Let’s face it, the evolution of a gentleman is at its peak. Ever thought we’d also have our very own men caves. Back then hair dressing saloons or rather beauty parlours were for ladies, especially since their hair styles changed every day and got even more complex. For gents it could be done during a shower, but things have changed now.
Looking on the ladies saloons it was more than just a hair-do, it was and still is a woman’s getaway from house chores; nagging kids; grumpy husband; and of course office drama. It is a woman’s sanctuary were she can relax; unwind and pamper herself. It is also a perfect spot for them to catch up on their personal lives and of course brag to one another about what they have and all the other upgrades in their lives.
Well even though our hair do was not that complicated, but we also had and still do have our own sanctuaries simply known as barber shops. Barbers have been around for years and they have taken their business as serious as any other enterprise. These barbershops were also joints were men hang out and release their frustration and even debate on topics such as politics and other factors that affected them. It was said that barbers would be the first guys to know every rumour and talk of the town. Going to a barbershop was as good as buying a daily newspaper because you’d get informed of the current news. Barbershop businesses were also family business that were passed on from generation to generations. In most cases you find senior gentlemen working in a barbershop and regardless how well educated you were, those wise men would school you and lecture a thing or two about life. If you did history at school, you’d go there for extra classes as they would share their life and times of the then era.
As time went by these barbershops started disappearing and all there was left was beauty parlours that mostly catered for ladies. For us was just the barber by the corner operating under a gazebo with a single cutting machine powered by a motor battery. These barbers are still around even today and they are easily found in the townships and in the town CBD. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them as they are also entrepreneurs especially since the unemployment rate is high in South Africa. I must say they are also convenient since they are found in almost every commuting block. I used get a cut there too once in a while when I’m in a rush going to school and they are very much affordable. However the service was limited and there was no sense of privacy since it was in an open space. One of the downs for getting a cut from these barbers, is that they leave you with evidence that you just had a cut as there will be some access hair somewhere around your face or on your clothes. At the end of it all is becomes just a haircut, nothing more nothing less.
Today things are changing drastically and for the best, men are taking their look very serious. As much as they would get out of their way to look for the perfect outfit, they also take time to get themselves looking well-manicured. Those days where men looked rough and macho are gone. It is no longer just a cut and even the ladies can testify. It takes more than just a dapper suit to look good. Since we not that complicated and don’t have a lot of admit to look dapper, these little things such as getting a cut makes a big impact. For us men less is more and at times you don’t even need a powerful suit to make an impression, that nicely trimmed haircut and a well-groomed beard completes the look.
The old-school barber shop are making a good comeback, although now most of them are known as men’s grooming studios. And like I said that it’s more than just a cut, it’s a modern gentleman’s cave. You get to meet other gentlemen from different fields of work, share views and ideas of changing the game. All of that by just coming in for a cut and it doesn’t end there. These modern barbershop, you can still go there in the morning before heading to work or a meeting and won’t even tell that you just had a cut. You get a wash after the cut and sometimes even a head and shoulder massage to calm the nerves down.
Now after that experience one will definitely go back for another amazing experience. Now who said business deals can only be done on the golf course, barbershops are the new spots for business get-togethers. Give it a shot, you’ll never know who you’ll meet.
Until next time, stay clean