The 1880s to the 1940s were the golden age for barbershops. During this time, men socialized in all-male hangouts, and barbershops rivaled saloons in popularity. Visiting the barbershop was a weekly, and sometimes daily habit. Men would stop in not only for a haircut and a shave, but also to hang out with friends and share stories.
Barbers are interesting guys with interesting stories to tell each of them have fascinating stories to share & guys feel at ease to say what’s on their mind. There is conversation about politics, cars, sports, girls and family. In between the banter, jokes are told and laughs are had & everyone is involved: the barbers, the customers getting their haircut, and the customers waiting to get their haircut. Adding to the enjoyment is the chance a variety of men take part in the conversation; young, old, and middle-aged join in the mix.
The first blow to barbershops came in 1904 when Gillette began mass marketing the safety razor. Their advertisements touted the razor as more economical and convenient than visiting the barbershop. The use of safety razors caught on, and during World War I, the US government issued them along with straight razors to the troops. Having compared the two razors size by side, upon returning home from the front many soldiers discarded both the straight razor and their frequent trips to the barbershop. Going to the barber for a shave became a special occasion instead of a regular habit.
Today there is a clear trend back to the barbershops for guys, bought on mainly by the emerging fashion of fades & beards. This has lead to an entirely new generation of barbers & shops, young tattooed coolios dishing out the cuts & banter! So although there was the break in the tradition for 30-odd years… WE’RE BACK!