In style: Celebrity men’s groomer brings expertise to Carmel City Center shop


After several years in New York City, celebrity groomer Justin Virgil Gramelspacher wanted to return to Indiana with his young family and own his own barber shop.

Gramelspacher had already picked out the perfect name for his new endeavor.

“The name occurred to me years ago in an Uber to the Indy airport returning to NYC from a visit,” Gramelspacher said. “Magic Hat is meant to be kind of a fake benevolent secret society of guys that get it. If you’re here, you get it. It’s not for everyone, but all are welcome. A good haircut is like a magic hat. It can open doors and create opportunities. It’s life changing.”

The Magic Hat Barber Shop opened Aug. 31, 2021, in Carmel City Center, 885 Monon Green Blvd., Suite 101, in what Gramelspacher described as a soft opening. The official announced opening was last month.

Gramelspacher, 41, spent the past 12-plus years in New York City. He attended barber school there and decided to stay to begin his career.

“I worked with a lot of different agencies and private clients,” he said. “I worked for different barber shops as well. I was trained by Losi (who is known by her single name) and Martial Vivot, men’s grooming legends. I was a celebrity groomer, so I did a lot of red carpet and a lot of photo shoots for film and television. I worked at a high level in New York, but I was interested in moving back to Indiana for quite a while. Then COVID happened and I wasn’t able to work for months and months (because of lockdowns).”

Gramelspacher said he and his wife made the decision to move to Westfield in July 2020.

“We found the space around October (2020) and it was a shell,” he said. “It took a while to do the lease and build out the space.”

Gramelspacher, who grew up in Jasper, and his wife, Jessica, have two children, Gus, 4, and Ruby, 2. He had previously lived in Fishers after high school when he was working on detailing cars and taking Vincennes University night classes at Lawrence North High School. He eventually graduated from the University of Southern Indiana.

“My wife is from Westchester in New York, but she absolutely loves it here,” Gramelspacher said.

Gramelspacher said he has been coming to Westfield for nearly 20 years to visit his sister, Stacey Willis. Her husband, Scott Willis, is on the Westfield City Council.

One thing Gramelspacher is proud of is that he has cut the hair for Formula One drivers, executives and TV announcers. He has worked for Disney, Netflix, HBO, Amazon, Ralph Lauren and Cartier.

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From left, Justin Virgil Gramelspacher pauses with director Spike Lee, a frequent client during Gramelspacher’s years in New York City. (Photo courtesy of Justin Virgil Gramelspacher)

“I’ve groomed country music artists for Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers,” Gramelspacher said. “I groomed Neil Patrick Harris when he hosted the Tonys. I’ve given Jake Gyllenhaal a beard trim. I shaved Spike Lee every two weeks for two years. He was a regular customer of mine.”

A huge New York Knicks fan, Lee and former Indiana Pacers star Reggie Miller famously traded trash talk through the years.

“I didn’t mention I was a Pacers fan,” Gramelspacher said. “He was a lovely guy, though. We just didn’t talk basketball very much.”

He has served as an expert for Men’s Health, Vogue, GQ, Men’s Journal and the Wall Street Journal.

“They want to know trends on hair styles and shaves and how to trim beards,” he said.

Gramelspacher has been a guest barber in places such as Sweden and Japan. He said he is always eager to work with anyone who is serious about their grooming.

“A lot of my work was with top-of-the-profession guys in New York, whether it be chefs, artists, editors, journalists, financiers, lawyers and doctors,” he said.

Before he left New York, he was with Blind Barber.

“When I wasn’t doing agency or celebrity work, I was just at the barber shop working behind the chair like a regular barber,” he said.

Among others Gramelspacher has worked with is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

“For Dwayne Johnson, it was just a little power for the shine and a little makeup. I didn’t actually cut his hair,” Gramelspacher said.

Gramelspacher is glad to focus primarily on being a barber at his new shop.

“For guys, makeup isn’t a big part of it. It’s a very little part of it. I’m glad I don’t have to deal with that anymore,” he said. “I prefer haircuts, shaves and beards.”

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Justin Virgil Gramelspacher trims a beard during his time working at Blind Barber in New York City. (Photo courtesy of Justin Virgil Gramelspacher)

Strong launch

Justin Virgil Gramelspacher is pleased with how business in Carmel has gone so far.

“It’s been fantastic,” he said. “This area is really great. It’s really vibrant. There are a lot of things that are happening that I wasn’t aware about that I’m finding out. A lot of guys have great careers here and there are newcomers that have come here for incredible opportunities. It’s just been amazing. We’re happy with all the guys that have come through and a few girls, too.”

Gramelspacher said the shop only has two chairs and there is an opportunity to add a third chair in the future. He expects to hire another barber soon. His wife, Jessica, works in the fashion industry and is working with Nike, supporting the partnership with Finish Line.

Haircuts are priced at $40 to $75 and beard trims are $25. Magic Hat is appointment-based with walk-ins subject to availability.

“We are thrilled to have Magic Hat at Carmel City Center,” stated Melissa Averitt, senior vice president at Pedcor Companies, which co-developed and manages Carmel City Center. “The menu of services offered and level of expertise that Justin provides to his clients is something we’re sure all men will enjoy.”

The shop is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed Sunday and Monday.

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