How much did barbers charge for a shave?

You see this in old cartoons, TV and films–the hot towel, open blade, etc. I realize this was before safety razors, but a clean-shaven man has to shave every day (haircuts are not daily), and that might add up, depending on the charge. If a shave and a haircut were really two bits, was that a luxury or normal, everyday expense?

Also I wonder: Can I go to a barber today and get a shave? How much would they charge?

I had one last year from the barber on the corner.
I think it cost me about 1/2 of what the cost of the haircut was…
$11 for a haircut, $15 or $16 for a shave AND a haircut.

Also, some barbers still use straight blades, but quite a few now use safety razors.

And if the barber shaves every man who doesn’t shave himself… [ d & r ]

I can get a straight-razor shave for about $8 in Paris.

So the price has certainly gone up.

Anyway, you obviously don’t get a shave from the barber every day, right?


I forgot to shave once and by coincidence had a haircut scheduled that afternoon. At the end of my haircut, I asked the barber for a shave. He looked me over and said, “You don’t need one.” :dubious:

No, though I’d actually love to…

A shave and a haircut would be priced the same – fifteen cents – so two bits for a shave and haircut was a combo.

But no, your average cowpoke didn’t get a shave every day. A shave, haircut and hot bath were only part of ritual “go to town” cleanup.

The barber across the river from me does a straight razor shave, using what is called a “shavette”, that is a straight razor with a long disposable blade.

It cost me $8, which seems to be the going rate.

I have since purchased my own blade, strop, mug, and do my own straightrazor shaving.

I remember the British TV series “1900 House”. It was quite a chore to shave in 1900-you stood a good chance of cutting yourself quite badly with the straight bladed razors. Also, good lighting and hot water are essential. So I can understand the popularity of barber shops. My question: when Gilette invented the safety razor, did a lot of barber shops close down?

No toon can resist this.

I’ve paid for a shave at a barber’s a time or two and I view it as kind of a luxury. The shave you get is very deep and clean and will last longer than one done with a cheap disposable blade (IME). Plus, there’s the hot towel, the rubdown with whatever after-shave lotion they use…

Facials for men, I tell 'ya.

Everything old is new again. Men’s Grooming Lounge.

ETA: Holy follicle, they’re expensive. $50 for a shave or a haircut.

Make sure the barber knows what he is doing and does it occasionally at least (same advice for a heart transplant, actually). When I got married in 1964 my father told me there was nothing like the luxury of being shaved by a barber and I should do it on my wedding day. So I did, I went to a barbershop in the small town in southern NJ where the wedding was and asked for a shave. One of the worst experiences of my life. He left my face scratched and raw, it was awful. About nine months later I stopped shaving and have never shaved since.

I think he charged me a couple bucks and got no tip.

My ole faithful barber charges five bucks for a straight-razor shave. More if the fur is longer, same as the haircut.

So I guess John Edwards would pay about $700 then.

In the first decade of the 20th Century, in the US, a haircut most places was fifteen cents. A shave was ten cents.

I got one for 50 US cents in Cambodia five years ago. I got a haircut then the guy asked, or rather told, me if I wanted a shave as well. I had to lie back in a big leather dentist’s-style chair while he went to work with a big cut-throat razor. I don’t think I’ve ever stayed as motionless in my life! My face stayed smooth for ages though.