Though the men’s personal care market is expected to garner $166 billion globally by 2022, there remain a number of niches to be filled. Enter Barber Surgeons Guild (BSG), a barbershop meets medical services hotspot, with a retro, 1920s speakeasy feel.
“There are plenty of brands that focus on men’s haircare or skincare, but not on both,” says BSG chief medical officer Justin Rome, M.D. “As a plastic and hair-restoration surgeon, I always felt there was a style component lacking. BSG creates the missing link between style and medical in the men’s space.”
Rome co-founded BSG with Ari Goldberg, who had previously started lifestyle website StyleCaster, which was acquired by SheKnows in 2014 for roughly $10 million (all stock), according to The Wall Street Journal.
While running StyleCaster, Goldberg saw an opportunity in the growing men’s sector: “No brand combines high-end barbershops and advanced medical grooming services in a modern environment, with a luxury grooming line and robust digital media platform,” he explains.
The first outpost, which quietly opened in November, is located in West Hollywood and offers grooming and medical services, as well as the brand’s new products set to launch next week. And regarding that doesn’t-exactly-slip-off-the-tongue name? It refers to the medieval job of barbers, who had sharp razors (and skills) that took them to the battlefields to act as surgeons.
Goldberg knew Los Angeles was the ideal starting place for BSG because “it’s at the forefront of health and wellness. In addition, Dr. Rome built up a very large and influential clientele in the L.A. area.” Although he’s mum on names of clients “because of the medical nature of our business,” he says, “our clients include some of the biggest names in entertainment, sports and music, as well as top entrepreneurs and executives.”
Stepping into BSG, nestled next to Blades hair salon on Larrabee Street, clients are greeted by what Goldberg calls “an elevated, sophisticated environment.” Ceiling-height bookshelves (with sliding ladders, should you need a top-shelf read) line the brick and subway tile walls, while reclining old-school style leather barber chairs and crisp white vanities make up the grooming stations.
All medical services are performed in a private doctor’s room.
Dr. Rome has been known as a go-to for hair regeneration in Beverly Hills for years, making the Robotic Hair Generation ($15,000) one of the most popular medical procedures at BSG. (The hair-loss treatment market made $2.8 billion last year worldwide, with 1.8 million treatments performed, an increase of 74 percent from 2014.) Also popular is the PRP Membership, with an initial cost of $899 and $399 per month thereafter. PRP stands for “platelet rich plasma” and uses a client’s own blood to encourage hair growth.
Laser treatments including hair removal ($699), facials ($1,350) and fat removal ($2,000) are also available. In terms of grooming, there’s a haircut ($65), hot towel shave ($65), beard trim or clean-up ($25 each). “Our signature straight razor shave is a favorite,” says Goldberg, who regularly posts his own touch-ups on Instagram.
After-work hours and weekends tend to be busiest at the shop, but walk-ins are “always welcome,” confirms Goldberg.
For clients receiving advanced medical grooming treatments, such as robotic hair regeneration, laser tattoo removal and Botox, “there is a discreet back entrance where their drivers can pick them up,” says Goldberg. BSG also will arrange a luxury hotel and itinerary for out-of-town guests.
Proud to introduce the BSG HCO1 Edition product line. A year in the making…specially formulated by our team of medical experts and master barbers, backed by science and medical research. Honored to work with such an amazing team who all contributed to create this first line of products. Thank you all for your support for @bsgdispatch
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The Product Line
The BSG HC01 haircare line launches June 15 with five core products: a shampoo, conditioner, texture liniment, pomade ($39 each) and hair serum ($59). The line, developed by hair restoration doctors, barbers and lab scientists, is designed to promote strong, healthy hair thanks to their proprietary blend of BSG Trichoanagenic Factor that includes saw palmetto, vitamins and caffeine. The packaging is reminiscent of old pharmacist bottles and tubs.
Goldberg and Rome expect to open further brick-and-mortar outposts this year and next.
Barber Surgeons Guild, 805 Larrabee St., West Hollywood; (310) 975-7094; online booking here.