There was once a time when the barbershop was ubiquitous. Not just a place for a man to get his haircut, but a touchstone in a given community where guys gathered to catch up and tune out.
Offered a stiff drink and a paper to read while he waited, the barbershop was a respite from the world outside; and as any guy who’s had one knows, a straight-razor shave is tantamount to becoming an entirely new man.
But somewhere down the line the classic barbershop gave way to the ‘Salon’. The barber gave way to the stylist and straight-up skill with electric clipper fell behind an array of nearly medical looking tools. Not a straight razor shave or a cold beer to be seen. Maybe cucumber water and a scalp massage, though.
With the rise of the salon, men of a certain generation failed to ever even know the barbershop as it once was. Instead, the image of the barbershop was – until recently – likely a low-end location: a rundown remnant of a different era that smelled overwhelmingly of Barbasol and dust. No match for the polish of the salon’s populating the more gentrified areas of town.
Thankfully, the traditional barbershop has seen a serious re-imagining and resurgence in recent years; with countless establishments presenting their own updated take on the services our fathers (and their fathers) held in such high regard.
As men pay an increasing amount of attention to their grooming regimen, the barbershop will continue to evolve to serve their clients. For many that suffered through the salon era, it’s a welcome shift. A trip to the barbershop is often not only more affordable, but also allows you to experience the kind of attention to men’s grooming that only a barbershop can provide so well.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy the best haircut you’ve ever had.