial during lunch to relieve your stress and prepare you to take on the afternoon with renewed enthusiasm. It only takes about thirty minutes, and it can truly make your entire day, believe me.
V’s celebrated their one-year anniversary in April, and it is a milestone that Thomas sincerely appreciates. “We have been very blessed and have had the opportunity to serve over 1800 clients thus far, and we’re always looking to welcome new customers.” Reflecting on the past year, Thomas says, “I have always enjoyed retail and the interaction with people. We get to meet some great people and get to know them and their families. We look forward to watching the kids we’re servicing now grow up to be successful in their own right.”
V’s Barber Shop also received some very special recognition in their first year when they were announced as the official barbershop of the Winston Salem Dash. V’s has also partnered with the Dash in their “Dash for Cash” program, where one lucky fan will win $10,000.
When asked what Thomas is hoping for in the years to come at V’s, he shares, “We want people to walk away [from their V’s experience] thinking they got a great haircut or shave at a fair price, and think V’s is a great barbershop! We want them to enjoy the experience enough that they tell all of their friends. That is the greatest compliment we can receive.” He ended his reflection on this first year by expressing his sincere gratitude to all his customers that have helped make this year such a tremendous success. He added, he looks forward to seeing those same friendly faces, along with many new ones, in the years to come.
If you haven’t had the chance to experience V’s Barber Shop at 380 Knollwood Street in Winston-Salem yet, I recommend you give it a try. You’re sure to come away with a great haircut or shave, a genuine sense of nostalgia, and new friends in the process. Now that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
To learn more or schedule your appointment online, visit their site at vbarbershop.com, or give them a call at (336) 245-8461. Even better, just drop in to say hello; they’re always glad to see you!