Traditional barber shops are popping up all over the country catering to men. Newspaper and magazine racks have been complimented with big screen televisions. Manly barbershop conversations continue to be a regular and enjoyable occurrence. Men can feel at ease in these more traditional barber shops as it is sometimes intimidating and potentially emasculating to sit amongst the fluff of full service salons.
The ambiance of traditional barber shops being among your brethren is enticing, but more importantly the skills of traditional barbering have been modernized. And if you are used to ordering your haircut by a clipper comb numbering system, now you can get more skill from a professional men’s barber, and even get a much better haircut than you may be used to.
The other advantage to seeking out traditional barber shops is that they can also give incredibly detailed beard trims. And depending on where your live (considering the regulations that are placed on industry professionals), your barber may offer a straight-razor face shave, the closest shave you can possibly receive.
Of course this includes hot-steaming towels, pre-shave oils, hot lather and other features which largely disappeared in recent decades of salons and quick clips. Follow your beard trim or shave with a classic men’s facial and you will leave feeling like a new man. Whether you desire to be a part of a traditional rite of passage and patronize men’s traditional barber shops, or prefer to have a full menu of salon services available to you all in one place, we all should be a part of the style conversation rather than reciting the number of a clipper comb.
- Buzz – The length of hair is clippered down to be equal all the way around.
- Caesar – This style is to be worn with short sides and nape, textured on top, with the movement of the hair and bangs going forward.
- Cowlick – Where the hair pattern grows in a swirl and typically found at the crown or hairline.
- Crew – A style where the sides and nape are cut very short and the crown is slightly longer, following the shape of the head.
- Crown – This is the top of your head where many cowlicks tend to reside.
- Design – Images are carved typically into a faded cut and are simple to intricate.
- Fade – An extreme version of a taper cut working with very short lengths.
- Flat Top – Just like it sounds, literally the top is buzzed straight across leveling out the crown.
- High & Tight – Your typical military cut with a sort of landing strip going down your crown.
- Layering – A technique used to create dimension in the hair and if not layered, you can end up with a bowl haircut.
- Nape – This is at the base of your neck hairline and can be either tapered to gradually fade out to your natural hairline, or blocked off to have a square or shaped appearance.
- Part – A line that runs through your scalp and is often found in more conservative haircuts.
- Pompadour – The sides and nape are short, while the top is left long then styled forward and brushed back.
- Razor Cut – A straight edge that is used to cut the hair in a choppy, less uniform fashion.
- Receding Hair Line – Where the hairline has moved back further due to thinning or hair loss.
- Steps – Lines are cut into the temples of a faded cut creating a design of steps.
- Taper – Graduating hair-length where it is shorter at the temples and nape and longer at the crown.
- Texturizing – Creating dimension and thinning through sections of the hair.
- Thinning – A technique using special thinning shears that takes bulk out of thick hair.
One tradition that has suffered in recent years of the salons or quick clips is that of father’s and son’s going to men’s traditional barber shops and bonding with each other and with other men the way it has been done for hundreds of years. Most men of a certain age have fond memories from the traditional barber shops of their youth.I know men who have told me they have become physically ill sitting in a salon and being forced to inhale the fumes which are given off by women’s perms.
Many of us remember the “barber shop smells” which were made up of a blend of Jeris or Pinaud Talc which was brushed on after a haircut men’s and great smelling men’s after shaves and colognes. The combination was always very distinct and extremely pleasant. What a great memory from the traditional barber shops.
Another great memory I have when I was in college was the traditional barber shops as a gathering place or ‘watering hole.’ I was in a small town playing college basketball and I had the good fortune to be the leading scorer and MVP of my team. I was a ‘big fish’ in a ‘small pond.’ Everywhere I went people recognized me and must admit I really enjoyed it.
The place I remember most was Saturday morning at an old-style, traditional barber shop where I went to get my haircut. There was always a gathering of men sitting around talking about the affairs of the world. When I walked in they all greeted me like I was some sort of celebrity and started talking about Mesa College Basketball, how the team was doing and how many points I thought I was going to score against the next team.
I even signed a few autographs for kids and had my photo taken with a few of them. There was no other place in town like this old barbershop where men from all walks of life… from the janitor to the mayor… would gather and enjoy some ‘male bonding.’ I enjoyed it then and I enjoy it now just thinking back upon such great memories.
Is it any wonder that men’s traditional barber shops are springing up all over the country. Men are demanding the complete barbershop experience again. And if you don’t currently go to a men’s traditional barber, you just may be inspired to give one a try. You will find out what your father and grandfather knew a long time ago!