"There is a gradual progression, from the time your mom, while she dons pin curls and a pink chiffon night gown, sits you up on the kitchen counter with a small towel and silver sheers at hand and clips off the first end of your slightly unruly, but fine baby hair – to the time you are leaving the office for a couple of hours to get a cut and color between meetings at a salon that feels slightly more like an airport terminal than a beauty shop.
In 2008, however, a then tiny shop in Lexington, Kentucky offered up a spot that helped us return to something a little more exceptional. It felt like Truvy’s house-meets-tattoo-parlor-meets-soda-stand. Everything a beauty shop should be, with more personality than Dolly herself. You walk into Cha Cha’sand the beauticians are not wearing black from head to toe, there is no Zen music with calming waterfalls cascading between pictures of heroin-chic models with edgy hair and dark make up used to distract you from the lines of women being shuffled from hair, to nails, to massage, back to hair. No, Cha Cha’s is one-of-a-kind. The owners, Jason, Zak, and Charlene (Cha Cha) have made Cha Cha’s their home and everyone is invited to come and hang out. Your hair isn’t an appointment; it is a chance to catch up and drink a coke from a glass bottle. Zero shuffling, zero waterfalls.
This gem of a shop has carved out a niche in beauty parlors that our assembly line generation didn’t even realize it was missing. They are hip and charming without pretense, effortlessly making each person feel as though they don’t really want to leave once their hair is done, you kind of just want to go have lunch there some days. The conversations are as good as the cuts, and their retro-southern-rock-a-billy ease makes your return to the real world pretty difficult. As at home as one may feel sitting in their now expanded shop on South Upper Street in Lexington, the rock-star-hair-magicians holding the sheers and straight razors are all substance. They are artistic, fearless and without a doubt, masters of their trade.
With their new location, Cha Cha’s was able to open The Rooster’s Nest Barber Shop and Shave Parlour, adding even more gloriously nostalgic dimension to their remarkable operation. They aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel with this barber shop, just trying to keep doing what others have stopped. The Rooster’s Nest is a barber shop done right, don’t take my word for it.
They are crafty, experts with their work and paying homage to eras that have since passed, but should not be forgotten. Cha Cha’s and Rooster Nest’s diverse crew with equally as diverse visions makes them a wild success. You shouldn’t experience Lexington without stopping in for a mod bob or hot lather shave."