By Danice Abril
Illustration: Patty Ferriol
Photography: Danice Abril
Gone are the days where men would settle for a simple haircut. Gone also are the days when a trim on the sides would do; as well as the days where people joked about getting a reservation at a barbershop. All those days are in the past, as some guys in the local barbershop business are stepping up their hair game.
I searched far and wide (to the best of my commuting abilities) to look for the some of the best barbershops in the metro. So if you want more than just your usual cut, check these five shops out first.
- Slick Barbers Co.
Tucked in the outskirts of Makati, you’ll find a quaint little barbershop that’s unlike your normal barbershop. Slick Barbers Co. was established back in June 2014. One of Slick’s barbers and co-founders, Indio, revealed where the shop got its name. They wanted to bring back the classic neighborhood barbershop, a man cave if you will, where men can not only get clean shaves and haircuts but also hang out. They are so focused on the slick craft of cutting hair that it’s the only service they offer and that’s not a bad thing.
With P200, you could avail of their signature haircut, the “high fade pompadour,” or any of the classic cuts that they have. You name it, and they’ll surely give you more than what you paid for.
If there’s another thing that they offer, it’s the camaraderie. The barbers, the customers, the neighborhood, and the shop itself feel like a tight-knit community. After stepping out of the shop, you’ll not only have a slick new hairstyle, but you might end up with a few new friends. Slick Barbers Co. is growing. Starting off with plastic chairs, some fans, and old mirrors, they amassed a loyal following since they opened. Long lines are a common sight even before opening hours. Indio tells me that if you’ve been getting your haircut with them for a year, they’d reward you with a cut on the house. Now, that’s loyalty.
Just last week, they started accepting appointments via phone. Just text your name, preferred date, and time slot and you’re good to go. But the old-fashioned sign up sheet is still available at their door.
Slick Barbers Co.
For appointments: 0935-715-2488
- Back Alley Barbershop
Salcedo Village is said to be Makati’s upcoming lifestyle hub. It captures the essence of a true neighborhood, which is why Back Alley Barbershop choose to open their first shop there back in March 2014. Founder Owens Sun observed that barbers nowadays ignore the proper ways of grooming. It was because of this he decided to “bring back the traditional barbershop experience,” and with that Back Alley Barbershop was born.
When I asked Rafael Tan, business development manager, about the concept behind the shop, without hesitation he said “simple, straightforward and delivered well.”
Upon entering the shop, I was dumbfounded. It was simple and straightforward, and it’s what I expected a high-end barbershop to look like. Their attention to detail and their insistence on “delivering well” left me in awe. For example, the wooden frames of the mirrors are made out of Tanguille Wood whose finish is beautifully accentuated by the light inside the shop. The reading material available varies from art and history books to current events. They even have their own Spotify playlist.
Focusing on the specifics are their greatest strength, and their services also justify that concept. Their basic cut (P400) includes a cut, wash, a hot towel, a massage, and either coffee or a beer. A fresh cut and a drink, what a deal right? People can also avail of their signature “Hungover Treatment,” consisting of a massage and facial treatments. Now, it’s not only for the men who had a late night out but also for anyone in dire need of a rejuvenating and relaxing experience.
“A good place to get groomed,” is what sets them apart from the rest. Not only do you get proper grooming services but you also experience that feeling of being pampered. Back Alley Barbershop accepts reservations but walk-ins are welcome as well. Swing by their shop and #RediscoverOldSchool.
Back Alley Barbershop
For appointments: visit www.backalleybarbershop.com or call 0947-518-5736
- Felipe and Sons Barberdashery
The origins of this barbershop’s name are rooted in our countries’ history, or so I’ve learned. Felipe and Sons is a tribute to our motherland, with Felipe being the Philippines, and their customers as its sons.
Felipe and Sons Barberdashery is not simply a place to get a cut. The name Barberdashery is a mix of a barbershop and haberdashery. A haberdashery is a place where you can get your own customized piece of clothing. Here at Felipe and Sons, they customize pieces of clothing ranging from a simple top to a full suit depending on your preferences. They opened their first branch in Salcedo Village, Makati, back in December 2013. They then opened a branch in Ortigas just last November 2015, and have named this second branch as their flagship store.
“An updated version of the classics” is how Jonas Tamayo, marketing officer of Felipe and Sons, described the overall aesthetic of the shop. They choose to incorporate bricks and shades of grey and black to embody that ‘man cave aesthetic’ that concept barbershops seem to be going for. They wanted to make the customers feel that this place is designed just for them. The barbershop’s specialty is the basic cut and rinse (P360), which encompasses the complete barbershop experience. Hot towels accompany the cut; the rinse can be set to your preferred temperature; then a complimentary massage and hair styling with pomade follows after.
Their services include hair consultation, one of the highlights of the barbershop, where the customers consult with the barbers to find out what hairstyles suit them. It aims to inform the customers how to look and feel good.
The haberdashery can produce a full suit according to your fit and preference. Other than suits, they also make custom shirts, pants, and event barongs. They can also make dress shoes that fit perfectly in partnership with a local brand called Sapatero. They also sell several men’s items ranging from socks to bags. This is indeed a one-stop shop for men, which they consider as their edge over other concept barbershops. As a barberdashery, it’s literally a head to toe experience.
Felipe and Sons highly encourages reservations but walk-ins are also welcome. Fathers and sons can enjoy a 10% discount on any of their barbershop services. Head on over to any of their branches to “revive Manila swagger.”
Felipe and Sons Barberdashery
For appointments: visit www.felipeandsons.com or call 02-625-5735 (Makati branch) or 02-997-3724 (Ortigas branch)
- The Village Barber and Supply Shop
This Barbershop is another concept barbershop from the creative minds behind Back Alley Barbershop. The Village Barber and Supply shop is located in Burgos Circle, BGC and opened shop in August 2014. The owners took their Back Alley concept and stripped it down to only the essentials. But the experience is as full as any of their other establishments. Once you enter the shop you’ll be welcomed by a floor to ceiling window overlooking the Manila Golf Course, and it’s a breathtaking view. BGC is a mix of urban and natural environments and the owners wanted this shop to reflect its location.
The aesthetic of the interior takes a more minimalistic approach when compared to Back Alley. But they didn’t skimp on the details: the barbers counter is made out of recycled Yakal wood taken from old rail tracks, and they implemented copper accents in their lighting. They offer the same services as Back Alley but with some minor changes. Their basic cut (P350) does not include alcohol as part of their complimentary drinks.
The Village Barber and Supply Shop wants its customers to embrace the fact that they are part of a neighborhood. In addition to being able to provide proper grooming services, they also offer the convenience and ambiance of being a high-class barbershop in flourishing location. They also have two other branches located at the Grove by Rockwell in Pasig and at Solenad 3, in Nuvali.
If you find yourself in BGC, why don’t you grab a quick cut in your neighborhood barbershop, the Village Barber and Supply Shop, and get that #VillageVibe.
The Village Barber and Supply Shop
For appointments: visit www.backalleybarbershop.com or call 0906-451-4554 (BGC branch)
- Bond St. Social
Worry not, citizens of the south, because there’s a new barbershop that you have to check out. You don’t have to travel up north just to get your cut cause you can get it down here. Bond St. Social is located in one of the most hip places to be in the south, BF Homes Paranaque.
Fun fact: the oldest barbershop was established in Old Bond Street in London over 200 years ago when two barbers, William Truefitt and Edwin Hill, combined their talents and over two centuries later their legacy for good grooming has remained. “A way of paying respect and tipping our hats to the kind of men who paved the way for us all,” was the inspiration of the shop’s name according to Koi Busalla, one of the founders of Bond St. Social along with Steven Chase and Jedediah Patricio.
Once you enter the shop, you can already feel that masculine vibe. It truly is a man cave in the way the bricks mesh with the white accents. All in all, the place feel crisp and clean.
Their basic cut (P280) comes with the cut, a rinse, a hot towel, and to top that off, a classy pomade styling. Their specialties are fades and classic cuts like the “hard part pompadour,” “low and high pompadour,” “skin fade,” “executive contour,” “scumbag boogie,” “slick back,” and “flat top.” The options seem endless.
The founders didn’t simply build a barbershop for guys to get their cuts; they also want the place to function as a community where “southern gentlemen” can share thoughts on anything under the sun. Whether you’re a musician, a businessman, an athlete, a celebrity, an artist, a visionary, an employee, or just a regular guy, everyone is equal at Bond St. Social.
They offer a couple of all-year-around specials: a 10% discount on all services for fathers and sons and 20% discount on all services on your birthday.
Bond St. Social
For appointments: call 02-801-9415