Living

WHEN MEN WERE MEN: THE RE-EMERGENCE OF CLASSIC BARBERSHOPS

 

There was a time not long ago when men were men. Unisex salons had yet to be invented, and men's grooming was, for the most part, a pleasurable ritual attended to by one's local barber on a weekly basis.
 
Is it any wonder that men looked the part in the first half of the 20th century? Thankfully, men are choosing to look, and act, like men again.
 
Today more and more men are seeking out classic barbershops where close shaves are delivered by a straight razor and a steady hand. Where the barber's chair is made of supple leather. And the smells and sights take patrons on a journey that is nostalgic, yet relevant and necessary to our time.
 
American Crew creative director Craig Hanson says, “A new crop of classic barbershops has definitely emerged. I see them everywhere from major cities to college towns. They're all giving men that cool, sensory experience they want, combined with a good haircut.”
 
Today's version of the classic barbershop can also include some important upgrades like HDTVs that turn the experience into a sports bar-like outing. (The difference here is patrons come out looking better than when they went in.) Another modern twist is the complimentary Scotch or local microbrew offering while you wait.
 
For sure, the haircut is the outcome. But the act of visiting the barbershop is what makes this trend important. Men want special places to go—a cabin in the woods, a special fishing spot, a secret room for cards. The classic barbershop is such a gathering place. It's a club that's open to all who care about grooming.
 
The return to barbershops of old is a conscious rejection of our hurried pace. Sure, there's a place for quick-serve. But haircuts are personal and best delivered in a setting that just feels right. So, visit your local barbershop and leave your cell in the car. You'll emerge a new man.