Laura Dudek knows what men want: a high-end haircut and a shave while watching the game and sipping a glass of bourbon, a beer, or a Bloody Mary. So that’s what the 29- year-old serves up at her men’s salon Shear Excellence, which recently expanded to Piedmont Row in SouthPark.
“I look at it as an upscale environment where men can sneak out of work and relax and unwind,” she says.
Dudek was just 22 and working as a hairstylist cutting hair for men and women when she saw a void in the local market. “You drive up and down East Boulevard, and every third building is a women’s salon, but it seemed like there was a real need for a salon catering to men,” she says.
So Dudek opened the first Shear Excellence in Dilworth in 2011, followed by a Ballantyne location in 2015, and Huntersville and SouthPark locations in 2018.
Now, she says this new take on the old-school barbershop is popping up everywhere, and the demand is there. “Men care a lot more about their appearance these days than they used to,” she says.
The guys are even turning the salon into a group experience—much like women have been doing for decades. It’s now the ultimate pre-wedding ritual for groomsmen parties. “You can have a drink with your guys and even get a scalp massage and a full shave before the wedding,” says Dudek. shearexcellence.com