Barbershops: An Emerging Trend

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In the late 1800’s and the 1940’s, the local barbershop is where men went for all their grooming needs. The corner barbershop was a common site with its red and white striped pole out front. They were upscale, classy places for men to go to for their grooming. In barbershops they would feel relaxed and they could socialize while getting pampered. The interiors of barbershops were decorated in quite a sophisticated fashion. Counters made of marble lined the walls. These were filled with beautifully colored glass bottles of hair tonics and other men’s products. Floors were hardwood and walls were papered in stripes or something equally manly. Handcrafted oak and walnut barber chairs were the norm. Everything found in the barbershop had an artistic flourish and was covered in fine detailing, from the shaving mugs to the brushes, even the advertising signs. Sometimes you might even find a crystal chandelier hanging from a fresco painted ceiling. Delicious manly smells topped off the atmosphere inside the barbershops. The scents of wintergreen, cherry, butternut and apple flavored tobacco and pipe smoke filled the air and became ingrained in the wood interior. The smell of products like hair tonics, oils, pomades and neck powders mingled with the pipe smoke to create the ultimate in homey and inviting scents that men loved. They came in to relax and be pampered all in this perfectly masculine environment. Only men went to barbershops. They offered a place where they could talk and be themselves. The local barbershop not only took care of a man’s grooming needs but gave the men of the community a place to hang out. They gathered to discuss current event, community news and gossip while getting a shave or cut. Most men had standing appointments at the local barbershop. Some went weekly for a shave and a cut. Some men went every day for a shave. It was a routine for most men, just part of their daily or weekly activities.

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