A disappearing luxury

Ahhh the Barber Shop a mans way of relaxing and making him self feel pretty. This is one of the few ways I like to cheer myself up and make me feel good. Anyway I have a big date or interview or meeting I go to this one barber shop in Springfield. This started back when I was in AJROTC, a few of us on days of inspection or before a trip for competitions we would go to this shop and get a fresh high and tight cut and a Irish shave.

This however has changed because the barbershop I go to closed all of a sudden and I had no idea what happened or why they closed. This was a big heartbreak to me because I have very few personal traditions and this was one. Over the last two months I have been looking and trying to find a replacement but still nothing. I looked serval places but most of these classic barber shops are no longer around. All I was able to find were unisex salons or some weird style ones which I didn’t care for at all.

First I tried a haircuttery which is this chain of unisex hair salons and well I had many complaints to start with. First I was asked if I wanted to dye my hair or do some weird fashion styles which is a hell no for men. Second my hair stylist didn’t know what a high and tight or a Cesar cut was which are the two most well known cuts for men. Third you can’t have the normal conversations with your barber which really ticked me off because first thing out of this ladies mouth was Justin B… Finally the last thing that made me never want to come back was the price, almost $25 bucks for a cut. The price really was annoying because at my old barber I got a cut for $10 and a shave for another $8.

So a few weeks later I tried this other shop near a Chinese restaurant that I like and well this was the most uncomfortable I have ever. I walked in and it was a barber shop but it was one of these black barber shops. Now I am not being racist and that wasn’t the problem I had with it because I could care less but there is a large difference between the two. I took a seat and looked at a few magazines which were your normal sports and cars magazines. I kept on noticing a lot of the fellow customers looking at me and whispering which really made the whole thing awkward. Now once I finally took a seat my barber George was really kind and helped things calm down. He knew what he was doing and do a good job. Another barber next to him made a few comments however like “like how the hell do you know how to cut white people’s hair?” That comment really ticked me off and needless to say I’m never bothering with that place again.

So my constant thought is where did these gentlemen barber shops disappear to? And the only answer I can think of is the economy. Being a small business owner is really difficult these days and men can not expect to make a living wage off cutting hair which is sad. It used to be second to the doctor, your barber knew everything going on. He was trusted and well liked and many times held a position of influence in the community. This is disappearing quickly however and it is pretty depressing. I know a barber doesn’t charge much for a cut but you were always expected to leave a good tip if the job was well done. Many times one would leave between a 60% to even 100% tip during the holidays as a thank you.

I would love to find a barber shop in which one gets to know your barber and have great conversations while having your hair cut of getting a straight razor shave. I would be willing to pay more if there was such a place near me but my search continues for the real mans barbershop!


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