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Finding the perfect barber can take years. Lucky for you, we’ve done some of the legwork (actually, you helped us with that, so thank you for your submissions). No matter what part of town you’re in or what your price range is, we’ve got you covered. And if you haven’t tried it yet (and if you’re over the urban mountain-man look), getting a professional shave is kind of life-changing.
Baxer Finley Barber & Shop (Photo by mkwilliams via the lisbdnet.com Featured Photos pool on Flickr) BAXTER FINLEY
You may know Baxter’s fine line of men’s products (and if you don’t, we highly recommend them), but Baxer Finley Barber & Shop is just about the most beautiful barber shop you’ll find as well. With its hardwood floors and immaculate presentation, you’ll actually feel like you’re treating yourself to a spa day at Baxter’s. It doesn’t come cheap—$40 for a haircut and $40 for a shave, or $75 for both—but for dudes looking to take care of themselves, you’ll find nothing better.
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Baxter Finley is located at 515 N La Cienega Boulevard in West Hollywood, (424) 278-9900
Sweeney Todd”s (Photo by victoriaharrisphotography via the lisbdnet.com Featured Photos pool on Flickr) SWEENEY TODD”S
Sweeney Todd’s has a “Mad Men”-esque aesthetic that goes beyond skin deep. There’s vintage furniture, pulp novels and film-noir jazz that make the shop a cool place to hang out, the shop’s three highly skilled barbers and clientele like to hang out and shoot the shit. But gone are the days where you’d wait two hours reading a magazine for a haircut. The longtime favorite of Los Feliz, East Hollywood and Silver Lake now books haircuts online, bringing it into the 21st century without losing an ounce of its cool. A standard haircut is $26, while a three-towel hot shave is $36. Treat your dad here on Father’s Day or his birthday with ‘The Works,’ a shave, haircut and 10-minute vibrating massage for $70.
Sweeney Todd’s is located at 4639 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Feliz, (323) 667-9690
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Even those of us who aren”t in the Silver Lake area still find the time to make it to Vinny’s. The barbers here are top notch; just look at their own perfectly trimmed beards and coiffed hair as all the proof you need. A small, unassuming place in Virgil Village, Vinny’s has a similar, old-timey barber shop feel to Sweeney Todd’s down the street and the quality of haircuts in our experience has been about equal, but it’s easier place to get an appointment here. Our advice: if you’re looking for a quality haircut and shave in the Silver Lake area at a specific time, try either Vinny’s or Sweeney Todd’s and you can’t go wrong. A basic cut here is $25; add a full straight-razor shave and it’s $45. Ask nicely and they might even pour you a shot of whiskey. You’re also getting a couple minutes of vibrating massage for free, by the way.
Vinny’s is located at 852 N Virgil Avenue in East Hollywood, (323) 426-9536
THE FADE INN
The Fade Inn is as about as no-nonsense as a haircut and a shave gets in L.A. You walk in, and with little to no wait, you’re in and out with a haircut for under $20. But while you could say that about a lot of barber shops, this is one that will actually do just as good of a job as a fancier place where you’re paying in part for the décor, atmosphere and free beer. Fade Inn does women and children, too, but their bread and butter is the time-honored taper fade.
The Fade Inn is located at 5633 1/2 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, (323) 467-7270
Jake’s in Eagle Rock wins for best bang for your buck. A $15 haircut—$15!—in a real barber shop that isn’t Supercuts, and they’ll do just as good a job as anyone else. It’s a popular place with three barbers working at a time that serves both a Highland Park and Eagle Rock clientele, so if you’re going without an appointment, it’s best to go early or in the middle of the day. The atmosphere is welcoming, though, if you want to hang out and chat, watch TV or read a magazine. No shaves here, but if you’d like, they’ll clean up your beard a bit as they go.
Jake’s is located at 4561 Eagle Rock Boulevard in Eagle Rock, (323) 256-2913
Syndicate Barber Shop (Photo by deanmackayphoto via the lisbdnet.com Featured Photos pool on Flickr) SYNDICATE
A shout out to Long Beach, which has a number of excellent barber shops. Our favorite has to be Syndicate where for $20 you can get one of the best haircuts of your life. A hot towel shave also runs $20, making it a bargain for both. The atmosphere is perfect, and you’re walking distance to great bars on both Broadway and 4th Street, making it a worthwhile visit on a day trip to Long Beach or an excellent place to treat yourself if you live in the area. You can make an appointment, or not.
Syndicate is located at 2749 E Broadway in Long Beach, (562) 433-7733
THE NEW CALIFORNIA BARBER SHOP
The first thing you notice after you nudge the freely swinging screen door on the New California Barber Shop is the sweet mural of the San Jacinto wind turbines. Then there”s the sweet licks of the shop”s dog, Shelley Long, and the sweet licks from a Black Sabbath record playing on vinyl at a reasonable (read: lower than Floyd”s) volume. The easy-with-only-the-slightest-pretense New California is the creation of Brian Girgus, barber and longtime California rock scene fixture, who”s played in such cult bands as Lowercase, Nodzz and Personal and the Pizzas. The spot is lightly hipsterish, but not at all rockerish or man-caveish—your dad or your kid brother would be at home here, as was comic Neil Hamburger—and with a price tag of $35 for a haircut including a straight razor and a hot towel, and $10 for a beard trim (“I can almost guarantee you need one,” New California”s website helpfully offers), it”s barely a burden on your wallet. Waits for walk-ins aren”t long except at peak times on the weekend, when you can leave your phone number and Girgus will give you a call when your turn comes up. — Greg Katz
The New California Barber Shop is located at 2203 W Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park, (213) 568-3667
Santa Monica may seem like the last place you”d expect to get a classic, old-fashioned shave and a haircut that won”t empty your wallet, but Active Barbers is the spot if you”re on the Westside. Furnished to emulate the classic neighborhood barbershop look, head honcho Steven made sure to have the best chairs on hand to provide the most comfort when you”re under the blade. And the job they do with the hair? Just take a peek at their Instagram to see the level of detail they aspire to. And the cherry on top? They provide you with beer. — Carman Tse
Active Barbers is located at 2509 Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica, (310) 405-1781
If you’re in Pasadena, look no further than Gold Rush for your follicular needs. For only $20 for that sick fade and $10 for a beard trim, you’re set. They’ll even shave some words or shapes into your hair, if you so desire. Who says Pasadena isn’t cool? It’s a small place, so you have to make an appointment.
Gold Rush is located at 1581 E Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, (626) 497-1344
Bolt Barbers (Photo by rios-enriquez via the lisbdnet.com Featured Photos pool on Flickr) BOLT BARBERS
To start with, Bolt Barbers is big, meaning you probably won’t have to wait long for a haircut. The place is immaculately set up, with beer and coffee on tap and a terrific selection of hair products if you’re in need. And it’s Downtown, making it pretty convenient if you live anywhere on the east side of town, right by cool places like The Last Bookstore. It’s a tad pricier than some of the other options at $30 for a haircut and another $30 for a shave, but if you’re in Downtown or passing through, or looking for something right away or late (they’re open ’till midnight on most days), it’s a convenient option.
Bolt Barbers is located at 460 S Spring Street, Suite B in Downtown, (213) 232-4715