What's new

What have you learned from barbers?

Nothing wrong with going to a well seasoned trained barber who wants to keep his clients. Lots of good gossip for some folks and straight razor shaves still going on with some talented barbers.
I stopped going to my barber recently (4 yrs ago)when looking at the floor and there was not much hair left on my head and decided just to keep it short and trimmed it my self(no one really noticed the difference).
I always remember when getting a hair cut when I was a youngster and the barber would rub in some hair tonic and man that was a nice final touch to a hair cut. What that hair tonic was ??Jarvis? but I would like to buy some to bring back memories.
 
From a barber with 60 years of hard work, sunday to saturday:
With straight razors only water, cold water;
With gillettes (that's how he calls DE) more than two passes and few approaches, you don't know what you do!!!
 
If you cut your own hair, keep your clippers clean and well oiled. Learn how to disassemble and put back together/adjust gap correctly.
 
In Florida there is a law or regulation. With a haircut a barber will shave the back of your neck with a straight razor. (shavette) At a salon they are not allowed to use a straight razor.
 
Ive learned a lot. I wouldnt be a traditional wet shaver if it werent for my barber giving me a straight razor neck shave. My barber also taught me the importance of proper skin prep and after shave skin care.
Whats funny is now, I think that she has learned just as much from me about shaving as I have from her. I asked her the last time why she always does the hot towel after she shaves my neck and she told me that she honestly didnt know. We then discussed what a hot towel actually does and how, while it does feel good, its kind of pointless to do it after the shave.
I think it many ways, my barber appreciates a client who understands and appreciates the finer points of her craft. I mean, whats not to love about a beautiful woman who gives you a great haircut at a fair price and a neck/shoulder massage afterwards?
Yes!
 
My mom always cut my hair, but the barber shop in our small town also doubled as the local candy/convenience store, and so we were in and out of their all the time. It was an old school barber shop full of smoke, clubman, magazines, and the old regulars. I loved going in there.

As a young adult away from home, out of necessity I found a small, low cost barber shop that another old school barber operated. It was this barber that peaked my interest in traditional shaving. He made lather with a brush and used a straight razor to trim the back of my neck whenever I stopped in for a haircut. The hot lather, the barbershop smells, and the feeling of the blade on the back of my neck made me a convert for life.

The thread reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, probably familiar to most of you but I'll share it anyway:

"To make a fine gentleman, several trades are required, but chiefly a barber" (Oliver Goldsmith)
 
My grandfather was a barber and we were close so I learned a lot from him.

How Guinness beer came to be, best Irish beers, why potatoes should be served at every meal… oh, and how to use and strop a straight razor and make a lather with a crusty old Williams puck and an ancient boar brush (among dozens of actual life lessons!).
 
1624303657851.png

I haven't been to a barber in 40+ years, as my dad cut my hair as a kid and my wife / kids have cut my hair since.

I did learn a little from Gran Torino, though. In the interest of proper decorum, I cannot repeat the dialogue.
 
A barber once taught me how to make a Turbo Shandy. Half a pint of Stella + 1 bottle of Smirnoff Ice. Messy. Very messy.
 
Sigh, since I got out of the Marine Corps I haven't found a barber I like. First off, I can cut hair pretty well myself so I usually just give myself a fade. I'll do it on a Friday of 3 day weekend so it has time to grow out and blend a little bit if I don't fade it perfect. The difference between an OK fade and a great fade is about 5 days anyway. I've been to barbers over the years, trying a number of guys. Most either couldn't cut a fade well, or could do OK but took 40 minutes to do it (Barbers in Jacksonville NC just outside the Lejeune gate could do a good fade in under 10 minutes), or did OK and was quick enough but wanted 18 bucks and then expected a tip. I gave up looking for a Barber in 2012 or so.

I may try finding a Barber again. I wouldn't mind being shaved by a Barber once in a while, just for grins. Plus bonus points to hang out with an old school character resembling Clint Eastwood's character in Gran Torino. I would give a guy like that my money if he was good at what he did.
 
The one man I'll call a barber was Elon Rhodes. He was my barber from the time I was three until shortly after I graduated college. A nice man, quick with a smile and honest laugh.

Elon taught me many things. He was the first African American I met. Our first meeting he noticed me staring at his arm. He laughed, said "go on touch it, it won't rub off."

He taught me to always be on time, early was better. Elon was a solo barber who ran his shop out of an office building. He catered to the business men, bankers, and lawyers in town. Others too. Haircuts were by appointment. Be on time or get skipped.

Elon shared his love of coin collecting with a young man. He would show me his coins, lend me coin magazines to read.

Read the paper if you want to know what's going on in town. I learned to arrive early enough to read the paper.

A joy of music, a fondness for the motown songs. He loved having the radio on in his shop. Elon would sometimes say "now that is music" when a Spinners song played.

It is ok to fall asleep in the barber chair. Was often tired as a teen. He would laugh at me.

No better shave than a barber's shave with a straight razor. Elon gave me my first one on my 18th birthday. A gift from him to me.

A man can achieve much if he tries. He was a member of the school board and even got elected to city council. A testament to his character and how well folks liked him.

Elon Rhodes was a great man I was proud to know. My barber, a role model.
 

Owen Bawn

"Ask me about a fluffernutter"
The one man I'll call a barber was Elon Rhodes. He was my barber from the time I was three until shortly after I graduated college. A nice man, quick with a smile and honest laugh.

Elon taught me many things. He was the first African American I met. Our first meeting he noticed me staring at his arm. He laughed, said "go on touch it, it won't rub off."

He taught me to always be on time, early was better. Elon was a solo barber who ran his shop out of an office building. He catered to the business men, bankers, and lawyers in town. Others too. Haircuts were by appointment. Be on time or get skipped.

Elon shared his love of coin collecting with a young man. He would show me his coins, lend me coin magazines to read.

Read the paper if you want to know what's going on in town. I learned to arrive early enough to read the paper.

A joy of music, a fondness for the motown songs. He loved having the radio on in his shop. Elon would sometimes say "now that is music" when a Spinners song played.

It is ok to fall asleep in the barber chair. Was often tired as a teen. He would laugh at me.

No better shave than a barber's shave with a straight razor. Elon gave me my first one on my 18th birthday. A gift from him to me.

A man can achieve much if he tries. He was a member of the school board and even got elected to city council. A testament to his character and how well folks liked him.

Elon Rhodes was a great man I was proud to know. My barber, a role model.
Harrisonburg, VA? There's a school building named after him. Here's an oral history interview with him about a Harrisonburg teacher he had as a boy. Interesting to see how he saw the community of Harrisonburg as naturally integrated prior to WWII; he appears to say that the community became segregated when state and federally funded public housing came in to town in the 50s. He attended and graduated from high school, which was not the norm for poorer blacks in those days, and he even studied Latin. He also served as vice mayor of Harrisonburg. From the archives at James Madison University.

Thanks for introducing us to this gentleman!


The dedication of the school:
 
Harrisonburg, VA? There's a school building named after him. Here's an oral history interview with him about a Harrisonburg teacher he had as a boy. Interesting to see how he saw the community of Harrisonburg as naturally integrated prior to WWII; he appears to say that the community became segregated when state and federally funded public housing came in to town in the 50s. He attended and graduated from high school, which was not the norm for poorer blacks in those days, and he even studied Latin. He also served as vice mayor of Harrisonburg. From the archives at James Madison University.

Thanks for introducing us to this gentleman!

Yes, one and the same. Harrisonburg was quite segregated early in it's history. The intersection of East Market and North Mason formed the "corner" of the segregated neighborhood before my time. By the late 1960's I would call Harrisonburg fairly integrated. I didn't know or see any racism growing up.

Elon Rhodes was one of the best men I ever knew.
 
The one man I'll call a barber was Elon Rhodes. He was my barber from the time I was three until shortly after I graduated college. A nice man, quick with a smile and honest laugh.

Elon taught me many things. He was the first African American I met. Our first meeting he noticed me staring at his arm. He laughed, said "go on touch it, it won't rub off."

He taught me to always be on time, early was better. Elon was a solo barber who ran his shop out of an office building. He catered to the business men, bankers, and lawyers in town. Others too. Haircuts were by appointment. Be on time or get skipped.

Elon shared his love of coin collecting with a young man. He would show me his coins, lend me coin magazines to read.

Read the paper if you want to know what's going on in town. I learned to arrive early enough to read the paper.

A joy of music, a fondness for the motown songs. He loved having the radio on in his shop. Elon would sometimes say "now that is music" when a Spinners song played.

It is ok to fall asleep in the barber chair. Was often tired as a teen. He would laugh at me.

No better shave than a barber's shave with a straight razor. Elon gave me my first one on my 18th birthday. A gift from him to me.

A man can achieve much if he tries. He was a member of the school board and even got elected to city council. A testament to his character and how well folks liked him.

Elon Rhodes was a great man I was proud to know. My barber, a role model.
Beautiful story!
 
The last time I asked a barber what he uses to shave customers, he showed me a blue, disposable, multi-blade, plastic piece of junk. I declined the shave.
 
Top Bottom