Rediscover The Barbershop

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Johnny, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    Super job! Great read, Johnny!!
  2. 2005xfr

    2005xfr Active Member

    Great writeup!

    My cousin Paulie was a barber he gave me my first haircut.
    I remember going to his shop as a kid and really enjoyed "sitting with the men" as a young boy.
    He had since retired and I took my son (2 years old at the time) to get his first haircut from cousin Paulie.

    Paulie has since passed away and I am glad that we (my son and I) had the opportunity to "barber" together with cousin Paulie.

    Now, my wife cuts my hair. But, you sure make it tempting to go back to the ol' barber shop.
    scott wein likes this.
  3. Dslazar9

    Dslazar9 Took the Menthol-cratic Oath

  4. Mechguy

    Mechguy Well-Known Member

    Thats a great article, I don't know how I missed that the first time around.
    As a kid we would always go to the barber.
    When I got out of the service I would go to the unisex places, well... cause they had alot of hot women.
    I started going back to the barber after a couple of years later.
    I have a fairly new barber with a great place. He even has toys when people bring their kids, they love it.
    Its a great place to hang out for a bit and find out whats going on in the area.
    Oh, and the haircut is good and simple.
  5. wknicholas

    wknicholas Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Johnny - A little trip down memory lane. My dad took me and my brother to the local Barber Shop in the early 1940's, and Steve the barber cut our hair for many years.
    I've never been to a unisex hair salon, it just never occurred to me. I haven't been to a Barber Shop in many years now. I just run the electric clippers over my noggin as necessary.
  6. scott wein

    scott wein Well-Known Member

    Great read, thank you. I'm at regular a a great old school barbershop and your article brings u right in.
  7. southernscribbler

    southernscribbler Well-Known Member

    Great job, Johnny. I would like to add some memories as well. My Dad and I would always go to get our haircut every week. It was a 4 chair shop, but seldom was it ever busy enough to have the end chair being used. If we got there early enough, I was allowed to sit in the vacant chair and watch and listen to the men tell their stories since last weeks haircut. It wasn't long before I would bug my dad for 27 cents. 25 cents for an ice cold 6oz. bottle of Pepsi and two fistfuls of the multi colored chewing gum from the round bubble shaped vending machine.When I guzzled down the Pepsi, I was well versed to place the empty bottle into the wooden bottle crate placed next to the humming machine. The bubble gum just added to the aromas that you eloquently described in every real barber shop. Many times the shop would begin to fill with the thick cloud of smoke from the men getting their haircuts, flicking the ashes into the metal cup on the arm of the chair. Oddly enough, I can never remember smelling the smoke. It was if the smoke was somehow magically blended into the aromas of the shop itself. The smell of the shave cream that each patron would get after their haircut, around the ears and the back of the neck, always seemed to make each man begin to drift into a light slumber. I recall the straight razor my first time. I was a bit nervous, but soon calmed because no one else seemed alarmed, so why should I? And,this barber always had a vibrator that he would fit onto his hand and rub your shoulders. Very relaxing.
    I also recall with amazement, the pile of hair that would accumulate around each chair when the available barber would sweep away from the feet of the occupied chairs.

    I go to a barber shop nowadays, if for nothing else, but to get my small flashback in time when I shared that special, unspoken bond with my Dad. Even though the barber I have now uses a plastic guide, it still is better than the unisex parlors. A real barber never needs to use a plastic guide, IMO. I am still totally amazed to watch a true barber give a Flat Top haircut. It doesn't matter if age or a medical problem causes his hand to shake, when he lines the clippers up to plane the top of the head, his hand is Rock steady. Barbers are true artisans. Thanks again, for the flashback.
    Alebrewer, Mechguy and 2005xfr like this.
  8. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot

    Great read Johnny! The first picture reminds me of the time I almost got one for free! Pity someone else beat me to it. Bummer.

    And since Rotterdam is just an hour driving for me I'll just have to get there sometime.
  9. Shaver X

    Shaver X Well-Known Member

    That is a great article, and the photos make it even better. Bravo!

    A barber once told me that something like one-third or half the barbers in the US went out of business because of this.

    Many years ago I had a roommate who was really cheap, and so got his haircuts at SuperCuts. The poor fellow would come back with hair sticking out every which way, looking like he had been attacked by a hedge trimmer.

    The reason is that stylists in places like SuperCuts make less money than in a barbershop. Consequently, all the good people in the chain salons move on to barbershops as soon as they can. Put another way, the less good stylists remain at the chain salon.
  10. Arcadies

    Arcadies New Member

    Awesome article! I guess I am lucky in that I still live in my hometown that I grew up in and I've always had my haircut at the same shop and barber that gave my first haircut when I was a child. Small yet cozy place, 2 giant red pneumatic barber chairs with strops hanging on the sides, shelves upon shelves of tonics, aftershaves, you name it. He even sells some of my favorites for really nice price, like Osage Rub for $5 flat per bottle, tax included. It blows his mind a young whipper snapper like me actually likes that stuff (I'm 36). The shop is always full of older southern guys, many go there daily just to chew the fat and read the newspaper. My barber grew up and went to school with my mother and she recently passed away on Jan 2nd and he's her age (77-78) and it got me to thinking he may not be around much longer and I'll really miss him and the shop when that day comes.
  11. Bird Lives

    Bird Lives Future Root Beer King of Turkey

    Great job Johnny, well written, and an enjoyable read....I rediscovered the barber shop feel of my youth when I came to Turkey the firat time 16 years ago...Same vibe...I'd say 90% of Turkish men go to Barbers as opposed to Unisex shops of Salons. And most don't shave at home...They get the Barber Shave once or twice a week, some everyday...

    I dig the haircuts, massage, and fire in the ears...But I really have gotten so I dig shaving at home better and in the last couple years my results were rivaling and now easily surpass my barber...Even he thinks so...ha,ha,ha....
  12. memoryleak

    memoryleak Active Member

    Johnny, nice article.
    I will have to be the odd man out here in that it's been a woman cutting my hair for almost three decades now and for the most part always gotten a better than average cut. The film of nostalgia often clouds the cruel lens of reality. I can recall horrible buzz cuts and nipped ears from "Frank", the barber in the basement shop back in the old neighborhood.
    My biggest problem with multi chair barbershops is that you get the next available set of hands when the barber calls "Next".
    The gal doing me now is using trimmers set to 1" and I'm more than satisfied. I'd rather go hippy than visit one of those new "hipster" shops where a pork pie hat and "sleeves" (arm length tattoos) are all the rage.
  13. CyanideMetal

    CyanideMetal Wild and crazy guy

    Very nice, Johnny.

    Don't forget the Bazooka bubble gum and the dumb cartoon on the wrapper:)
  14. Conrad1959

    Conrad1959 Well-Known Member

    I started following the Shave Den forum in January and did not read your post until today. I have enjoyed all your posts but this is my favorite so far. Great job!
  15. California Cajun

    California Cajun Active Member

  16. California Cajun

    California Cajun Active Member

    I fondly remember going to the barbershop with my dad in the 60s, and the best part was when the warm lather was applied around the ears and a straight razor was used to clean up that area. The hair styles were relatively short and just about any haircut worked.

    In the 70s the hairstyles got longer and the high school regulations eased up on how long your hair could be. The way the barber cut hair in the 60s simply didn't permit my now-longer hair to comb like I wanted it to do. The older barbers didn't seem to understand or want to learn how to cut the hair to accomodate the new hair styles. So that led to unisex salons like Fantastic Sams where I went for about 15 years. Women usually had long hair so I guess for a man to have a long hair cut these people had to cut the hair like they cut the ladies' hair.

    Then the AIDS scare came in the 80s and pretty much the end of wetshaving in barber shops. My barber said that at that time he received so many rules and regulations that must be followed in order to wetshave that he more or less said, "Enough of that" and he quit doing it.

    Now men well into middle age like me have gone back to the short hair and long for the barbershops of yesteryear that we helped put out of business in the 70s.

    I've gone to the same barber for 20 years and he said more or less the marketplace dictated that he did best by suspending the wetshaving and hairwashing.

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