There's fun to be had while you wait for a haircut at Birds Barbershop: vintage arcade games to play, free WiFi to surf, a curated soundtrack to listen to, and ice-cold Shiner beers to be sipped. You can also call for a same-day appointment, but where's the fun in that?
Birds was founded in Austin in 2006 by childhood friends Michael Portman and Jayson Rapaport, who wanted to update the traditional notion of a barbershop and inject it with some of Austin's famously eclectic style. But most importantly, they wanted to make getting your hair cut fun. Now there are nine locations total: eight in Austin and the Houston Heights outpost at 420 E. 20th Street, the first to expand the brand outside its home city.
Part of Birds' appeal is its fun and funky decor — each shop has its own distinct vibe — but another, equally important component is its affordability. While most salons charge upwards of $100 per cut, Birds' cuts start at $15 for a Buzzcut and top out at $45 for a Ladybird. And no, that's not just for men. Women and children are equally welcome to settle into a Birds Barbershop chair and let the experienced stylists work their magic.
"I always like to say 'Everyone is invited to the party at Birds' when referring to our unisex approach," says Portman.
Word about that party has spread over the years, with Elle magazine naming Birds to its list of the 100 best hair salons in the country every year for the past decade. Readers of the Austin Chronicle have similar feelings, having chosen the barbershop as the spot for Austin's best haircut annually from 2006-2016.
To further make getting a haircut easier, the shop has extended hours and is even open on Sundays and Mondays — days when salons are traditionally closed.
There are also color services (for which you can request an appointment), styling add-ons, special occasion hairstyling, and beard trims (remember, Birds started in Austin). Anyone who bikes to the shop receives a free hair wash, and a college or medical ID will score $2 off the total.
But CultureMap Houston readers get an even sweeter deal: $5 off a haircut when you mention this article or bring in the coupon (shown in the above photo gallery). It expires at the beginning of July, so now is the perfect time to go from shaggy to coifed.