The straight shave is a rediscovered relic. Its popularity skipped a generation, with baby boomers eschewing it in favour of god-awful disposable razors, god-awful electric razors or growing a hippie beard. The mistakes of our fathers (and the damage they did to barbers’ livelihoods) are slowly being reversed by a new generation of straight shave enthusiasts who know the best place to get a blade held to your throat is at the barbershop. Here are a few of Calgary’s best.
Razor’s Edge Barber Shoppe
According to the legend, a child from Calgary was trained in the art of the hot shave in the town of Jib Janine in the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon. The boy returned a man and brought his talents to a retro-cool barbershop in Lake Bonavista. Actually, that’s a myth. It’s a few facts I pulled from this awesome profile on Razor’s Edge’s Tarik Kaddoura, which lays out the surgical precision his shop incorporates into each straight shave it administers. #107, 12100 Macleod Tr. S.E.
London Barbers proudly advertises “the best hot towel shave in Calgary.” While a bold claim, they also offer a traditional Turkish shave that is easily the finest (i.e. only) in all of Calgary. What is a Turkish shave? As this video shows, it’s very similar to the hot towel shave, but involves a manly exfoliation process (fire is involved) which cleanly burn away lingering hairs. 1108 4 St. S.W.
Omar’s on Elbow Drive
If you want an authentic Mad Men-era straight shave, look no further than Omar Masri’s shop. His customers will call it a hole-in-the-wall and say it’s the best in the same breath. Masri has been barbering since the late-1960s, so if you can line up a shave with the man himself (he’s semi-retired) your face will be shaved by a guy who’s discussed the Moon landing while slashing the whiskers off a suspected communist. 9620 Elbow Dr. S.W.
Pro-line Barber Shop
If simply getting a straight razor held to your throat isn’t enough of an adventure, do it inside a gun store. Pro-line Shooters II is a gun shop in Inglewood, where firearms enthusiasts meet to swap hunting tales and browse the latest from Glock. Recently, Pro-line’s owner Brian Kent, heightened the camaraderie found at his store by offering a full-service barbershop within. The result is a hybrid shop that will expertly shave your face while growing hair on your chest. 1426 9 Ave. S.E.
Image courtesy of ljlandre.