The last time someone cut my hair at a salon or barbershop, I couldn’t legally drink.
I’ve benefited from a few legit trims in the last decade, thanks to friends who trained as stylists. My loose curls have decorated the lawn at Guilford College and filled up the trashcan in my bathroom, where I normally shave most my hair off with a $20 buzzer procured from CVS.
Once someone cut my hair at Elsewhere — I remember that my friend Shaina Machlus, a stylist, did it, but I can’t remember the purpose of this public display. I’ve paid for a few cuts since doing such things fell to my purview (read: when I moved out of my parents’ house at 18), but mostly I’ve done it myself, and covered up after with my signature Red Sox hat.
A lot can change in a decade. That came into sharp focus when I walked into Local Honey, a salon in downtown Greensboro, last week to receive my first truly legitimate haircut. You know — in a business, from a trained professional who washes your hair first and uses products and techniques that are several ticks above my brash approach.
Local Honey wasn’t around in 2006, when I showed up in Greensboro to attend college. And while I wasn’t of legal drinking age yet, I’m pretty confident that it wasn’t common to find salons or barbershops offering free drinks as part of the deal to patrons, either.
That’s exactly what happened when I arrived for my appointment. I could choose between four of Natty’s core beers, I was told, and as I sat in a loungy waiting area flipping through Our State, an employee brought me the Natty Greene’s Wildflower Wit I’d asked for.
I admit to knowing that Local Honey provided free booze to its clients. I’d heard from friends, and Machlus briefly worked here. Natty Greene’s makes sense as a partner — they’re local, nearby and they’re the only Greensboro brewery bottling its output, while crowlers or growlers from other outfits would be a little overgenerous for the salon.
And the connection between Natty’s and Local Honey runs deeper, with Natty Greene’s putting out a Local Honey Winter Red limited release beer last year and serving it in the salon’s parking lot. (It was good too, I should add.)
But there’s a difference between knowing something on an intellectual level and knowing it from experience. Taking sips from the bottle periodically throughout the haircut added to the relaxing feel at the end of the workweek, easing me into the weekend and a refined look.
I didn’t show up at Local Honey for the free beer, and it isn’t why I’ll be back.
But it certainly doesn’t hurt.
Visit Local Honey at 233 Commerce Place (GSO) or at localhoneysalon.com.