Dig Baton Rouge

Whiskers & Whiskey

By Holly A. Phillips / @OrangeJulius7

Whether it’s an Instagram-worthy man bun or a beard inspired by “Duck Dynasty,” men are starting to get into the grooming game. Because of this budding need, a local salon has dedicated Mondays to men, so they can enjoy salon services and pampering all to themselves.

It all started with a little inspiration from his dad. Garrett Halphen, co-owner of the The Garrett Neal Studio, recalls his late father (also a salon owner), who was given an idea by a friend who owned a Harley Davidson shop.

You have to get haircut every three to five weeks. You may as well have a nice experience and a nice drink while you’re doing it.

“On Saturdays, the guys would get their bikes fixed and chopped, and the owner suggested my dad cut their hair while they waited,” Halphen said. “So they invented this concept called the Chop Shop, where the men would get their hair cut while they got their bikes fixed.”

Over the years, Halphen took notice of other men-only salons popping up, including pedicure places. After about a year of brainstorming, and even a road trip to similar-concept salons, Halphen started Garrett Neal Elite, or “Man Mondays” at the Garrett Neal Studio’s sole location.

“Garrett Neal Elite helps men look and feel confident,” Halphen said. “They get the ultimate grooming experience just for men, plus we’re serving really nice whiskey, scotch, wine, or bourbon.”

Currently, Garrett Neal Elite clients can chose from three packages, which all include a personal consultation, a tailor-made haircut, a brow-trim (optional), an energizing wash house experience, finishing touch styling, and a complimentary drink. Other add-ons include a neck shave, a scalp massage experience, beard shaping, and brow waxing, among others.

Garrett Neal Studio
7554 Bluebonnet Boulevard
Instagram: @GarrettNealStudio
Right now, Garrett Neal Elite is only happening on Mondays, though Halphen sees room for expansion down the road.

During the rest of the week, The Garrett Neal Studio is open for any and all clients. But on Mondays, the atmosphere is a little more calm, more relaxed, and men get to enjoy the classic barbershop feel, with the convenience of quick services, and individual pampering, such as a stress-relieving hand massage, or a steamed towel treatment.

“There’s only five of us working on Mondays,” Halphen said. “It’s very quiet, we’re playing some Led Zepplin. We’re definitely gearing this toward men.”

Halphen hopes to restore the days when clients actually talked to their barbers, all while treating the customer to services he’s never enjoyed before.

“There’s a lot of stuff my clients and I can learn from each other,” Halpen said. “Even if it’s just where to get a good meal or a great drink in Baton Rouge.”

Garrett Neal Elite has only been open for three Mondays, and already, the concept has been a hit. It’s the only concept like it in the state — one that does haircuts, gray camouflaging, and hot lather shaves while treating its clients to top-shelf liquor.

Halphen guarantees he will give his clients the best haircut of their life, and if he doesn’t, he won’t be mad if you never return.

“You have to get your hair cut at least every three to five weeks, so you may as well have a hell of a time doing it.”

Halphen and his staff underwent several hours of extra training to ensure the Elite experience would be unique and consistent.

“Men and women work equally as hard, but women have all of the luxuries of a day spa and men don’t,” Halphen said. “This is all about the modern male feeling absolutely cool with taking care of himself.”

To make a reservation for Garrett Neal Elite, call 225.761.3394.



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