Men’s hairdressing used to mean waiting in a queue to have most of it removed as quickly as possible, a quick dust off with the barber’s brush and plenty of change from a twenty.
But is the old-fashioned no-frills barber dying out, as image-conscious blokes shun the short back and sides and seek out swanky hipster cuts instead?
The surge in spending in hipster styled new age barbershops over the past decade has been accompanied by a decline in “basic cut” hairdressing. The old macho thing of ‘just shave it’ is dying. Guys are also more inclined now than 10 years ago to spend 45 minutes in the chair.
In upmarket clip joints like Hunk in Święty Marcin street, that’s the minimum amount of chair time a guy can get away with. Haircuts there start at 60PLN and rise to more than 100PLN for a more complex service.
While the prices may come close to a year’s budget at the suburban barber for some, it seems that many “aspirational and sophisticated men” are happy to drop this much every month on a personalized cut.
There was always a sector of the market that spent big on hair but it’s really taken off in the last five years. It’s passed the point of it being a metrosexual thing. They started the whole movement but it’s infiltrated the mass market. As a result, being well groomed is now seen as desirable, rather than a weakness. Machismo is counter-productive if you want to get a female. You now have to package yourself in the best way that you can.
When we spoke to our local old school barber in Marcinkowskiego street, he told us that his clientele base has slowly but surely dwindled to just a trickle and it’s not easy to keep his doors open. And, he is grateful for his loyal base of young and old who don’t want to wait in a queue and they don’t want the full spa treatment and to be relieved of 100 PLN either.
I for one prefer the old school barber. I love having my hair cut while talking to the older generation who have some real stories to share. They have lived a full life, experienced wars even. For me its a welcome break from everything that’s hip. A time to get real without all the flashy interiors and tattoo-covered barbers. Plus a cut only costs me 15PLN and I walk away with change in my pocket and a new story to share every single time.
For those that appreciate the old school barber pop into Wojtek on Aleje Marcinkowskiego 1 in the Old Town.