By Clementina Verge
This tattooed, motorcycle-riding, holistic, Reiki master with a passion for nutrition and yoga also has a way with scissors that leaves clients feeling and looking refreshed. Meet James Serra, a second generation barber who Litchfield Magazine readers voted “Best Barber” for three consecutive years. Now entering his third year with BYRDEMAN at Byrde + the b, Serra is a longtime expert in the art of classing barbering, but with modern touches.
After owning a barber shop for 26 years and desiring new challenges and adventures, Serra joined Byrde + the b’s BYRDEMAN—an award-winning, full-service luxury salon and barber shop in Washington Depot—bringing passion and decades of experience.
“My dad was a barber,” Serra reminisces. “My aunt and great aunt were hairdressers. They owned a side-by-side barber shop and beauty salon, and it was my second home.”
While still in high school, he attended barbering school, opening his business at 22.
“I love being creative,” he notes. “It’s a wonderful release. I also enjoy learning from my clients, from their stories and hobbies. I love connecting with people.”
An appointment with Serra is more like visiting a friend, except that this one is capable of making you look dashing. Because there is no “one size fits all” haircut, Serra considers each client’s needs, paying attention to head contour and hair texture. Whether using scissors to blend or clippers to achieve a close cut, it is important for a style to look great not only while fresh, but to maintain its appeal between visits.
“Self-care is not just for women,” he remarks. “Men need to pamper themselves as well, which is why coming in is an event.”
Men can use a private side door and go unnoticed by the happenings of Byrde + the b. In addition to an inviting atmosphere, the lineup includes luxurious and nourishing grooming products, including Italian favorite and top brand Proraso, BYRDEMAN shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and the vitamin A-infused and globally recognized Environ brand. Affected by seasons and aging, hair texture changes, Serra explains, sometimes requiring products that add weight or lift.
Most men who come in for haircuts prefer to indulge in a hot shave, a true old-school and relaxing experience that provides a break from the rushed, at-home routine. Hot aromatherapy towels and luxe skincare translate to exfoliation, brighter skin, rejuvenation, and relaxation.
Salon owner Scott Bond praises Serra’s skills and connection with clients.
“He just oozes cool energy, calm, and tranquility, and you can actually have a conversation with him,” he declares. “You’ll leave feeling like a hot dude and feeling good.”
Ultimately, that is Serra’s goal, noting that external changes often inspire internal changes. As someone with a strong connection to tradition, he encourages the barber shop as a bonding experience for fathers and sons, whether it marks a baby’s first haircut, outings during the teen years, or at any other stage of life.If desired, manicures, pedicures, LED light therapy facials, and other anti-aging services, including cosmetic injections with Dr. LaFrance, are also available.