The Art of Manliness Weekly Roundup: Barber Shop Edition

by Brett and Kate McKay on February 9, 2008 · 13 comments

in Blog, Roundup

Photo by Alan C.

For the past few months, I’ve been looking for a barber shop to go to. Sadly, barber shops have been on the decline in the United States. Barber shops used to be a place where a man could get a sharp haircut, a clean shave and decent conversation. Because of the disappearance of barber shops men have been forced to get their haircut at salon’s by cosmetologists whose training is geared towards cutting women’s hair. Every time I’ve gone to a place like this, I’ve always walked away with a bad haircut.

Thankfully, I found a barber shop here in town. Monty’s the barber I had. Barbering has been a family tradition in Monty’s family for three generations. Everything Monty knows, he learned from his grandfather. The experience was great. I shot the breeze with the other barbers and the other clients in the shop and I got an awesome haircut. What I liked most about the cut was he used hot lather and a single blade razor to clean up the area on my neck and around my ears. Pretty damn smooth. Monty does hot lather shaves with the single blade razor as well. I’ll be going back soon to get that done.

Now for some links.

Advent of the Mustache. Mustaches are back. Get in touch with your inner Burt Reynolds. (@ msn men)

The Fitness and State of Mind of a Royal Marines Commando. The Royal Marines are hard core. This guide provides you with an awesome guide on how to workout like them. (@ just a guy thing)

Living Indubiously. This site is authored by two brothers with cystic fibrosis. These guys aren’t having pitty parties about the cards they’ve been dealt. They’re taking life by the horns and kicking its ass. Much like Teddy Roosevelt, they haven’t let their sickness get them down through grit and hard work. If you need some inspiration to get off your butt and do something with your life, check this site out. (@ living indubiously)

The Choice-Minimal Lifestyle: 6 Formulas for More Output and Less Overwhelm. Simplicity is a manly virtue. Plato, Emerson, and the Spartans all preached simplicity as the best way to develop manliness. This post from Tim Ferris is all about it simplifying so you can accomplish more. (@ the four hour work week)

Working Smarter, No Matter Your Income Level or Economic Situation. Hard work is necessary but not sufficient to get ahead in life. You also have to work smart. Trent from the Simple Dollar has given a great write up on what you can do to work smarter and get ahead in life. (@ the simple dollar)

What should I tell my children if they were to ask me �How to choose the right spouse?” Choosing a spouse is probably the most important decision you’ll ever make. I’m blessed enough to have an awesome wife. Seriously, I don’t know where I would be with out her. Read this post for some great advice on choosing a spouse. (@ father sez)

Love and Care of the GREAT KILT Kilts are manly. Ever see Braveheart? Here’s a how to guide on how to put on a kilt and how to take care of it.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Doctuh February 9, 2008 at 4:42 pm

If you are around Portland, Maine: Bob’s Barber Shop is a refuge.

2 fathersez February 9, 2008 at 5:09 pm

Hi Brett,

Thanks for the kind mention and the link.

Best regards

3 Steve February 9, 2008 at 7:46 pm

State Street Barbers in Boston is fantastic! The do a great job on my hair and beard. Only place I’ve found that can keep my 1-2″ beard looking neat and tight…

4 Brett McKay February 10, 2008 at 6:03 am


You’re very welcome!

5 amy February 12, 2008 at 6:33 pm

my husband got a haircut at some hole-in-the-wall barber shop when we were engaged and had the time of his life. at the time, i didn’t get it.

thanks to you i now see that the barbershop culture, though waning, could be as fun for men as the salon culture is for (some) women. i’m not a salon goer myself, but i can see the appeal. too bad about the lack of barber shops. you have made me a believer.

6 Hurlequin March 2, 2008 at 2:08 pm

I once stuck my penis into a barber’s mouth. True story.

7 TheReverend March 2, 2008 at 9:48 pm

Hawleywood’s Barber Shop in Newport Beach and Long Beach CA is absolutely the best ever. I was there last week for a shave and a haircut. Name me any place in America where you can get better service for $30.00? NO WHERE. They are the best, bringing back old school barbering techniques. I’ve been a loyal customer for the past 8 years, but I wish it was longer. I’ve moved to CO but when I’m back in town I always make an appointment. I suggest you do the same. Call ahead as they book up fast.
The Reverend

8 Neon John March 3, 2008 at 1:57 am

I got a kick out of this one. The same barber that gave me my first haircut still cut my hair until a couple of years ago. When he turned 100 years old, he decided to close his shop and move his chair to his house! His price was $3 for the works because he didn’t think a haircut and a shave was worth more than that.

That was something that I most looked forward to – the cut and a shave every two weeks. And the vibrator massage afterwards, of course.

I don’t know where you live but around here (East Tennessee), barber shops are still plentiful. I can think of 5 or 6 within a few miles’ drive. My “new” barber gives me the same “works” but unfortunately, at twice the price. It costs me SIX bux for the full treatment nowadays. Darned inflation!


9 Jamin May 23, 2008 at 3:27 pm

What a coincidence, I went to Monty’s Barbershop, but in Ames Iowa for the first time a few weeks ago. It was a great place, small though, just one chair and one guy. You’re right about the barber shop atmosphere, it’s great. While I was there 6 or 7 guys must have been through, including a father and two sons.

10 Rob September 8, 2009 at 9:53 am

Salons versus Barbers. I went to a barber in Chicago when I interned there; got the haircut and shave. Really cool experience! I haven’t found one down in South Florida, as finding a good barber is like finding a needle in a haystack. If you don’t feel comfortable with the person holding the scisors, its not going to work out. Other than being a good barber, along with it comes the requirement of personality. The guy I go to now is at a salon (sigh), but I’ve been going to him for some time now, and the price is good, and he has cool tatoos and used to box. Not everything can be perfect, but this is a good compromise. If only we can raise the level of BS.

11 sam November 19, 2009 at 5:58 pm

Okay, so I’m looking for a good barbershop in my area that does a man’s shave. Any suggestions? I’m in the riverside/corona area of southern cali. I was left wanting in your review however b/c you fail to mention a few key facts: namely location and price. Also, the barbershop map isn’t very useful…what you need is to put every barber shop you can find in a database so people can search and read reviews of the ones that are close to them. Thanks for the help.

12 kevin March 12, 2010 at 9:17 pm

A barbershop is the only way to go . Hair tonic , shaving cream , Talcum powder . Im lucky I have three different barbers I can use and they all use a straight razor to tidy you up . One has a massager he uses and one uses a vaccum hose to suck up all the loose hair .I would let my hair grow past my butt if I had to use a salon that smelled of perm, fingernail polish and talks about periods .

13 MJ May 17, 2010 at 6:54 pm

There are plenty of Barbers in the Chicago area and suburbs. In fact, there appears to be a resurgences. There’s even a new Barber School open up right in the downtown of Chicago.

There are a few shops in the Chicago area that I would recommend:

First and foremost is Joe’s Barbershop 2641 West Fullerton Avenue, Chicago IL . Joe Sr has been cutting hair at this location for 40 years, and the tradition continues with his son Joe Jr. Great for vintage and modern cuts. They also do hot lather shaves. A traditional shop with an up beat attitude. And they sell LAYRTIE pomade. They even have SUNDAY hours.

Second is The Belmont Barbershop 2328 West Belmont Avenue, Chicago IL. Another real barbershop that also does basic regular cuts and some vintage 50s cuts, and hot lather shaves. Only downside is they require appts and parking is terrible. In my book, a barbershop should be strictly walk-in first come first served. They get very upset if you are late.

Third is Esquire Barbershop 22 W St Charles Rd, Lombard IL. Another traditional barbershop that takes walkins. A modern interior and vibe, but these guys do awesome traditional barbering.

Finally is Slims Barbershop in 77 E Woodstock St, Crystal Lake, IL. Slim started out at the famous Model Barbershop in Chicago, then started his own shop in Crystal Lake. Slim does excellent military type haircuts, fades and other urban styles, and of course regular cuts. Recently remodeled his shop, but the haircuts are still traditional. Good attitude and good traditional barbering. Walkins welcome.

Another cool thing is all the above, with the exception of the Esquire, have a presense on the Internet – myspace, facebook, or their own sites. Most do have reviews on YELP.

There are many more, but I know of these either from personal experience or from friends.

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