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  #1  
Old 12-08-2012, 01:38 PM
CoastalMaineiac CoastalMaineiac is offline
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What ever happened to the good, old-fashioned barber shop?

It seems it is becoming more and more of a rarity. Do they even have barber colleges anymore? *sigh* It seems a really good hair-cut is hard to find.

I used to love the hot lather they'd put on the back of the neck before they shaved the hairs.

I'd be willing to pay for the real deal, if I could find it around here! But most of the "barber" shops around here seem to be run by women who are, in fact, cosmetologists, not barbers.
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2012, 01:51 PM
Mr. Accident Mr. Accident is offline
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Are you looking in small towns? Every small town around me has an old fashioned barber, and the nearby collage town has an actual barber college.
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  #3  
Old 12-08-2012, 01:52 PM
Shakes Shakes is online now
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We've got quite a few Black barber shops around here. They're still around.

I recently found one, by accident, that was run by a bunch of old, retired, army vets.

You walk in the shop and it's like taking a step back in time.

The walls are covered in old newspaper clippings. And right by the register is a pinup girl (50's style) right there on the wall.

I've only been there once. But when I went, the place was packed with not a single woman in the place.
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  #4  
Old 12-08-2012, 02:34 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is online now
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Ooh, I'd kill for a classic shave with hot lather and a straight razor!
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  #5  
Old 12-08-2012, 02:41 PM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
Ooh, I'd kill for a classic shave with hot lather and a straight razor!
There's a place by my house that still does it. But it's not a bunch of older guys. It's a couple of young tattooed girls.
I started going there when I grew a beard and didn't want to go to the cheap chain barber shop (Sport Cuts etc) anymore for fear they'd butcher it. I've yet to have them strait razor anything other then the back of my neck, but I know they do it.

ETA: it's in Bay View if you're interested.

Last edited by Joey P; 12-08-2012 at 02:41 PM..
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2012, 02:43 PM
bobkitty bobkitty is offline
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Our area is FILLED with them- seriously, I could fling a cat and hit four, and that's before I got very far down the road. One is run by a former Marine, is staffed and patronized primarily by African American men, and has a list of hilarious, wonderful rules on the wall (including 'no swearing'). The boyfriend has his 'other girlfriend' that he sees every week who does the hot lather-straight razor shave AND a neck/shoulder massage at the end (sure, he could save money if I learned to do a high-and-tight, but why not boost the local economy? ). Perhaps you need to move to a military area?
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2012, 02:49 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
ETA: it's in Bay View if you're interested.
Thanks, but that's a bit out of the way for me. There are a few places within 20 miles of me, but I'm too lazy to get to them lately.
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2012, 02:58 PM
bot3 bot3 is offline
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Originally Posted by Shakes View Post
We've got quite a few Black barber shops around here. They're still around.

I recently found one, by accident, that was run by a bunch of old, retired, army vets.

You walk in the shop and it's like taking a step back in time.

The walls are covered in old newspaper clippings. And right by the register is a pinup girl (50's style) right there on the wall.

I've only been there once. But when I went, the place was packed with not a single woman in the place.
This is why its no longer a common thing. Going to a Barber is not stylish. You have to go to a Supercuts or somesuch franchise. It's like the corner candy store. It use to be every block had a candy store and barbershop. And every two blocks had a tavern.
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  #9  
Old 12-08-2012, 08:34 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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I work next door to a barbershop that offers all the old services, including straight razor shaves with a hot towel. It's not stepping back in time because they cut women's hair, too, and they're busy from opening to closing but they have real barbers.
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  #10  
Old 12-08-2012, 08:45 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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Damned Hippies and their long hair...

No, really. Have you seen pictures of what guys looked like in the 70's? Can you picture the guys in Battlestar Galactica getting their haircut at their dad's barber shop? Nope, they needed blow dryers & product.
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  #11  
Old 12-08-2012, 09:23 PM
installLSC installLSC is online now
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You might also want to look in Asian neighborhoods. The Korean neighborhoods in Tacoma have a lot of hole in the wall places with haircuts as cheap as $5. Their English is not very good and I don't know if they do straight razor shaves, but it wouldn't hurt to ask around. In fact, since Tacoma is next to two huge military bases it's a hotbed of traditional barber shops.
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  #12  
Old 12-08-2012, 10:54 PM
Spoons Spoons is offline
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They're still around, but you have to look.

Growing up in Toronto, I went to the same barber from about age 5 onwards. His was a classic barber shop, offering haircuts, hot lather straight-razor shaves, and beard trims; in addition to the newspapers, comic books, Sports Illustrateds, and Daily Racing Forms that were available to waiting patrons. (There were also Playboys, but you had to ask for those.)

I left Toronto when I was in my 40s, but in subsequent travels, never found another barbershop quite like it. I do get back to Toronto from time to time, and I always make it a point to stop in. The barber still remembers me, and we catch up while I enjoy a trim and a hot lather neck shave.
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  #13  
Old 12-10-2012, 05:09 AM
Floater Floater is offline
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I don't know about the service, but there is one barber shop in town that really looks quite oldish except for the foot in a meat grinder in the window. It's called Sweeney Todd.
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  #14  
Old 12-10-2012, 05:26 AM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoastalMaineiac View Post
It seems it is becoming more and more of a rarity. Do they even have barber colleges anymore? *sigh* It seems a really good hair-cut is hard to find.

I used to love the hot lather they'd put on the back of the neck before they shaved the hairs.

I'd be willing to pay for the real deal, if I could find it around here! But most of the "barber" shops around here seem to be run by women who are, in fact, cosmetologists, not barbers.
There's one two blocks from me. My son will walk over after school to get a haircut, and my husband gets a hot shave now and again.
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  #15  
Old 12-10-2012, 05:31 AM
ekedolphin ekedolphin is offline
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I'm white and live in a majority-African American city, and there's an excellent barbershop downtown whose employees are all black, and clientele is predominantly black.

And it's a great place. Very relaxing. You walk in there, and even if you have to wait, they've got a nice long couple of padded benches to sit in. There's a vending machine, a Ms. Pac-Man machine, and they're usually playing Soul Train or something. Everyone's very friendly, and I've never felt like I wasn't welcome.

And I like the shave and a haircut I get there, too.
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  #16  
Old 12-10-2012, 08:00 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is online now
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Last time I was in a Barbers, which was about a year ago, they had faded pictures on the wall of cool looking men with brylcreemed hair from the 1980s. They all looked like George Michael and Roger Taylor from Duran Duran. It was such a ridiculous cliché I had to promise myself never to go back.
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  #17  
Old 12-10-2012, 08:19 AM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
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Yes, most of these old time places are gone. Where I live (Boston area), most shops were run by elderly Italians and Greeks-these guys are retiring now. One interesting factoid-antique barber chairs are worth a fortune these days-most were made by a firm called "Emile Paider" out of Chicago-anybody in ChiTown know if that firm still exists?
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  #18  
Old 12-10-2012, 08:19 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is online now
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They're coming back into fashion, like most things. There are two in my neighborhood, but I haven't been to either one. One of them seems to be staffed exclusively by tattooed young women who stand outside smoking much of the time. As a non-smoker, having someone who reeks of stale smoke standing that close to me for the duration of a haircut is a non-starter.
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  #19  
Old 12-10-2012, 08:25 AM
BobLibDem BobLibDem is offline
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You could try a Jude's barbershop. They have young attractive girls cutting your hair instead of Floyd from Mayberry but the service is very good- they shave the back of your neck with a straight razor and offer full shaves too.
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  #20  
Old 12-10-2012, 08:28 AM
stpauler stpauler is offline
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The Twin Cities area is completely full of them. We have the chains here too (Great Clips, Sport Clips, Fantastic Sams, Super Cuts, et al) but we have an abundance of the corner barber shops too. I'm frankly surprised how many the area can support.
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  #21  
Old 12-10-2012, 08:31 AM
california jobcase california jobcase is offline
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A few weeks ago, I got a haircut at the one I went to when I was a kid. It has downsized into the room where the Coke machine used to be, however, and now has one chair instead of four. Wouldn't have considered entering a barber shop through the '70s and '80s, but I'm pretty bald now. Having long hair now would make me look like a gray-haired Larry Fine.

The chairs I remember (and still see) are labeled Koken.
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  #22  
Old 12-10-2012, 08:36 AM
hajario hajario is online now
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I'm not sure that it's coming back but it's been a hipster thing for several years so new ones are actually opening. In my town there are a few. There is one true old style one, a hipster type one where you need to buy a membership and a few places that are regular places that offer the service.

In CA, a barber's license is a separate thing from a hair stylists license and requires and additional certification. Unfortunately, you can't use the old style straight razor anymore because of concerns of blood borne disease. They have to use disposable razors now. The ones I have seen have plastic handles.

I have had two shaves at barber shops. One was an amazing and relaxing experience and one was just ok.

I believe that if there is one of those striped poles out front, that means that barber services are offered.
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  #23  
Old 12-10-2012, 09:39 AM
LawMonkey LawMonkey is online now
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New York, so probably not entirely typical, but...

My regular barber shop these days doesn't look traditional, but the service certainly is. I think the entire staff is Russian, as I pick up bits and pieces of their conversation. Excellent cut, followed by the hot lather and straight razor shave on the back of the neck and a sort of brief neck/shoulder massage with a hot towel.

Separately, I went to a place over by Tompkins Square Park that had a very nice speakeasy-style bar behind the barbershop. Cuts came with a free drink, and the young-hipster-barber was offering to go totally old school and dig out an ingrown hair for me. (I had my girlfriend at the time do that instead.) They did shaves as well, though not the neck thing as I recall. I stopped going there 'cause it was $40 and I'm cheap.

Bottom line--lots of places do shaves around Manhattan. I've actually had one once, and it was an absolute disaster, honestly--red like a beet, stinging from sweat all night, and I give myself a closer shave three times a week. Mind you, my face is difficult, and I find that I need to have a few days' growth to get a good shave, so I don't necessarily blame the barber and I don't rule out trying again some day.
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  #24  
Old 12-10-2012, 11:25 AM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is offline
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I hate it too. I walked into some frou-frou salon and asked for a hot shave and trepanning and they just stared at me through their kohl-rimmed eyes. Time to buy a home kit, I guess.
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  #25  
Old 12-10-2012, 11:50 AM
Ají de Gallina Ají de Gallina is offline
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Herein Peru they are still the norm, although salon-like places are appearing.
Nothing like a straight razor to give my beard the shape I simply can't.

Only for men (or kids). The only women are the kids' mums.
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  #26  
Old 12-10-2012, 12:45 PM
geneb geneb is offline
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You can use the Art of Manliness Barbershop Locator: http://artofmanliness.com/barbershop-locator/

Also, if you want to get a straight razor shave, I'd suggest that you ask how often they actually give them. A person who is out of practice taking a razor to your throat can be painful.
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  #27  
Old 12-10-2012, 01:00 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinyl Turnip View Post
I hate it too. I walked into some frou-frou salon and asked for a hot shave and trepanning and they just stared at me through their kohl-rimmed eyes. Time to buy a home kit, I guess.
You asked for a hole to be drilled in your head?
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  #28  
Old 12-10-2012, 01:13 PM
andrewbub andrewbub is offline
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as Chefguy pointed out, there are quite a few in Portland. I just have no desire to pay $60 for a haircut.
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  #29  
Old 12-10-2012, 05:41 PM
salinqmind salinqmind is online now
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
You asked for a hole to be drilled in your head?

Barbers were also a type of surgeons centuries ago, the red and white barber pole represents blood and white bandages.

I'm in Central New York and there are quite a few old fashioned barber shops around, not hard to find. They are generally small places that don't advertise or have flashy signs or decor.

I'm thinking the fathers of the current generation went to hair salons, not barbershops, back in the 60's, 70's, and 80's when men had longer hair. But I'm also thinking barbershops never went away, being one of those traditional things that just keep on keepin' on. (Like butcher shops. Who needs a butcher shop when you can find just about everything already in a big grocery store? Yet butcher shops never went away, I know of half a dozen.)
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  #30  
Old 12-11-2012, 02:51 AM
voguevixen voguevixen is offline
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Originally Posted by bobkitty View Post
Our area is FILLED with them- seriously, I could fling a cat and hit four, and that's before I got very far down the road.
There is one at the local MALL here. The have a POOL TABLE FFS!
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  #31  
Old 12-11-2012, 04:54 AM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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The South seems to enshrine these.
__________________
"He is an abomination of science that curdles the milk of all honest men!"~~One Dr Chouteh, possibly commenting on Bosda Di'Chi.Or not.
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  #32  
Old 12-11-2012, 05:32 AM
jz78817 jz78817 is online now
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I go to one regularly (metro Detroit.) there are at least several in my city alone.
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  #33  
Old 12-11-2012, 09:56 AM
Soylent Juicy Soylent Juicy is offline
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My buddy opened one in our city about a year or so ago. He only cuts men's hair and does the hot-lather straight-razor shave, hot towels and everything. It has an old-timey Italian barber shop feel and he always dresses up in a tuxedo shirt for work. It's pricey of course, but he seems to be successful so far.
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  #34  
Old 12-11-2012, 10:12 AM
matt_mcl matt_mcl is offline
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That's one thing that, although I don't particularly need it, I would have no problem finding around here if I did. I don't know if Montreal is just unusual in this way but I can think of two or three off the top of my head and there are probably far more that I just haven't noticed.
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  #35  
Old 12-11-2012, 11:29 AM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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Ames, IA, still has a couple of one-chairs on Main Street and one barber pole shack on the Iowa State campus. The latter is official ROTC knob-shaving headquarters.

Me, I go to Great Clips 'cause it's cheap and the gals are friendly.
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  #36  
Old 12-11-2012, 12:03 PM
hogarth hogarth is offline
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There's a number of old(er)-school barber shops in my neighbourhood in Toronto (North York). One has a couple of old Italian guys cutting hair, but they were too yakky for my taste. Instead I get my hair cut at a shop run by an East Asian guy (I thought he was Vietnamese, but I think my wife said they were Taiwanese) and his sister (I thought it was his wife). The guy is great; he gives me just what I want with no fuss and no muss. The woman requires more guidance; for example, I always have to keep telling her I want it shorter.

Both those places use the straight razor for the sideburns and the back of the neck, for instance. The cost is in the $15 range (although I'm a big shot and I let them keep the change from a $20).

Last edited by hogarth; 12-11-2012 at 12:04 PM..
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  #37  
Old 12-11-2012, 12:07 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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When my barber finally retired last summer, he explained that the landlord wanted to sell the building, so no one's leases were renewed, and every other available space in the area was either not suitable or way, way, too expensive.

So my suggestion would be to look for neighborhoods with older storefront-type commercial buildings, probably in post-war suburbs that have a lot of WW2 and older baby populations.

(I did find another barber shop. They have six barbers -- one of them a woman -- but only one is under the age of 50.)
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  #38  
Old 12-11-2012, 12:37 PM
Sahirrnee Sahirrnee is offline
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Every time I read this title I think 'whatever happened to the good old-fashioned head shop?'.
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