Men in Frisco keep seeing new businesses that cater primarily to the beauty and grooming needs of women – day spas, nail salons, blow-dry bars – and they must be wondering where they could get their own cuticles taken care of while, say, watching a ball game, or, better yet, sipping on an adult beverage.
Those of us in the north part of town just got a place that fills that exact need. Hammer & Nails is a genuine man-cave that’s more of an experience center than a skin-and-nails salon. Just last summer, they opened their Frisco location off the Tollway, north of Eldorado, and a few of Lifestyle Frisco guys went to take a look.
Grooming for Guys
Founded by former screenwriter Michael Elliot (“Just Wright,” “Brown Sugar”), the Hammer & Nails franchise encourages men’s self-care through professional grooming and barbering services. Elliot opened his first shop in Los Angeles, in 2013. Invited to an episode of “Shark Tank,” he hoped to score a $200,000 investment and transform his store into a multi-million dollar “man cave nirvana.”
In the show, his pitch was rejected by the “sharks”, but he eventually raised the needed amount with the help of the episode’s enthusiastic viewers. One of those viewers turned out to be Don Yeldell, who flew out to L.A. for a lengthy hiring process to participate in Elliot’s concept.
Don, who now co-owns the Frisco location with his brother Ed Yeldell and partner Shulonda Rankinswas, was the one who greeted me at the door and showed me around the store. “Our chain encourages men to feel confident in their grooming,” he said. “We even go as far as calling ‘manicures and pedicures’ our ‘hand and foot grooming’ processes.”
The franchise encourages monthly memberships of $64. Considering services can range from $20 or more, a membership can save a customer roughly 20 percent of what he would pay otherwise. Other shops have opened in Houston, Texas and Portland, Oregon; and will soon open in Williamsburg, New York and Atlanta, Georgia. Women are also welcome, but they are asked not to have polish or acrylic on their nails.
Feel Good. Look Good.
Did you think I was kidding about the adult beverage? Nope. They have a good selection of whiskeys and other spirits, but you can also pick from a few beers, and of course, the non-alcoholic drinks. Once you’re checked in, they’ll fix the drink for you while you wait, and you can bring it in with you during the service(s).
The store is divided into two areas by a wall down the middle; my first stop was the barbershop, which is the south side of the store. They had me at “straight razor shave” – something you can’t find just anywhere, and something you shouldn’t attempt to do yourself without some serious skills and research.
Their barber William (self-proclaimed “beard advocate”) reclined me in the chair to an almost horizontal position and started off by covering my face with a warm towel, which he replaced in regular intervals so that my face continued to open up pores and feel generally awesome.
There was the old-school lather machine, and William kept working on my whiskers in small, careful, but confident strokes of the razor.
The shave was closer than I get at home, which I expected from a straight razor, but it was also much easier on my skin, which I did not. I always end up having a spot or two of irritation, but not this time.
After a cold towel and an after-shave balm (you get to pick from three scents), I was ready to go to the other side of the wall, to the hand-and-foot area on the north side of the store.
Relaxed Man Cave Nirvana
I went during a recent Cowboys game, and I was treated to the ideal setup for watching sports – luxurious bison leather chair with wide armrests, Bose noise canceling headphones tuned to my personal TV to which I have the remote, while a trained professional takes care of my hands and feet.
Now, I’ve had manicures and pedicures before, and the main reason why I don’t get them regularly is that something always happens that make me pay attention to it; maybe I feel a slight pull on the fine hairs or a sharp instrument goes just a little too far. No such thing at Hammer & Nails; I barely had to take off my eyes from my TV, except to sip my drink.
I got the “Hops and Cedar” foot service which included a bottle of Guinness beer being poured into the water where my feet were soaking. The yeast in the beer attacks the fungus and helps with removing the dead skin. The foot bath also received a few fragrant drops of cedar essential oil.
Later, there was a sugar scrub and a few other creams, sprays, and liquids, but it was a really close game, and as I said before, I barely looked away from my TV. I think the only time I did was when I got my feet into a paraffin wax “boot” to moisturize my skin.
My hands received a very similar treatment, with equal deftness and efficiency, including their own paraffin “glove”. That’s the part you want to get ready for because you lose most of the utility of your hands; set the headphones comfortably on your head, set the volume where you like it, and finish your drink.
The clinical nail technicians are also trained to recognize any health issues you may not even be aware of, just by the conditions of your nails. They will be able to recommend a specific service, and you can buy a variety of products for the care of your feet, face, and hair.
Those were only some of the services on offer at the Hammer & Nails – the full list can be found on their website, along with other useful information, including how to get a gift card for someone’s special occasion. This is an experience that every guy in Frisco should try; it’s hard to leave here in anything but a good mood.