The Grooming Lounge

Smarten up your look at one of the original modern barbershops

by Warren Rubin


Often a rushed process in a man’s morning routine, grooming is rarely given the time and effort needed to pull off a truly polished look. Enter The Grooming Lounge—an upscale barbershop run by grooming guru Michael Gilman and his team of experts. Since launching the Lounge in ’99, Gilman has expanded his operation to include a line of products, a comprehensive guide to grooming, a blog, online shop and several brick-and-mortar locations on the U.S.’ East Coast.

Gilman recently added an iPhone app to the list, which sends an anonymous tip to an unsuspecting gentlemen alerting them of their grooming faux pas. If someone you know has excess nose hair, wears too much cologne or has a beard on the back of their neck, the app will clue him in.


My visit to the Washington, D.C. location left me impressed with The Grooming Lounge’s dedication to service. I was immediately greeted by the cheerful staff and offered a beverage before being seated, where a grooming expert explained the specifics of the haircut and shave I was to receive.

The hot lather shave, one of their signature services, was the highlight of my experience. Featuring a marathon of hot towels between phases, the grooming expert began by gently massaging their Mug Cleaner face wash into my skin. After another hot towel, came a layer of their award-winning Beard Master shave oil. Featuring key ingredients like meadowfoam oil, peppermint oil and avocado oil, the product has been hailed as a revolutionary among present shaving solutions. She then applied The Grooming Lounge’s Beard Destroyer shave cream and Best For Last after shave, both welcome departures from traditional creams that are loaded with scents and chemicals. An ice-cold towel finale left my mug feeling the most smooth, soft and energized it’s ever been.

groomlounge11.jpg groomlounge12.jpg

To check out their products or find a location, see their website.