The barbershop has long been a fortress of male solitude. So much so, the concept of a dude going into a building marked with a striped red and white pole to get their follicles pruned has been utterly romanticized. Indeed, a lot of us guys have these idyllic thoughts of our grandfathers slinking into a ratcheted chair, leaning back, and getting into a discussion with his favorite barber about the dominance of Rocky Marciano or the rumors of that baseball team from Brooklyn moving westward, even if grandpa never gave two shakes about boxing or baseball. Of course, there are no women to be found in this archetypal vision, which is just as well, since we’re guessing grandma was too busy chilling in some equally idealized version of a beauty salon.
While modern-day male sensibilities may make it easy to think of this kind of hair-cutting environment as nothing more than a thing of the past, the truth is that there are still several places that proudly serve as bastions of this uniquely grown-up version of a boyhood clubhouse. To be certain, Orange County has a nice smattering of venues that adhere to the old-school barbershop philosophy quite terrifically. If you are an OC guy who’s looking to get his “ears lowered” – yes, it’s a silly phrase, but it’s still somehow inexplicably used – it would behoove you to check out one of the following joints:
Hawleywood’s Barber Shop
1806 Newport Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Step back in time to an era when swing was king and St. Louis had two baseball teams. (That would be the 1940s for those of you who still cling to the “that was before my time” excuse for general pop-culture unawareness). These period-perfect barbershops certainly transport you to a bygone era, with vintage leather chairs, fedora-wearing talent, and an ambience that makes you feel like Jimmy the Weasel may be walking through the door any time soon. If you come here, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to enjoy: Each old-school session lasts about 45 minutes and includes a straight-razor shave and a hot towel treatment. Additional locations in Huntington Beach and Long Beach.
Golden Crown Barbershop
28971 Golden Lantern St
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
Offering affordable cuts, and shaves in a setting that can best be described as old school, it’s about as manly as it can get at Golden Crown Barber Shop. While you won’t find most of the pampering services here like salons, most men want a place where they can get a great cut and/or shave, and get a good talk in. All barbers here are known to be extremely friendly also.
Logan Bros. Shaving Co.
45 Vantis Dr
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
Aliso Viejo’s Logan Bros Shaving Co. looks like a place where men can really be men. A small, two chair barbershop, Logan Bros almost turned out being a cupcake shop thanks to Colin Logan’s wife. Thankfully he decided to fill it with old leather barber chairs and great smelling shaving creams. Opened in 2010, the shop gives off an old-home type of feel and is a great place for visitors to come in, get a hot-towel shave or cut, and hang out. Maybe it’s the abundance of old-timey signage, or the row of classic Stetson fedoras for sale, or even the slightly shopworn leather club chairs that await you in the waiting area. Whatever the reason, this venue feels like an old-school barber joint’s old-school barber joint. It is an atmosphere that is further cultivated by the traditional barber services they offer, which tends to go perfectly with their deep roster of complimentary beers that they offer to their patrons.
The Den Barber Shop & Shave Parlor
1854 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
What’s manlier than a vintage American flag hanging against wood paneled walls and old barber chairs? The Den Barber Shop and Shave Parlor in Laguna Beach offers OC residents a place to get a cut in a vintage barber setting at reasonable prices. Operated by veteran barber Brandon Ferguson, the 700-square foot shop hearkens to barbershops of the 60’s, offering everything from straight razor shaves, clipper cuts, beard trims, and more. So, forget the metro-salon environment. Stop by here and get a real cut!
Cuts and Glory Barber Shop
19755 Esperanza Rd
Yorba Linda, CA 92886
If you come here to get your hair cut, you are probably going to have to wait a bit for an open chair. But don’t let that discourage you in the least bit. In fact, celebrate this, because you can bide your time by watching the game on one of their 46 inch TVs, shooting some pool, or enjoying a cold drink. Plus, it’s an environment that is keenly crafted to promote conversations with other patrons as well as the staff. And really, that is where the true joy of going to a barbershop resides.
18/8 Fine Men’s Salons
650 Anton Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Okay, so you want to inject a little extra pampering into your hair-cutting experience. You know, stuff like scalp treatments, brow waxing, and manicures (it is totally fine if you want this stuff – we’re not here to judge). This place has got you covered. Both the locations feature semi-private stations, an indulgent salon-style setting, and a host of hair and skin services that will make you look all handsome and manly and such.
Metro for Men
15382 Alton Pkwy
Irvine, CA 92618
For those who want a hybrid between old-school male sanctuary and a more modern luxury experience, this place is right up your alley. It boasts all kinds of accoutrements to give it that special refuge feel; HD satellite televisions, fully stocked beverage bar, private locker room, and a traditional shoe shine stand. But it provides these services in a modern, luxe setting that will help keep you focused on the here and now. The male-centric environment also creates a relaxed atmosphere for guys to comfortably check out more advanced offerings, such as hair dyeing and spa treatments.