BARBER SHOPS - HOUSTON, TEXAS
Barbering is one of the oldest professions in the world. With the advance of civilization, barbering and hairstyling developed from its early cultural and tribal beginnings into a recognized profession.
The study of this progression leads to an appreciation of the accomplishments, evolution, and position of high esteem attained by early practitioners. The cultural, esthetic, and technical heritage they developed provides the basis for the prestige and respect accorded to the profession and its services today.
—Milady’s Standard Professional Barbering, 5th Edition (2011)
Editor’s note: Milady’s is a primary resource for students preparing for the Class A Barber License examination in Texas.
So, I have noticed a recent trend in Houston that accompanies a classic shave with the sweet aroma of Barbicide and pomade: the independent gentlemen’s old school barbershop is on the rise and I think it’s a beautiful way of snapping the chains to pop-out, retail haircut joints. I always feel welcome and appreciate the different degrees of personality and flair that come with entering an independent store. That goes twice for where I want to get my haircut.
I have had the pleasure of entering a few of these local establishments here in Houston, TX, and let me stress—the days of SuperCuts and Great Clips are over. When you first walk in to one of these places, the men greet you joyfully (even though at first glance some of the guys might make you walk to other side of the street). Everyone’s hair is slicked back with a shine you can’t help but notice—like you slipped and fell into an episode of Mad Men—and hope you leave with.
The beauty of these shops is the way the owners customize them— from your simple but gorgeous plain-janes (a look hard to accomplish the proper way) to your shops with every item the proud owner has ever collected stuck to the walls. I entered one that was a re-sale shop with an awesome collection of vintage gear organized so nicely it was more like being in a museum. These guys have not just a passion for hair, but a passion and soul for the people they serve. And they don’t mind showing it.
One establishment I entered had a calm and warm waiting area where patrons can enjoy a fine top-shelf whiskey and a gentlemen’s magazine. The moment I sit down in one of these places, I feel comfortable. I just zone out looking at the skateboard decks on the wall, or picking up a two-years-out-of-date tattoo magazine. I know this is it. I can never go back.
The warm shaving cream on your neck as they smoothly and delicately cut any excess hair… like the barber is painting a fine canvas. The straight razor they use to shape my fresh cut… What an awesome feeling. And of course my confidence shoots through the roof as the barber whisks my apron off like he’s dancing with a bull. I leave there knowing I cant wait to go back. These guys rock.
Guide note: Barber shops included in this dispatch are:
Big Cat’s Barbershop & Shave Parlor - 3622 Main Street, Ste. F, Houston, TX 77002, (713) 533-9545
Cutthroat - 2203 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007, (713) 864-7000
Hygienix Barber Company - 3811 Kirby Dr., Houston, TX 77098, (832) 741-6281
Modern Barber College - 1015 Eagle Street, Houston, TX 77002, (713) 520-0855
The Roots Barbershop - 7889 Highway 6 S, Houston, TX 77083, (281) 561-8812
Shave Houston - 702 W. Dallas, Suite B, Houston, TX 77019, (713) 487-0034
* * *
Max Burkhalter is a born and raised Texan. Max picked up his first camera at seven, took pictures of rabbits on an old Canon and was hooked. Unfortunately, that was also the last time he touched a camera for 20 years, until a recent black and white film class re-ignited that childhood nostalgia and a deep desire to create beautiful imagery. Max is based out of Houston, TX, works at a Treatment Center during the day, and does photography outside of that. Follow him on Tumblr at maxburkhalter.tumblr.com or check out his portfolio site at www.maxburkhalter.com.
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