As long as guys have been getting haircuts, they’ve been hanging out at barbershops. Talking sports, current events, politics…the barbershop has long been the place to get together, shoot the breeze and connect with other like-minded gents. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, higher-end salons and discount hair-care establishments stole the limelight, making traditional barbers that much harder to find.
Lucky for us, the traditional barbershop is coming back in a big way, taking the best parts of old-school barbering and adding a modern twist. Here are some of the things you can expect when you visit your local shop, aside from great conversation:
A frosty beverage
Barbershops are hot again–this means that you’ll sometimes face a wait time. Don’t worry, good establishments thought about this and have it covered. It’s not uncommon to be offered a beer, mixed drink, or soda while you wait. It’s a nice touch that helps time go by faster
A hot towel
There are few things better than the hot towel treatment the barber gives you before giving a shave. Not only does it open the pores and raise the hair on your face, it blocks out the world for a few minutes and helps you relax. This is the first part of the ritual of getting a professional shave, and not one you want to miss.
A straight razor shave
Sure, you can give yourself a sub-standard shave at home, but why do that when you can have a trained professional do it the way it was meant to be done? A straight razor shave takes precision, time, and focus, all of which a good barber has in spades. While you’re talking about last night’s basketball game, he’s removing your five o’clock shadow with ease. Interested? Call ahead and ask if your barber can do straight razor shaves. They (understandably) take a certain amount of training and licensing to perform.
If you’re lucky, a massage
I’ve visited barbers in various cities who not only offer the hot towel and shave, but also throw in a neck, face, or even a hand massage. It’s a surprisingly great way to end a haircut, and a nice way to de-stress. If you find a barber that offers this as an add-on (or complementary) service, that’s a barber you want for life.
As with anything else, each barbershop offers a unique set of perks and services, but everything I’ve listed above is what I look for in a good establishment. You want to find a place that offers quality services, a welcoming atmosphere and great conversation. You’ll know when you find the right barbershop. Sometimes it can be a bit of a search, but when you get the right one, it’s well worth it.
Article written by Bruce Sturgell
Bruce is the founder of Chubstr.com, a style blog that helps guys to find, create, and share their own personal style with the world by offering them articles, resources, and reader photo submissions.
Bruce has been featured in the New York Times, Refinery 29, The Huffington Post, The Cut, The Sydney Morning Herald, MSN, and Le Monde for the unique and interesting content he’s created through Chubstr.