Growing up, my dad would always take me to the barbershop. I still remember it like it was yesterday. We would wait on the red glittery vinyl couch, watch old shows on a small TV and I’d always ask for a Sprite from the classic old Coke machine. It was great! The guys were always so friendly and I always looked forward to our visits.
Once my dad got busier, I started going to salons. Salons became my go to because you could schedule your hair appointment in advance instead of walking in and wait for the next opening. It was convenient, but I lost that feeling of a familiar welcome place. Granted I was fortunate enough to go to salons where my cousin worked and one of my best friend’s wife worked. So yeah, I felt welcome and knew the people doing my hair, but I would always remember those times with my dad at the good old fashioned barbershop. It was a sweet memory for me. Why couldn’t there be one of those places again?
Well, here in Holladay, Utah (where I live) a barbershop recently opened up that I drove by frequently. The barber’s pole would always grab my attention and intrigue me to want to go back to my childhood roots. When you have a person that you trust that cuts your hair though, it’s hard to leave and try someone new. Fortunately, the girl that does mine had had a baby and was leaving for a bit. This was an ideal time for me to try out this new barbershop and let me just say it was quite the experience.
Blues Barbershop, in Holladay, welcomed me with open arms. As I walked into the shop memories quickly flooded my mind making me remember all the visits to get my haircut with my dad. I instantly felt like I could do this. Yet I have the hardest time with change and trying a new place when I know none of the barbers. Tabitha, one of the barbers, asked if I had been to a barbershop and I told her it had been years, but that I was ready to come back to my roots. On the inside I was nervous and trying to figure out what exactly I would tell her to do.
“Let’s do a two on the sides and then just trim the top,” I said. These were the words I had said regularly at the salon and figured that would be okay. Tabitha asked, “How much exactly are you wanting off the top? An inch? Half? Quarter?” I figured start with less and if I need more off we can work from there. Suddenly the clippers started and off she went. Hairs flying everywhere I felt like I was in the chair with Edward Scissorhands behind me. I hadn’t been that nervous getting my haircut in years. Everything went smoothly, but then came the neck trimming with a straight razor. Sweat was beading on my forehead and Tabitha could tell how nervous I was. I said just do it and I would be fine. Absolute perfection! I couldn’t have been happier with the results and I was instantly hooked.
I knew then that this would be a fun tradition to start with my own son. We had been cutting his hair ourselves, or begging a brother-in-law to do it for us. It was time for a professional and what better way than for me to take him like my dad used to take me? He sat in the chair still as can be and Tabitha worked her magic on my son making him feel comfortable, calm and looking amazing.
As she finished he looked up and smiled at fresh new look he had and we were so excited to have a place that we could go together and both feel comfortable going.
Finally, I figured if I am going to go to a barbershop maybe it’s time to step up my game and get the full experience: a cut and a shave. Again, my nerves were racing. I mean I shave my face all the time, but never had I let someone else shave my face. Having a straight razor to my neck made me instantly freeze, the thought of a flick of the wrist and suddenly blood would be everywhere. It was far from what I was thinking it would be.
Getting a shave is like what getting a facial for women would be: relaxing, soothing, the smells calm your nerves and you don’t have to do a thing. Let me walk you through the experience….
You lay in a comfortable chair and they take their shaving cream and lather up your face. The smell is heavenly and takes you to a state of complete relaxation. This is also softening the hairs and making it so that it will be easier to shave.
They then wrap your face with a warm towel to wash it off and this is a time to close your eyes and completely relax.
Once the towel is off, you get a warm pre-shave oil to soften the hairs more and making the face smooth for a smooth, close shave. Once that has soaked for a bit, another warm towel is wrapped around and you relax more and more. This is great because the next step I feel like I would have been much more stressed if I hadn’t had all the pre-shaving treatments.
Now comes the straight razor shave. When I thought about this, I thought that it was going to be be like the old fashion razors that I have seen in movies, but they just add a new razor blade making it more hygienic.
Once she was done, she applied aftershave which helps keep your face clean and free from bacteria and finished up with a cold towel to close up the pores.
Ladies, if you have had a facial you know how great and relaxing that can be. Fellas, if you have never had a shave, it’s time. This is something that would be a perfect birthday, Valentines or Christmas present for that guy that you just don’t know what to get him, but could use a little pampering. Honestly, I am excited to be back to the barbershop.