MADISON – Bullfeathers has revived the personal attention of a nostalgic, neighborhood barbershop while using contemporary products in an upbeat atmosphere.
Nancy Covington owns Bullfeathers with husband Steve Covington. Nancy works with her all-female staff of stylists Emy Butler, Ariel Eagen, Beth Baugher and Jacque Wilson at 105-H Church Street in Madison’s historic district. “We all live close by. Downtown has many other hair salons; however, there wasn’t a full-fledged barbershop,” Covington said.
Previously, Nancy worked as a barber with chair rental at LR Salon in the same office strip. “Barbering is my passion. When this spot came open, the rent was about the same as chair rental so we went for it.”
Covington’s goal is “to bring back the classic old-school barbering – the atmosphere and feel of a barbershop with full-service attention,” she said.
A man’s haircut includes a hot towel and back-of-neck shave, along with a free trim or ‘cleanup’ between cuts. Clients can add a shampoo with head and neck massage, beard trim, hot towel shaves and hair color.
“The hot towel experience is awesome,” Covington said. “We use an essential oil eucalyptus to soak towels, stored in a sanitized warmer. We use towels on clients before face and neck shaves.” Before shaving, the towel’s heat opens the skin, while after shaving a cool towel closes skin to prevent redness and breakouts. “Clients say it melts away a bad day at work.”
Products range from shampoos and conditioners to gel, pomades, beard oil, aftershave and T-shirts. “We’re very picky about products — from what works for clients, staying local, keeping prices low and believing in the product,” Covington said.
Bullfeathers’ barber Emy Butler makes Butler’s Tonic aftershave. With all natural ingredients and mild scent, Butler’s Tonic has no harsh stinging but cools with witch hazel and bergamot that close the skin to prevent breakouts and redness. “We can’t keep this on the shelves fast enough,” Covington said. Other Bullfeathers barbers are developing custom shaving creams and facial products.
The barbers use hair/beard product Suavacito for its clean not overpowering scent; Good Day Beard, made locally by Brent Cole, a brewer for Salty Nut Brewery; and a cooling, peppermint conditioner.
Youngsters who are 13 years old and younger pay a reduced price. While Bullfeathers primarily serves men, “We will not turn a female away (for a haircut),” Covington said.
Clients choose Bullfeathers for the quality haircut, never rushed “to ensure you walk out of our shop looking like a million bucks!” Covington said. Each barber consults with the client before every service, whether he’s a newcomer or on his 50th visit. Free ‘cleanup’ between cuts gives clients a groomed look before an important meeting or special evening.
Another bonus is complimentary beer … or soda, water and coffee. They carry most local brews, like Old Black Bear, Rocket Republic and Salty Nut Brewery, and domestic beers.
“We have the feel of a hole-in-the-wall (shop) to focus on great customer service, which is lacking in this industry,” Covington said.
Covington knew Bullfeathers would be successful but didn’t know how fast the business would flourish. The downtown location has spurred Bullfeathers’ incredible reception with the mesh of restaurants, brewery and shops.
Bullfeathers is open Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 256-542-3233 or visit Bullfeathersmadsion.com (for online appointment booking), Facebook and Instagram.