Monday, 5 May 2014

The Modern Man: Why Traditional Barbershops are Making a Comeback

It always seems that what's old is new again. Popular fashions tend to recycle over time, as though style is not linear but rather a revolving door. Of course, refurbished styles and fashions are updated with a bit of a modern edge, but the inspirations are still that of yore. Prime example - the traditional male looks of the 1920s and 1930s are back in full bloom with military cuts, thick rimmed glasses and Great Gatsby-esque fashions. I've especially noticed a lot more buzz about traditional male barbershops recently, and felt inclined to delve into this a bit deeper. I spoke with Jesse Alberto from House of Barons on Sussex to shed some light on what's in for the gents.

I've noticed a resurgence of traditional male barbershops in the city over the past couple of years. Why do you think that is?

Men are recognizing that taking care of there looks can not only benefit how they look, but also how they feel on a day too day basis.  By taking care of themselves  and having a proper cut or shave in a traditional atmosphere is reminding men that mens grooming is not a lost art.  

What spectrum of services do you offer?

We try to keep things as simple and traditional as we can, we have a cut, a shave, and a clean up.  We  wanted to stay away from having a large menu of options.  Simplicity without over complicating things allows us to ensure that our quality will never suffer

What is the most popular style you are seeing requests for?

As I mentioned in my earlier response men are really back in touch with the traditional, we are seeing lots of the clean professional side parts,  pompadours evolve but never go out of style, recently we have been playing with some really detailed fades, the military cut.  Its all been done so its just finding a new way to break down the traditional and modernizing it in a new way. 

What do you think will be the popular hair styles for spring and summer? What about facial hair?

The warmer weather always brings shorter cuts, higher fades, more drastic lines, but i think we will be moving into more playful flows, a controlled mess I like to call it. Beards are in right now, I'm seeing them on all my clients, but i think men are going to me learning more and more how to groom them and how to make there facial hair match there whole look, if I had to guess I would say its going to be all about the details this year.

What are the benefits of getting a professional straight razor shave as opposed to shaving at home?

A single blade for sure, leaves less room for irritation, having the hot towel service is great  for the skin as well as the man.  A barber shop shave is a treat as well as a service, its a great once a week thing for men to do!

What styling and skin care products do you recommend for men?

That is really a case by case question, what people don't realize is how many skin and hair types there are.  We really took a lot time and testing in selecting the brands we carry to make sure that we cover the entire spectrum. We use the Crown shaving co.  for all of our shaves, they are a great company out of Toronto, we have a local beard oil from right here in Ottawa called Dapper, for the hair products we work mostly with TIGI and Layrite.  We also have a mens grooming corner that we bring in all kinds of unique, artisan brands and products, that also has a good portion of the Baxter of California line.


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