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A day out for the guys

Grooming: Customers can enjoy cognac, a shave and upscale atmosphere at Apollo’s Salon for Men

Posted: December 18, 2010 5:57 p.m.
Updated: December 19, 2010 4:55 a.m.

The owner and staff stand near the entrance to Apollo’s Salon for Men shortly after its grand opening on Nov. 8. Featured left to right is manager Dan Tinodo, masseuse Joanie Malley and owner Garo Papazian. The upscale salon in Valencia caters to men.

Salons that pamper women with massages, hair stylings and facials have flourished, growing into a $13 billion industry with an estimated 18,000 businesses in existence in the spa-services industry.

Demand is driven by personal income, demographic trends and a desire to indulge a personal need in a relaxing moment away from the hustle of everyday life.

But where do the men go?

Today, men can enjoy the same luxuries women have enjoyed at the Apollo’s Salon for Men in Valencia.

A 1,500-square-foot, high-end salon for men, Apollo’s pampers men the old-fashioned way at some old-fashioned prices.
“It’s not your typical barbershop,” said Garo Papazian, owner of the salon, which opened Nov. 8.

Affordable class
The salon offers straight razor cuts by first lubricating the face and wrapping it in a warm towel prior to delivering a clean shave, all for only $25.

A similar shave in a Beverly Hills salon can go for $85, Papazian said.

Besides straight razor cuts and hair trims, the salon also offers the men deep tissue and Swedish massages in private rooms above the salon, allowing customers to just unwind and relax.

Papazian’s salon also offers men a shampoo and hair cut starting at $20. The ultimate cost depends on the length of hair or style a man wants.

He said the salon offers the services of a classic old-fashioned barber shop in an upscale atmosphere. Men receive a complimentary hand, shoulder or head massage with a haircut.

Other services offered include skin care facials, manicures and pedicures, added amenities for either the meticulously groomed man, a husband preparing to go out on a special date night with his wife or the groom readying for his wedding day.

For the clients who would like their wives to accompany them, Apollo’s does offer hair styling services for women in an upstairs salon.

For upscale gentlemen

Between appointments for various salon treatments, the salon serves its customers wine, cognac or brandy and a complimentary cigar.

Soon the salon expects to be approved for sidewalk café seating so customers can sit outside while enjoying their cigars and drinking their wine.

The salon plans to expand services early next year by offering botox and laser hair-removal treatments via a registered nurse.

“A man can spend two to three hours pampering themselves,” Papazian said. “We’ve also had fathers bring their sons in for father-son outings.” The salon serves hot chocolate and pastries to the kids.

Organizing a “boys’ day out,” four firemen and two police officers showed up one day and spent four hours at the upscale salon.

“Word has been spreading like wildfire,” Papazian said. “Nine guys came in last week, and three of those customers were by word-of-mouth.”

Papazian wanted to join elegance with the barber shop atmosphere. All of his barbers wear red vests and adhere to a dress code.

Apollo’s has seven licensed barbers serving customers, and it is managed by “Mr. Dan,” a licensed barber and cosmetologist for the past 20 years.

Concierge service
Apollo’s is also debuting concierge services for customers, including shoe shines and repairs, dry cleaning services and car-washing services. It even makes limo transportation arrangements for clients.

The salon is currently in negotiation with the Sheraton International in Pasadena to book hotel reservations for its clients at any Sheraton hotel in the country.

Reality TV

Papazian said he has a TV show in the works as well, in collaboration with a neighbor of his who is a producer.

Tentatively titled “Manscaping,” the reality show will bring in a man who needs a makeover and clean and dress him up, turning a messy specimen into a well-groomed gentleman.

“They’ll end up looking like a million bucks,” Papazian said.

Lifelong passion
Papazian, a resident of Valencia, has been a licensed real estate agent since 1977, working with both Fred Sands and Realty Executive real estate firms. He’s been with the latter firm since 1985.

But the salon owner has also been a licensed barber since 1969. He said it has always been his passion and dream to open a high-end men’s salon.

Willing to cut friends’ hair, Papazian said he’d have seven to eight guys lined up in his garage for haircuts, and finally decided it was time to open the salon he’d always dreamed of.

“I’m really surprised by the response we’ve been getting since we opened,” Papazian said.

Apollo’s Salon for Men offers gift certificates and is opened seven days a week. Walk-ins and appointments are welcome.
The salon is located at 25860 Tournament Road in the Vista Valencia Shopping Center in Valencia and can be reached at (661) 254-2891.


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