A little off the top

New Taos barbershop gives customers a personal touch

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Giving a new take on the traditional barbershop, Michael Timber opened his snipping business with one thing in mind: a more personable experience than only a simple haircut.

Entering Timber's shop, the cool air and red walls are more reminiscent of an art gallery than a barbershop as he peaks his head around the corner to greet new customers. With over three years of experience under his belt, Timber finally made the move to open his own barber and cosmetology shop May 1.

He said he has been loving every minute of it.

"I've always enjoyed being around people," Timber said. "I've always been a people pleaser. I enjoy the one to ones. It's just so fun."

Michael's Barber Shop has been snipping away at Taoseños looking for that fresh look to put a pep in their step. Timber's customers come into the shop for a cut, yes, but what they also get is his full attention and focus throughout the experience.

In a typical barber shop, customers often sit and wait their turn for the next available chair and spend no more than 15 minutes sitting down as a pair of clippers chops their hair into their new cut. Timber changes things up a bit and goes about the guy's, and gal's, cuts a little differently. Here, there are no buzzcuts and no oily clippers.

"Every person is different and every haircut is different," he said.

Behind the welcome desk sits a sink with a chair attached that serves as a beginning step in the haircut experience. This is where Timber's customers can begin to feel relaxed as they are treated with a shampoo and quick condition before heading to the main event.

According to Timber, cutting wet hair is the only way to precisely sculpt and form the customer's cut. Also, this adds a cleansing aspect to the process to ready customers for their next step.

Going from the sink to the chair, customers can then give a bit of insight to Timber before he takes up his scissors, not clippers, to start his cutting.

"People are super particular with their hair," Timber said. "You mess up a woman's haircut and she'll never let it go. You've got an enemy for life. And it's the same for men."

Often letting customers know what the experience entails, Timber said he rarely, if ever, has anyone in the shop for less than 30 minutes.

"Ever since he got his license, I've been following him around town for cuts," said customer Bob Kitzman. He calls Timber's customer service second to none.

For several years, Timber has been training and apprenticing as a cosmetologist but first worked on constructing adobe buildings for some time even building 12 homes in the Taos area. The transition from building with mud and straw is not so strange to Timber who still feels as though he is creating something.

His creations now involve a lot less sweat and sunburns and a little more finesse and sculpting. According to Timber, cutting hair has its perks over working in the New Mexico summer sun.

"Now I get to work indoors," he laughed.

Timber is located at 1027 Salazar Road, Suite C and takes walk-in clients.

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