The Classic Charm of New York Barbershop Traditions

Since the beginning, the barbershop has been much more than a place to get a haircut. It didn’t take long before it became a place of social connection and building community. Wherever men gathered to cut their hair and trim their beards, they built friendships and forged an escape from the pressures of work and the home. As a result, the barber shop became a central community hub and meeting place.


Now let’s get into how to find a great barbershop in NYC. First of all, we recommend that you start with your local community. After all, nothing can match the authentic connections forged in a community barbershop. It’s also good to know that New York barbershops both match the pace of the city that never sleeps and create a haven from its always-on energy. The mix of action and chill allows for quick cuts and lazy afternoons spent styling and chatting in equal measure.

The Elements of Authenticity

A good barber has excellent attention to detail and dedication to the craft of barbering. Any barber worth their salt will be able to give you traditional haircuts as well as styles inspired by the latest trends. They can also advise you on what cut will suit your face and hair type. 


Of course, the classic New York barbershop experience offers more than just a haircut. Beard maintenance has always been an important part of male grooming, and it has risen in prominence thanks to the hipster beard trends of the 2010s.


When it comes to beard cuts, most men are aware of the classic barbershop shave. It’s a straight razor shave where the barber starts by applying lather to the face. This pre-shave prep isn’t just to get that old-timey shave feeling – the shave brush’s movement over your skin loosens any dead skin cells and dirt, acting as an exfoliant. The lather is also moisturizing, leaving the skin feeling smooth, clean, and ready for that shave.


Then comes the shave, done with a razor-sharp blade. When performed by an expert, you reduce the risk of ingrown hairs, razor burns, and razor bumps. The final touch is, of course, a heated towel. This soothes the skin and promotes circulation for better hair growth. As a bonus, it’s also extremely pleasant and relaxing.

Unique Atmosphere & Design

Authenticity is a feeling, and it’s something you’ll pick up the moment you step into your barbershop. Authenticity is also reflected through the decor. As a result, many barbershops in NYC opt for a stripped-back, industrial look that evokes a sense of history with a clean, modern edge. This style has a masculine feel while creating a chic, laid-back space that facilitates connection.


Vintage décor and retro styling are also common barbershop themes. And historically, men would bring their shaving mugs to their usual barbershop and leave them there. This gave them a feeling of belonging and ownership over the space. You could tell how successful a barber was by the number of mugs he had accumulated. These mugs were often ordered in a ranking system, giving preference and prestige to those who had been around for the longest. 


Old-style barbers chairs are also a popular way for New York barbershops to show their history. Of course, in some cases, the chairs are replicas that simply evoke the history of the profession and provide an atmosphere of expertise and craft.

The Evolution of Men’s Grooming

It’s true that affection for the past runs through much of barbershop culture. However, the profession has been quick to incorporate new technologies and innovations. High-end New York barbershops are at the cutting edge of what’s possible. From online bookings to using augmented reality to try out new looks, these technologies have touched just about every element of a barbershop appointment.


That said, a visit to a barbershop in NYC is inherently a personal experience. Over time, you develop a relationship with your barber, and they can tailor their cuts to your preferences. Overall, the community-building culture of the barbershop has its most basic unit in the relationship between a man and his barber.

Community Engagement & Social Impact

The camaraderie of a barbershop often extends beyond the walls of the shop itself. As a lynchpin of the local community, New York barbershops are often involved in local outreach initiatives. 


For example, barbershops across the city have become involved in initiatives focusing on men’s mental health. The tradition of talking through problems with one’s barber and barbershop community makes this a natural fit. Through barber training and other programs, barbers can help tackle the stigma surrounding mental health and seek professional help. 


Whether your barbershop is new or old, it’s so much more than a place to get a haircut. When you become a regular, you become part of a brotherhood. Join us at The Great Style Barber Shop if you’re looking for an authentic barbershop experience, and let’s connect over your new cut.