In the fashionable west side of Los Angeles, Major League Trim has given men the ideal excuse for regular haircuts, manicures, massages and hot-towel shaves. Opened about a year and a half ago by three guys who had had enough of women getting the breaks, MLT, with a blue and red design, looks like a basketball court (complete with miniature scoreboard), and is dedicated to those two male obsessions: sports and lookin’ good.
Decorated with the paintings of Muhammad Ali, the Rolling Stones and a Bullitt-era Steve McQueen, shirts signed by Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson and a seven-foot bobblehead statue of Shaquille O’Neal, MLT is for men who are man enough to need more than a bowl and a pair of scissors to get through life.
There are no dog-eared top-shelf magazines to read while you wait here; we’re talking Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Muscle &Fitness, Spin and Vibe as well as expensive shaving kits, hip flasks, travel chess and manicure sets on sale alongside the usual designer gels, shampoos and pomades.
On the day I pay a visit to MLT I am welcomed by two lovely ladies, Colleen Alise and Erin (Rin) McDaniel. As Rin’s “nippers” cut away the dead skin from my nails during my first-ever manicure, Colleen shows me the shamrock tattoos on her feet, talks about her fascination with sharks and reveals that men are just as picky as women about their looks – often more so.
“I think every guy secretly is concerned about that stuff,” she says, “but in L.A. they maybe feel a little more free to express it.”
Born and raised in Southern California, Colleen knew that she wanted to cut hair since she was 14 years old, and has been working the scissors for six years.
“I love everything about it, and meeting new people is fun because each day is different from the last.”
Rin was born in Whittier, grew up in Downey and first started training for her cosmetology license during high school, when she initially thought it would just be something fun to do.
“I didn’t realize how much I would love it,” she shares, “and now there isn’t anything else I’d rather do. I think men are relieved to have a place that they feel completely comfortable in to get their haircut.”
Unsurprisingly, the clientele is overwhelmingly young men – lawyers, businessmen, students and even some television celebrities. (They both remain tight-lipped on exactly who.)
As we talk, Rin and Colleen mention that neither of them is interested in being a singer/actress/model/whatever – there are plenty of those in this town already. They see cosmetology more as a way to travel the world.
As for the future, MLT has plans to expand into the valley area north of Hollywood. They are part of a small but growing trend of themed salons dedicated to men’s grooming and the trend of metrosexuality.
After the manicure is over and I drain my bottle of beer, I have to admit that my nails look clean and tidy, and even have a bit of that Hollywood sparkle!
Before I leave I ask Colleen if guys ever come in just to ogle or chat up the girls.
“If they want to stare at girls, they can go to Hooters,” she replies. “Men are hungry a lot more than they need haircuts, and if we don’t do a good job then they won’t come back. So many places cater to women that it’s about time the tables were turned!”
Apparently all girls love a man who takes care of himself, and I am beginning to see that getting a haircut is going to be a lot more enjoyable from now on.
Major League Trim is located at 11515 W. Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.majorleaguetrim.com.