Whether a gent keeps his coif high and tight, or is growing it out to coil into a man bun (!), there’s no reason the traveling man can’t look his best no matter where he touches down in the world these days. A slew of new salons, or should we call them grooming establishments, catering specifically to men means that guys can be at their jet-set best and camera ready at a moment’s notice, even while on the road. Here are some of the barbers, shave shops, and salons you should be checking out on your next trip.
1. The Shave Barbershop, Atlanta
Billing itself as “not your father’s barbershop,” the Atlanta shave shack Shave Barbershop operates on a traditional “first come, first served” basis, so if you take a look in the mirror and see a few stray whiskers, you can just pop by for a shave and a haircut. Though it’ll cost you more than two bits! You can get any number of services including a quick shampoo, but the straight-razor shave is star attraction and includes the application of a pre-shave oil, hot towels, the shave itself, a facial massage, and an after-shave moisturizing treatment. They might even throw in a quick neck-and-shoulder massage to finish it all off.
2. Temple House Mi Xun Spa Barbershop, Chengdu
Have business in mainland China? Book a stay at Chengdu’s new Temple House hotel, and while your'e there, treat yourself to an old-school shave — tumbler of Maker’s Mark, Glenfiddich 12-Year, or Johnnie Walker Black in hand — at the Mi Xun Spa single-seat barbershop. Before work cocktails at the hotel’s swanky Jing Bar, schedule a wet shave with Refinery products and a soothing face and neck massage. Just what you need if you feel a bit bedraggled walking off the plane with its super-dry air, or after a day out at the Giant Panda Research Center near town.
3. The Mandarin Barber, Hong Kong
The Mandarin Barber has been one of Hong Kong’s top luxury hotels since it opened back in the '60s, and likewise, its salon and barbershop have become island institutions. Come spring sandal season, you’ll find the town’s well-heeled ladies flocking here for a Shanghainese pedicure. But the menfolk mosey over to the other side where there are four old-fashioned barber’s chairs facing mirrors framed by Art Deco-style Chinese wooden screens. The salon offers state-of-the-art touches like in-mirror TV screens to keep up on your news, but the ambiance is more like Mad Men meets the Orient. The barbers have almost all been here for several decades, and though you might not be a regular client, they’ll make you feel as if you’ve been coming in for years.
4. Jack the Clipper, London
The cheekily named chop shop Jack the Clipper was opened in the gritty-chic neighborhood of Shoreditch back in 1996 by a London-Turkish master barber, and now has four locations scattered across the British capital offering everything including full haircuts and colors, dyes, beard trims, shaves, and more. A shave will take just 20 minutes – you know, in case you need to get to an audience with the Queen – but in that time, you’ll get a eucalyptus-oil facial massage that opens your pores, a hot-towel wrap, a singing or threading of your ear hairs, an after-shave rub, and even an arm-and-shoulder massage. For a special experience, book an appointment at the Royal Space, “an elite barbering experience” set beneath the main Mayfair salon that was once the laboratory of a 19th-century physician who might or might not have been linked to Jack the Ripper’s murders.
5. Baxter Finley, Los Angeles
In the City of Angels, you never know when you’ll have to red-carpet ready, so it pays to keep the barbershop-inspired salon Baxter Finley in mind. Just follow the trail of guys walking down La Cienega with perfectly slicked-back hair and that just-shaved shine to their chins. The storefront itself is in a one-story bungalow with exposed brick walls, whitewashed wooden paneling, and overhead lights that wouldn’t look out of place in a boxing gym. The face shaves include hot-towel service and even a quick shave to clean up any stray strands on the back and sides of your neck. They even have their own line of hair, beard, and skincare products that you can take home with you in case you want to DIY, or don’t have time to stop in for an appointment (they also have tips and grooming guide videos on their website).
6. Spa Montage Barbershop, Maui
Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you have to scruff out. After all, you want to tan evenly on your face and be at your best for an evening of luaus or mai tais on the beach. The Kapalua luxury resort Montage has a small men’s barbershop with an antique barber’s chair and a gilt-framed mirror tucked away into its spa. Virile vacationers can get a straight-razor shave from the master barber, who first shaves with the grain, then re-lathers your face to shave across it for an extra-smooth finish. He then soothing your skin with a cool towel infused with essential oils, followed by a hydrating aftershave balm application. Don’t feel like going clean cut? The master barber will also trim that mustache or beard, take care of your nails, or administer a facial.
7. Precision Barber Club, Miami
You’re not ready for a night out at the clubs in South Beach until you stop by Precision Barber Club, opened in 2013, where you can get everything from shaves and haircuts to facials and massages. Many of their VIP packages include services such as hand and foot maintenance (otherwise called manis and pedis in less manly company), microdermabrasion treatments, cucumber facials, and libations such as wine, champagne, or even a full lunch or dinner from local celebrity chefs.
8. Harry’s Corner Shop, New York City
You figure a guy who helped start the hipsterific glasses brand Warby Parker knows face shapes better than most, so no wonder he launched a bespoke barbershop in Greenwich Village: Harry’s Corner Shop. The look is all classic white-and-black tiling, blond-wood shelves with bric-a-brac on display, and customers have their choice of treatments, including a good, old-fashioned shave and haircut combo. The shop even has a “Cut Archive” iPad app that lets them track regular customers’ cut and shave preferences over time so that each session is familiar but can be tailored to the moment’s requirements. You can take the experience to go with a variety of product gift sets, “shave plans” with products shipped straight to you based on your needs, as well as travel kits and more.
9. J.P. Kempt Barber and Social, San Francisco
Once upon a time, San Francisco’s Lower Haight was known more for unruly locks and flowing beards, but thanks to the J.P. Kempt Barber and Social, the men in this part of town are looking sleeker than ever. The aesthetic pays homage to classic American barbershops from the ’40’s with hand-painted gold-leaf window lettering, hardwood floors, vintage black-and-white Koken chairs, glass cabinets, and ceiling fans overhead. It’s like going out for a cut with your granddad. In a good way.
10. Roy & Son, Stockholm
Ever noticed how those Scandinavian men always have the best manes? It’s no accident thanks to shops like Roy & Son,which was established way back in 1950 and has been doing a brisk business in Stockholm’s trendy Sodermalm neighborhood ever since. Of course, you can opt for traditional treatments like the double shave — the first is with the grain and the second against it for a smoother finish — but whether or not you’ve overdone it on Swedish vodka the night before, the Hangover Treatment sounds like a little bit of Valhalla on earth. It includes elements of cleansing, exfoliation, toning, moisturizing, and massage that “clear the traces of yesterday.” Just in time for another night out in the land of the midnight sun.
11. Barber Supreme, Sydney
Once upon a time, the Rocks district of Sydney was home to boisterous ne’er-do-wells sailing the seven seas, but these days, it’s one of the city’s most upscale boroughs with trendy restaurants, tony boutiques, and gorgeous brick and sandstone buildings lining its cobblestoned streets. Clients walk past an ornate wrought-iron gate to the simple, light-filled shop Barber Supreme, just steps from the harbor, with vintage straight razors on the wall as decoration. Elvis or Patsy Cline might be playing on the sound system as you get a personalized consultation about your goals and needs — which should definitely include a scissor cut and wet shave.
12. Wise Owl Club, Washington D.C.
Every wonder how all those patrician politicians always look so put together? Chances are, a few of them are stopping by the neo-throwback spot Wise Owl Club (there’s a taxidermied buffalo head mounted on the wall) in tony Adams Morgan, which opened back in 2012. You can get all the usuals, including a cut, trim, or shave — but stop in anytime for a clean up to your ’do, a “gray blending” to bring a bit of youth back to your head (and relate better to the younger demographics in your electorate), or a shape up that will help you stay looking your best even if you don’t go for a full cut for a few months. And hey, if being in the capital makes you feel particularly patriotic, you can opt for a buzz cut or full head shave (with a straight razor) before heading to the local recruiter’s office.
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