When is a barber shop no longer a barber shop?

Discussion in 'General Shaving Discussion' started by Bioletti, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. I see lots of pseudo barber shops these days, usually run by women with the words 'stylist/salon' underneath barber shop. The rw&b pole is there and it looks legit like the one your granddaddy took you to as a kid. My question: What clues do men look for that expose it as a fake barber shop? All responses greatly appreciated.
  2. For a legit barber shop...look for "girly calendars" on the walls and old Playboy magazines lying around.
  3. Beverly Hills Shave Shop...just walk away or keep walking past it...

    When you see the barber use his disposable straight blade ONLY used in 1 direction
    When the barber picks up a Fusion razor and finishes the rest
    When you question the barber with real razor question and he gets the "chills" by your professional responses cause you know "what your doing and talking about"
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  4. Look for a couple of things....(along with the girlie calendars and Playboys......

    Does it smell like Jeris hair tonic or ammonia? Do you hear an Italian accent? What grooming products do they sell? Good old unbreakable combs?
    What's on the shelves? Pinaud, Lucky Tiger, and Master Bay Rum are must haves.
  5. garyg

    garyg Contributor

    I like my old style barber shop too .. Orie gets to the parking lot before 7 am, sits in his car until he unlocks at 8 am, or until the first customer shows up .. then we bs while he makes coffee, customer # 2 might show at 7:15 or not until I'm leaving at 7:45 or so.

    When he's on vacation I've hit the "Lady Jane's" down the street. They open at 10, not before, and cost $5 more for a cut. They do have a great big screen TV and wear high heels.

    To answer the original question though, I'd check for the high heels, or big hair (both on the hoof as opposed to the walls), if you need to know what kind of shop you are in ..

    Although given the OP's join date & # of posts I suspect things may be different in that part of the world
  6. There is a local chain of shops in a man's name (Mexican-American surname), at which the ones in high heels aren't necessarily women, no matter how they are dressed. The shops are CALLED by the name Barber Shop, but I really don't know what they truly are. I used to have coffee at a Breakfast Taco Joint a couple of doors over from one of their shops, and I don't think I ever saw a mature "man" of 35-plus go on in after he had the door open . .

    I say this, because one of my favorite west coast cities has gotten a bad reputation from the loud antic of a minority whose preferences are not at all "MANLY" in my definition of the word.
  7. StuMcB

    StuMcB Contributor

    Been down to the Barbers this morning, got my hair cut. Grade 2 on the sides and half inch of the top. For me if the person cutting my hair aint a guy I shouldn't be there. While waiting there shouldn't be anything more to read then the local and daily paper and magazines about cars, NOT TV CELEBS OR FASHION!!!
  8. Hmmm...when is a barber shop no longer a barber shop? [​IMG]

    When the barbers are comedians. [​IMG]

    [​IMG] "Don't ask the barber whether you need a haircut [or shave]". Daniel S. Greenberg
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2017
  9. Lots of things contribute to a barber shop no longer being a barber shop. As for what DOES constitute a barbershop: 1. a barber pole outside, 2. no overly expensive or unisex products in his arsenal, and 3. close to 100% male customers.
  10. Practically speaking, if the tonsorial technician starts cutting at the bottom and works to the top, he/she is barbering. If he/she starts at the top and works down, it is styling. If he only takes one attempt to "even" the sideburns, he's experienced. If he shows you his work with a hand mirror BEFORE he takes the cape off he really cares about you liking your haircut and isn't just stuck on himself.

    Esoterically, however, it is not so easily defined. The smell of Jeris and Clubman blending with the aroma of lubricant spray on a warm set of clippers . . . the clink of a comb being dropped into a jar of Barbicide . . . a straight razor (or at least a shavette) sitting in the ultraviolet cabinet next to the scissors . . . a pile of hair behind the broom standing up in the back corner of the shop . . . the sound of a hot-lather machine . . .

    Bottom line, if you have to ask "Am I in a real barbershop?" you probably aren't. Not to say you may not get a good haircut at the stylist, and there is never a guarantee that the "real" shop is perfect . . . but when you walk into that inner sanctum of the man's world . . . where the barber is a man's man . . . talk about sports, fishing, hunting, and girls . . . :001_wub:
  11. ...when they ask you if you want highlights or a manicure.
  12. Do you get a good haircut? Then the rest doesn't matter.
  13. $jeffco_eclipse_4597.jpg
    If they have one of these,get out
  14. malocchio

    malocchio Contributor

    retturn...you took the words right out of my mouth !!!
  15. We're lucky to have a couple of great "old fashioned" barber shops here in town, they just tend to be current gen. What I mean is that the proprietors are generally twenty-somethings, offer straight razor shaves, hot towel, Pinaud, Playboy/Biker/Hot Rod mags, etc. The one owned by a woman (Ramona at Montgomery's) has her straight razor collection on the walls and is stuffed with vintage hardware and software--fun to take it all in. Johnny's (on the Westside) is a new shop but "classic" in every sense--a great barber shop. Ask about a "Baxter" cut! There are a few others but either I haven't been there or don't want to comment.
    Slightly off topic I guess but there you go.
  16. What is a barbershop? The answer to that question is SUBJECTIVE. A barbershop is a hair cutting and styling shop that is owned and operated by a licensed barber. There is no law that requires a barber to call his/her shop a 'barbershop'. That decision is up to the barber. Hanging a barber pole is also up to the discretion of the barber, as is what magazines, ariticles, artwork and decor the barber decides to have.

    As to what BBrad stated in his beginning paragraph, I have to disagree to a certain extent. A GREAT BARBER, will decide WHERE to begin any haircut, based on how the customer wears and styles his hair. Yes, we are GENERALLY trained to begin the haircut through the sides and back, but based on each customer's need and wants, this may not always be the case. I could go on and on about this, but I won't... you're welcome.

    Asthetically, a barbershop is a men's haircutting and styling shop which has masculine appeal, and is inviting to men to want to get their hair cut and shaves there. Again, this is subjective. As a barber, I don't believe that having playboy, pin-ups, Clubman, Jeris, or any other old-school/low-cost product lines, makes it a barbershop. Subjectively, a barbershop is inviting to men... a haircutting environment in which they feel comfortable being there, appreciated as men, and are highly appreciated as customers.

    I appreciate everyone's opinions on what a barbershop IS TO THEM. Is the Barber/Spa Art of Shaving Stores (the Art of Shaving stores that have an area for shaving and haircuts), a barbershop... even though they offer high end, trendy shaving products, don't have playboy, pin-ups, wood paneling, etc...? Their barber poles are black and white, not red,white and blue. Does this mean it is not a barbershop? They call it a 'Barber Spa', and not a barbershop. Again, I believe that answer to this, is subjective.
  17. To me, a barber shop means several things:
    1) All people cutting hair are male
    2) All people getting their hair cut are male
    3) All males inside said establishment complain about their wives, and stare/make comments about women they feel are "lookers".
    4) The pictures hung up inside the place are macho/masculine (hockey team photo(s), military photo(s), car photo(s)
    5) There is a bottle of anything Pinaud (aftershave, talc powder)
    6) There is no cash register. Payments are all done cash only (AKA old school)
    And 7th) When I get a flat top, he does the top part BY HAND with the electric shaver. Salons/spas have to use a huge wedge device which makes doing a flat top idiot proof.

    Those are what a barber shop means to me.
  18. I blame society for the down fall of old fashioned barbershops. Other than most of us on here, not many people care about the old times. They just want what they think is cool or cheap.
  19. +1

    I would call the AoS haircut/shave area a "shopette" due to their size, but I think by the defenitions that have been established here they would, on the average, fit the bill. The King of Shaves master barber is a REALLY good looking woman who specializes in men's haircutting and shaving, so would you say she isn't a barber? I wouldn't. For me the issue isn't the gender of the barber, it's the specialization.

    All told, for me the definition of a barbershop is this: does it cater exclusively to men? If the answer is yes, then there are ammendments, and these are due to the specific tastes of men. On average we tend to like dark wood paneling, a certain type of publication (at least that's suitable for mixed company and kids), and women of a certain physique and attire. To me this covers a fair bit of decor, so the answer of "What makes a barbershop?" could have a lot of answers, but its clientele is really what makes it.
  20. my barber has this nifty steam generator that he directs at my face during a straight shave, it's happens to be very relaxing, does that make it too spa-ish ?

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