Feel like everyone is talking about new style barbershops nowadays?
Have you noticed that the quality of fit-out and image is somewhat different to that of your old footy poster clad, two chair, no frills follicle farm?
And then there’s beverages…The current movement seems to be to partake in a beer or whisky with your cut, enjoying the establishment for more than just your tidy up by a slicked up groomsman.
The barbershop was never a drinking venue, this was reserved for the pub or the tavern.
So, why the new trend?
Is it a crossbreeding with the comfort zone of the stereotypical Aussie under-house mancave…?
Or is the modern day man just so busy that he now has to combine his grooming with his relaxation, finally following the female trend of hairdressing or is it that the man is simply wanting more from his experience than just a short back and sides and a chat about nothing. Either way, this level of service may finally see the barber respected as the tradesmen they are.
My brother recently returned from 15 years in London and has always raved about his barbering experiences there and the fact that there is nothing that comes near to it here in Australia. And he’s right. The Aussie barber was known for a 10 buck haircut, a quick in and out and being stuck in the dark ages of style and progression. You were more likely to walk out with the same cut as the guy before you, have had the same talk and have shared nothing about yourself passed idle chit chat.
It was a service of convenience not indulgence.
These brotherly conversations would continue as he quite passionately spoke about his visits having exotic services such as facial threading and ear hair singeing and always being accompanied by a Single Malt Whisky and sometimes even a shoe shine spit polish. I was amazed. Not just at these services but more so that men were lining up for this for their regular regal visit to the barber. It went against the naivety that my training had given me, for in Australia, if a man wanted a finer hair service he had to visit the hairdresser and sit in a feminine environment only to feel slightly de-masculinized.
Do we deserve more? Damn straight we do! Ask for a beer, take load off and spoil yourself.
So what are you getting from your hair experience?