The top downtown spots for a walk-in haircut

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Here at Grid, we aim to help our readers be the best employees they can be — even if that means removing any excuse to travel more than a mile from their desks. That’s why we rounded up the quick and easy places to get a haircut without leaving the downtown.

Thomas West Salon

About: Located in the Merchandise Mart, Thomas West Salon comes alive when the commercial hub does – during lunch and rush hour. The salon, which employs 22 stylists, is always fully staffed, keeping walk-in waits fairly short.

Address: 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 224

Number: (312) 670-2270

Hours: Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Average wait: 0 minutes

Busiest time: Lunch and after work

Yelp excerpt: “Finding a new hairdresser can oftentimes be a lot like dating … But you know you’ve found someone you really like, that maybe you might be willing to see again, if they can make you flip your hair and grin as you prance down Wells St.” –Jaclyn S.

Van Buren Gentleman’s Salon

About: Most clients of Van Buren Gentleman’s Salon make appointments, but assistant manager Alex Coulter says “a lot of men will just stop in because they saw us while walking past on the way to lunch.” A clean, contemporary design calms nerves frayed from muscling to the front of the line at Chipotle.

Address: 235 W. Van Buren St.

Number: (312) 753-5363

Hours: Mon-Fri 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Average wait: 10 minutes

Average appointment: 30 minutes for regulars, 45 minutes for first time clients

Busiest time: Lunch (11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.) and after work (4-6 p.m.)

Yelp excerpt: “What I especially love about Yanna is that she isn’t pushy, she doesn’t make small talk a priority if you don’t feel like it and she’s super smart. You can talk about anything with her, or if you’re having a hard day she’ll just let you sit and work on your emails and your double scotch (maybe that’s just my drunk self). The best of the best!” –Daniel G.

Solo Salon

About: Situated in the West Loop, Solo Salon cuts hair for men and women. Clients dropping in to get a quick trim are generally accommodated right quick. The salon offers a 15 percent discount between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday to drum up traffic during the slower times. Anywhere from eight to 12 stylists are available during salon hours.

Address: 1065 W. Madison St.

Number: (312) 491-9771

Hours: Mon-Thu 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Average wait: No more than 20 minutes

Average appointment: an hour for women, 45 minutes for men

Busiest time: 3 p.m.-8 p.m., with the exception of Saturdays, which book up quickly

Yelp excerpt: “From the moment you walk-in you know you’ll walk out feeling and looking fabulous.” –Trisha P.

The Chicago Buzz

About: The Chicago Buzz, located right in the Loop, primarily serves businessmen looking for tapered, textured and professional cuts. A sign in the window beckoning walk-ins reels in about 15 percent of total customers. Women are welcome as well – three out of 10 stylists cut women’s hair and one specializes.

Address: 124 S. Franklin St.

Number: (312) 338-1300

Hours: Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Average wait: No more than 10 minutes

Average appointment: 35 minutes

Busiest time: Lunch and after work

Yelp excerpt: “Obviously convenience is a factor if you work in the Loop, but knowing you can get a consistently good haircut makes me come back even on my days off.” –Brett T.

Metropolitan Barber Shop

About: Another boys’ club, Metropolitan Barber Shop sits near the Board of Trade and caters to a slew of regulars looking for no-frills service. Thirty to forty percent of customers are walk-ins, but the four stylists work efficiently, so the wait isn’t long before customers are ushered into one of the antique-style barber chair. The ideal time to drop in without making an appointment is on Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Address: 56 W. Van Buren St.

Number: (312) 922-0904

Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Average wait: No more than 10 minutes

Average appointment: 20-30 minutes

Busiest time: Lunch and early afternoon

Yelp excerpt: “Make an appointment. Same day should be fine.” –Adam M.

Mr 312

About: A full-service package includes a wash, scalp massage, styling and paraffin treatment, but Mr 312 can also cater to men on the move with a wash and cut deal. For clients interested in spending more than a 45-minute lunch break, the shop offers VIP executive suite access that comes with a moisturizing hand treatment, a manicure and a beverage on top of the classic package.

Address: 180 W. Lake St.

Number: (312) 606-3732

Hours: Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Average wait: 10 minutes max

Average appointment: 35 minutes

Busiest time: Lunch and after work

Yelp excerpt: “Not only does this place offer all the services a salon for men would have but then they go that distance where they have private VIP rooms with leather recliners and game systems hooked up to big screen TVs. I mean, talk about pampering.” –Hina Q.

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