Like most guys, I found the idea of spending more than $US20 on a haircut to be a bit ridiculous. What could a fancy barber really offer me that would be worth the upcharge?
So, because of that I toiled for years trying to find a “good value” — somewhere that would give me the specific haircut I wanted for a low price.
It turns out, that’s nearly impossible to find in New York City. In light of this, I decided it was time to see what all the hype was about with high-price haircuts.
If i was going to do this, I was going to do it right.
I went all out and visited Fellow Barber in New York City’s West Village. I had only heard good things about the shop, and I had even spoken to a few of their barbers for previous articles — all of whom were very knowledgeable.
A weird quirk: Fellow doesn’t take appointments. So when I decided to go last Saturday, their handy web app told me there would be an hour and a half wait. This would have been a dealbreaker, but you can also check-in on the web app and, as long as you arrive 30 minutes before your appointment, you save your place in line.
Ever the rule-follower, I arrived exactly 30 minutes prior to the estimate. At 11 a.m. the shop was already packed with plenty of fashionable village dudes popping in to put their name down on the waiting list or inquire about the wait. The amount of guys not turned off by the wait (two hours by this point) or the price ($US45) told me I was in the right place.
My name was called 20 minutes later and I sat in Bob’s vintage barber chair. He asked me how I liked my cut and I gave my instructions. He then asked some clarifying questions, and he was off.
As he started with the clippers, I could already tell the amount of care and detail that he was putting into it was beyond anything I’d ever gotten from a haircut. Though my hair was thick and quite long, the clippers never struggled. He also spent way longer than average, which is always a good sign.
As we moved into the scissor phase of the cut, I would swear the water used in the spray bottle was scented. In a surprise move, Bob asked me before he cut the top if the length he was holding was acceptable. I told him that a little shorter would be good. Watching Bob cut my hair was more like watching a prize-winning hedge trimmer craft the perfect hedge swan.
When the scissors portion was done, he then shaved the back of my neck with a straight edge razor and warm shaving cream. I could barely feel the blade on skin.
A steamed towel was then put over my face without warning, which ended up being the perfect finish, as Bob then used it to wipe away the hair cuttings. He then offered to put product in it, but I declined.
When I left the chair, I felt incredibly content. The haircut I usually dread was elevated to a ritual of self-care. In just 30 minutes I felt completely rejuvenated.
I’m completely ruined for any lesser haircuts. In short: The extra money, if you can afford it, is so worth it.
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