The 10 Best Barbershops for a Fresh Cut in Charlotte

The 10 Best Barbershops for a Fresh Cut in Charlotte

Photo courtesy of Canva

By Ryan Pitkin

January 25, 2024

It’s a new year and a new you, which often means a new ’do. There is no shortage of barbershops to hit up around Charlotte, but where can you go that’s locally-owned and well-trusted by clientele to provide that fresh look? 

We’ve compiled a list of 10 of Charlotte’s most highly rated barbershops, some of which have storied histories, some of which have niche expertise. While a few of these barbershops double as salons, catering to any and all genders, for the most part these shops center men and male-presenting clientele. We’ve made sure to spread our selections throughout the city to highlight the fact that Charlotteans are never too far from a trim or a whole new style. 

No Grease Barbershop

Multiple locations

The 10 Best Barbershops for a Fresh Cut in Charlotte

Photo courtesy of No Grease

With seven locations in the Charlotte area, there’s always a No Grease nearby. Brothers Damian and Jermaine Johnson launched No Grease, Inc. in 1997, naming it for the demand that Black barbers have long made of their customers to wash their hair before coming in so as not to jam the clippers. 

The shop’s logo, reminiscent of racist Sambo imagery used in the Jim Crow era, might take customers by surprise at first glance, though the owners insist it was designed with purpose to be “emblematic of the resiliency found in the same African American cultural framework where barbering has long been one of the most constant—though largely ignored—economic forces in America,” according to the website. 

Apart from its seven Charlotte-area locations, the Johnson brothers also run a barber school in east Charlotte, where they offer scholarships to help folks make the successful transition into the barber profession, oftentimes with a focus on helping those who have past experiences with incarceration and may have trouble finding other work. 

Arcade Men’s Room (Uptown)

136 Brevard Court

At 109 years old, Arcade Men’s Room in Latta Arcade—recently rebranded as The Alley—is not just one of the oldest operating barbershops in town, it bills itself as the oldest continuously operating business in the entire city. The tiny 476-square-foot shop has been drawing the business crowd in Uptown for more than a century—only the most high-quality cuts draw that sort of long-lasting loyalty. 

The historic shop’s future was put in jeopardy in 2022 after new property owners began pushing out some of the longtime tenants at the arcade to make way for a new food hall. In December 2023, they did end up having to move—though just 40 feet away, jumping from the indoor hallway they had occupied since 1915 to the outdoor court where they now operate.  

Grab a quick trim or go old-school and get a straight razor shave. Got time before you need to go back to work? The team also offers hour-long deep-tissue massages. 

Midwood Barbers (Villa Height)

2915 The Plaza, Suite A

The 10 Best Barbershops for a Fresh Cut in Charlotte

Photo courtesy of Midwood Barbers via Facebook

Considering that Queen City Nerve readers have voted Midwood Barbers as the Best Barber Shop in Charlotte in the publication’s annual Best in the Nest issue for four years running, it’s safe to say that this is a hotspot for haircuts in the city. 

Midwood Barbers invites clients to grab a beer from the fridge upon entrance and relax while they wait for their haircut, beard trim, or close shave. 

“My hubby and son come here to get their haircuts,” wrote Stephanie E. on Yelp. “I always find the best for them and this is Charlotte’s best barber shop. Joey hooks them up with that dope bald fade cut. I’ve tried so many barber shops in Charlotte to get the cut they like and this is my favorite. Easy to book and get in touch and prices are fair.” 

Lucky Spot Barbershop (Ashley Park) 

Multiple locations

You might not think you could find one of Charlotte’s best local barbers set up inside a Walmart of all places, but you’d be wrong. In 2020, Shaun “Lucky” Corbett made history when he became the first Black barber to partner with Walmart, opening a new location for his popular Lucky Spot Barbershop in the Wilkinson Boulevard Walmart in west Charlotte’s Ashley Park neighborhood. 

Having long been known for his work in the community, in December 2023, Corbett opened the Lucky Spot Leadership & Barber Academy with a goal of not only teaching young folks how to be successful as barbers but as business owners, too. But you don’t need to be an aspiring barber to appreciate Lucky Spot.  

“I have never been disappointed when going here to get my eyebrows done or my son’s hair cut!!!” wrote Kita B. on Yelp. “This Barber shop has the Old School feel with the new School Swag, always professional, never a long wait … I mean all the artists are so dope sooo you already know!!!!”

Modern Man Cut & Shave (Dilworth)

1427 South Blvd.

The 10 Best Barbershops for a Fresh Cut in Charlotte

Photo courtesy of Modern Man via Facebook

The name might suggest that the folks at Modern Man only focus on two services, but there’s also a third. Yes, they do cuts, assessing a client’s hair type, color, and face shape to recommend the best style for each individual. And yes, they also offer shaves, be it a shape-up or a full shave for a sleek look. As for the third option, Modern Man also offers hot towel service, which may just seem like a signature of any barbershop, but is key to the MM experience, opening up the pores, softening the skin, and smoothing the hair. 

“OMG, I had the good fortune of getting an appointment with Alex!” wrote Johnny G on Yelp, where Modern Man enjoys a 4.9 rating. “Let me tell you, I don’t care if I am relocating to [South Carolina], I will drive the 70 miles for him to cut my hair again! He did an excellent job! I hate it took me 7 years to find a reliable barber in the QC!” 

Charlotte Barber & Beard (Commonwealth/Plaza Midwood)

1200 The Plaza, Suite B

Located in one of Charlotte’s hippest neighborhoods, this is the spot you want to visit if you need a razor specialist, as they focus on straight-razor shaves, beard line-ups, and fades. 

“I had been growing my beard for a little over six months and was nervous to let anyone touch it. I did my research and decided to go see Marcus based on the reviews,” recalled Brooks T. from Concord in his Yelp review. “I was so impressed by Marcus and how great he made me look. He had a vision for how to shape my beard to keep the length but match my face…and it was a home run. I walked in looking like a mountain man and walked out with a fresh look and a great style. I will not go anyone else…CBB has a customer for life.” 

Five Star Barber Salon (Montclaire South) 

7808 S. Tryon St. 

The 10 Best Barbershops for a Fresh Cut in Charlotte

Photo courtesy of Five Star Barber Salon via Facebook

Moving south, we come to a spot that has focused all of its energies on treating customers right, which has led to a large percentage of repeat customers, great word-of-mouth popularity, and a 4.2 rating on Yelp. Five Star offers haircuts, hair coloring, weaves, wigs, and hair relaxers.

“I used Yelp this morning to find a decent barber shop because it had been quite a while since I’ve experienced a decent haircut,” wrote Yelp user Maurice C. “I found Five Star to not only be great, but clean and with a great atmosphere. Chris was amazing and knew exactly what I was looking for. For a first time cut, he did great and I definitely recommend Chris & Five Star!! We will be back.” 

Established Hair Studio (NoDa) 

1210 E. 36th St., Unit E

Established Hair Studio co-owners Ian Counts and Emily Warner recently took over the former Salon 1226 space in NoDa, Charlotte’s arts and entertainment district. While they have rebranded the shop, they’re also a part of the legacy there, as both were employees at the original Salon 1226 location when it first opened. 

The two launched Established together in 2020 as businesses began to emerge from the COVID-19 lockdowns. Their driving principle is to view hair as an expression of one’s unique personality and style. 

“I’ve been a loyal follower of Ian Counts for many years. Ian gets it right every time. He does women’s and men’s cuts, color, and styling,” wrote Shane R. on Yelp, pointing out that Counts runs a popular Instagram account as the @BikingBarber. “Established Hair Studio is clean, inviting, and a great space. I’ve never been disappointed with any of the products recommended and I appreciate the beverage offered with each visit.” 

The CUT Barbershop (Uptown)

121 W. Trade St. 

The 10 Best Barbershops for a Fresh Cut in Charlotte

Photo courtesy of the CUT Barbershop via Facebook

Owner and experienced barber Jill Matthews opened The CUT Barbershop in 2010 with a goal to provide the community with traditional and exceptional services, including men’s cuts, buzz cuts, beard and neck trims, and shampoos. The CUT also offers a range of cold beer selections for customers to enjoy. 

“I had a great experience at Cut Barbershop in Charlotte,” wrote one Yelp reviewer. “The nice lady who did the scissors cut was incredibly skilled and knowledgeable. She gave me a fantastic haircut that exceeded my expectations. Keep in mind, they have limited availability for walk-ins, so I’d recommend scheduling an appointment online.” 

Need a more well-known expert opinion? Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe had such a good experience at CUT during a 2022 visit to Charlotte that he wrote a whole blog post about it.  

Gordon’s Barbershop (Cherry)

601 Baldwin Ave.

When it comes to this list, last is definitely not least—in fact, it was one of the firsts. Gordon’s Barbershop opened in 1935, back in the days of segregation, and remains in the heart of one of Charlotte’s most historic Black neighborhoods. Gordon’s has not only survived the Jim Crow era and, more recently, the creeping effects of gentrification, they have thrived. 

Second-generation owner Michael Gordon has run the shop for more than 30 years, and in that time helped train and see to the success of Damian and Jermaine Johnson, co-founders of No Grease Barbershop, which started this list. Michael’s son, Damu Gordon, is poised to take the shop to new heights, having already become a bit of a celebrity barber in his own right locally. And he’s not the only family member still involved in the business. 

“Uncle Pete is the man,” wrote Keithan Brown in a Google review. “He is very fast and professional. He is definitely above par when it comes to his skills with the clippers and razor. One Saturday he had an emergency come up to where he couldn’t cut me and my son’s hair. Instead of completely canceling our appointment he came in on Sunday to get us taken care of. That’s customer service right there.”

Author

  • Ryan Pitkin

    Ryan Pitkin is a writer and editor based in Charlotte, where he runs an alternative weekly newspaper called Queen City Nerve. He is also editor of NoDa News, a community newsletter in the neighborhood where he has lived for 15 years.

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