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
410 Main St.
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
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.
18/8 Fine Men’s Salons
3995 Alton Parkway, Suite C
Irvine, CA 92606
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
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.
Logan Brothers Shaving Co.
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.
Cuts and Glory Barber Shop (Yorba Linda)
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.