Grooming: It’s a Guy Thing

Local Men laud the return of the old-fashioned barber. Plus: real guys share tips on health, happiness – and hair.


It’s a Guy Thing

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So you think getting a manicure isn’t particularly manly? You’d better lose that ’tude, because it’s the dawning of a whole new age in men’s health and grooming


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Spas and salons have finally caught on: it seems men like primping and pampering, too. Now, everywhere you turn, there is a bevy of new services for the guys: special facials, waxing (eyebrows, chests and backs), and hair coloring. But perhaps no-thing is as exciting as the return of the old-fashioned barber.

“The barbershop was a really important part of mens’ lives 30 years ago, and now we want to enjoy that again,” says Thomas Cunningham of Beacon, Dutchess County. “I think there is a huge desire for guys to have spaces we can call our own.”

Of course, Cunningham has long known the importance of looking good. In 2004, the former business fashion writer founded his own menswear firm, Sacque Suit, because he wanted “a more fashionable suit at an attainable price. Looking sharp helps you to be taken more seriously in every area of your life.”

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Staying fit is also part of the equation. “I try to swim three or four days a week at the Y. I feel better when I eat natural food produced near where I live. I get my milk from Ronnybrook Farm in Columbia County. I get my meat and cheese from [Poughkeepsie’s] Sprout Creek Farm. And I’m a big believer in fresh air. Which is a good thing, because I have a six-month old daughter and she lets us know when she’d like to go out for a walk.”


The Razor’s Edge . . .

Manny Drivas opened The Men’s Room, an old-style barbershop for men, in Milton in 2002; a Poughkeepsie location followed two years later. “The response has been phenomenal,” he says. “Men just love this Hemingway look; all the browns and leathers make them comfortable. We’re opening a bigger facility in Fishkill next spring.”

    And what about men and primping? “I’ve found that you have to introduce these services little by little. Men are getting facials now and the hair coloring, covering up the gray, is really taking off. And of course, everyone loves the shaves.”

The Men’s Room

Poughkeepsie: 845-485-5332

Milton: 845-795-5332

Closed Mondays





 “They are still somewhat limited,” says Drivas. “Men
get nervous about them,
but then they realize that
they can just have the nails pushed back and buffed.
They don’t have to put finish on them.”





“I love everything about the hot shave,” says Cunningham. “The steaming towels, the hot shaving cream, the sound of the razor on my skin. If it’s done right, I don’t need to shave for two days.”




Health, Happiness & Hip Hair Local men share their secrets. And for the record: none of them has ever had a manicure.



Mark Bolger

Morning DJ, Star 93.3 FM,Poughkeepsie

“I try my best to eat right and get enough sleep, but it’s tough because I get up at 3:15 a.m. So breakfast is just so important for me, I can’t skip it.” What about grooming? “I haven’t considered dying my hair, but I don’t grow a beard anymore because I don’t like the way the gray looks.” Do you work out? “I like to ski and play tennis and hike. But really, my main workout is carrying my two daughters [ages 4 and 6] around. And I’ve got another baby on the way, so there’s more of that coming.” 


Ric Orlando

Chef, New World Home Cooking,

“I do 20 minutes of yoga a day and get a massage once a month. I take a lot of Chinese herbs like rosacea and ginseng. And I cut my coffee intake way back. I now have one four-ounce cup of espresso in the morning, that’s it. But you’ve got to have a life, too. I think you should eat plenty, drink plenty. Having fun is crucial. And now that I’m in the 13th year of my business I’ve decided to close on Mondays. I’ve never done that. It’s my mental health day.”


Jason West

Mayor, New Paltz

“I had a back injury this summer and it changed me; it forced me to realize I have to take care of myself. I ended up turning to acupuncture and it’s helped me tremendously, both with the injury and just with my mental health. It helps me let go of things and not think about them 24/7.” And about the manicure thing? “I’ve never even thought about it; but the hot shave, now that sounds really appealing.”

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