Barber Mike Black spent a year scouting for the ideal location for his Fade to Black Barber Lounge before choosing Roseville.
He wanted a site that was centrally located in the Twin Cities and had a strong sense of community. He was also looking to bring some fresh ideas and energy to the area.
Fade to Black has been open for two years and is building up its clientele and its reputation. He rents chairs to three additional barbers.
“I wanted to bring culture to a new neighborhood. I’ve been told I am the first minority barbershop in town. That said, everyone can come in here and get a cut and a shave. We do all hair types." – Mike Black, Owner
The Lexington Square shop is bright and spacious, decorated in modern shades of white and grey. It has a relaxed vibe. Music plays in the background and there’s a hum of conversation. It’s busy and welcoming, but not frantic.
“One thing I wanted was serenity,” Mike explains over the buzz of clippers as he shapes a client’s fade.
He and his crew offer clients quality work and a positive atmosphere. Popular services right now include tapers, bald fades, beard trims, and shaves.
“It definitely starts with doing good work,” he said. “But we also offer a family-friendly environment with an energy level that meets customers at the door, making them want to return.”
Black grew up in Minneapolis. His father was an entrepreneur running towing and snowplowing businesses.
Black started cutting hair for friends and family as a young teen. “I discovered I had an eye for it,” he said.
But he initially considered it more of a hobby and a side hustle.
“You go to college, graduate, have a corporate job with the 401k. It’s safe,” he said.
Black was majoring in human resources at St. Cloud State University, working part-time as a security guard when he realized he needed to take a different path. He earned his bachelor’s at Metropolitan State and obtained his barber’s license in 2008.
His parents supported the career pivot.
“They trust my judgment. My parents said: ‘Do what makes you happy.’ ”
He worked in various barber shops throughout the Twin Cities metro area for 14 years before opening Fade to Black. Black is embracing social media to promote his business. He posts before-and-after photos and videos on Facebook and Instagram. It does draw clients. He finds folks will drive a few extra miles for a quality cut or shave.
He’s had some VIPs in his chair, including former Vikings players Irv Smith and Bisi Johnson, and Las Vegas Raiders running back Ameer Abdullah. He also works to attract local high school students and families to build that sense of community and offer some reassurance and sound advice to the young men who walk into his shop.
“Barbershops are magic. We start talking, and we get stuff out of people,” he said.
Mike has also started a line of beard care products, including beard oils for moisturizing and beard washes. The “Mike’s” line of products come in various scents and are available at Fade to Black.
He said he’s been pleased with his decision to open in Roseville.
“The community has embraced me, wanting to see what my business is all about,” he said.
“I see how well other businesses around me are doing, so the community deserves a pat on the back for supporting us.”
Fade To Black Barber Lounge
1084 Dionne Street
Roseville, MN 55113