With a resonating voice, sailor tattoos and a chest broad enough to spear throw an oak tree, Lawrence Reha looks like the type of guy an insecure man of a smaller stature would try to pick a bar fight with to validate his own inadequacies.
“Usually people think I’m a mechanic or a security guard, but I think that’s been a key as to why I’ve done well, “ he says. “I’m not like most of my peers.”
Reha is the owner of Makeshift Union Cutting & Grooming, the new Arts District salon on Casino Center and California that specializes in hair only and caters equally to men and women. The salon celebrated its soft opening early June.
Reha (who goes by Larry after your second appointment) says that a lot of salons alienate male clientele. Before opening his own store he was a stylist at Square in Summerlin for nine years, and while beautiful, it can be intimidating to those with causal tastes.
“One guy who was waiting in the waiting room [at Square] actually said, ‘Man was I glad to see you.’”
But Makeshift Union is as warm and stylish as the Detroit-native himself. The name came to Reha in the bathtub. “Union” nods to his blue-collar hometown and his father and other family members who were union workers. “Makeshift” refers to the design of the salon that is decorated with reconstructed and reused pieces of Americana.
He was originally drawn to the location because of the large windows that bring in the optimum amount of natural light for a salon. The 1,200-square-foot space has seven stations made out of natural wood with tall wood-framed mirrors. Repurposed 1950s chairs from a church in Compton are in the waiting area. A 48-star casket flag hangs behind the check-in counter next to a steel guitar and a giant moose head that his wife Ashlee is happy to have out of their home lives above the sinks. More taxidermy is by a motorcycle table, made by local design and fabrication company Freeform, which holds Baxter of California grooming products (Reha is one of the company’s artists) and Evo high-end salon products from Australia (Makeshift is the first Evo exclusive salon in Las Vegas).
Reha specializes in “lived-in day-to-day hair,” as opposed to hair that will look good for a picture and then you’ll never be able to do it again, he says. But if you’re up for adventure he likes trying things that have never been done.
More than a salon, Reha wants Makeshift Union to be a Las Vegas institution, a pillar of the community for people to come and hang out whenever they want, have fun and enjoy themselves.
“I learned that part of my brand is just laughter. It speaks more about me and what people get out of being in the chair,” he says.