Friday, November 27, 2009

Straight Razor Shave



My grown son has recently become fascinated by the idea of straight razor shaving. He has researched the tools, watched how-to videos, and begun saving for a high quality straight razor kit. The only thing missing is that he had never actually had a straight razor shave. To me, the idea of investing in pricey straight razor equipment without ever having had the shave was a bit like buying golf clubs without ever having been golfing. So while he was home for Thanksgiving vacation, I decided to treat him to a straight razor shave in a traditional barber shop.

Now Fredericksburg is a historic town with many old timey barber shops. But when I started to call around, I had a hard time finding someone who offered the service. I kept getting the same answer...no one does that anymore. Not even the guy who’s been in business for 65 years. And searching the internet didn’t yield anything promising, until I came across an old forum in which someone mentioned a straight razor shave at a place near the mall. A little more searching turned up a gem of a place, “Village Square Barber & Hair” in the Village Square shopping center across from Costco.



So this afternoon, I accompanied my son to check it out. I could really see the appeal of this place. Men were getting classic haircuts, and everyone was treated to a soothing neck massage by the pretty young women who staffed the place. While there were a couple of women in the waiting area, and one holding a squirmy toddler for his first haircut, all the customers were men. Men’s magazines in the waiting area, and football on the wall-mounted TVs. My son got the full treatment he was looking for: hot steamy towel to soften the beard, an expert shave, a massage of after-shave, and a dusting of powder. All for $11. It was (literally) the closest shave of his life, and when he was done, his skin felt like it did before he hit puberty. While I’m sure there will be a straight razor in his future, at least now he understands the deft, experienced hand it takes to do it right. So this will give him something to shoot for while he’s hacking up his face.

And the point of this blog post is simply that when someone googles “Where can I get a straight razor shave in Fredericksburg?,” the answer will be here waiting for them.

8 comments:

Pat Hallesy said...

The other place is Mai's Barbershop in the Chatham Square shopping center. Mai was originally at the Village Square site (I think it's her sister who runs that one now), but expanded the business over to Chatham Ridge.

There is a really good reason that I'll drive an extra 20 miles to get my hair cut at Mai's - excellent service!

Merry N said...

Thanks for the info, Pat. It's nice to know that there is still a market for this service in town, and people who know how to do a really good job.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this posting. You are right it seems like no one in our area offers a hot lather shave, let alone a straight razor shave. My hubby is returning from Afghanistan and wants an old fashioned hot lather straight razor shave. Thanks to your post, I did not give up and we now have a place to take him in Fredericksburg! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.... I was getting frustrated with calling around and getting the reaction that "no one does that anymore" like this was the silliest request in the world! Well, enough men seem to want this service seeing all the forums online. I would think that The Villiage Barber and Mia's should have a huge sign on their window advertising this service. :-)

Merry N said...

I hope your husband enjoys his shave! Glad this blog post helped you out.

Classic Shaving said...

Shaving using the straight razors or double edge razors means giving myself the closest shave possible with less nicks and cuts. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I recently moved from Iowa City and am thankful you pointed me toward a great hot towel shave. When in Iowa City I would frequent Chicago and I always stopped in for a shave at a "Playboy magazine ranked" barber shop. Village Square gives me everything I got in Chicago at less than half the price. What a great deal! Thanks again.

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Steve Becken said...

This saturday, i heard an ad on the radio and went to this new barber shop on route 3. Loved the big mustache signboard. In the ad, The barber claimed that they had the best straight shaves in town. Well it was more than the best straight shave I've ever had. The shop just oozed class. The owner introduced herself to me as Lindsey the barber. Lindsey was the most charming and professional lady i have ever met. I highly recommend this shop if you like a butter smooth straight shave.