For many Filipinos, especially them GenXers and older, barber shops are a place reserved for fond nostalgia.
Barber shops were a place where dad would send his son for a haircut, while he himself would get a quick custom shave and backrub. The aroma of isopropyl and liniment fills the air.
The scenes in memory are often as vivid as the smell. And for some time—well, years—now barber shops were relegated to this, a memory. The few that sprout here and there fails to do justice to the glory years that they used to have.
Not anymore. From all parts of the globe, barbershops are making a renaissance of sorts. In the US alone, classy barber shops opening up from East to West coast.
Here in the Philippines, searches for barber shops are on the rise. There’s actually Google Trend data to show the surge in lookups for shops in the country:
Who’s driving the renewed interest in barber shops? Ironically, it’s the millennials, particularly the hipster culture that found fascination in the good old gentlemen era.
Ramon De Ubago III, CEO of Sports Barbers, said it also helped that the latest haircut and grooming staples, such as pompadours, man-buns, and trimmed beards are natural realms of barbers.
Mr. De Ubago said the distinct service, meaning the attentiveness and straightforwardness of barbershops, turn many young tryers into loyal patrons.
“Most women like being whisked away to a secluded world of pampering for their beauty treatments; most men will expect an efficient and clear-cut service—but not at the expense of style,” Mr. De Ubago said
This is the reason why in such a short period of time, shops like Sports Barbers, continue to grow. Just last December, it already opened its 12th branch in SM North EDSA in Quezon City.
“This place recreates the traditional concept of your go-to neighborhood barbershop and offers a destination. Its ambiance and service, strongly anchored on its team’s ability to provide everything from on-trend cuts to classic styles, is a compelling reminder of inherent masculine values—adventure, straightforwardness, humor and at the end of the day, natural good looks,” Mr. Ubago said.
But more than bringing in the nostalgia or pleasing the hipster crowd, modern day barbershops need to maintain a standard of excellent service in order to remain, this time for the long haul. For Sports Barbers, relevance to the market is also key. This means they have to have the ability to deliver the best cuts for clients, inspired by traditional hairstyles and the most stylish men.
The brand’s crop of barber-stylists, a term derived from the fusion of Vidal Sassoon trained cutting and styling mixed with the efficient sensibilities of old-school barbers, mean clients can confidently step into any branch and emerge looking as dapper as they can be.
“The idea is to create a go-to destination for men where they can expect the reliable, time-honored techniques of traditional barbering and yet know they are in the hand of people who will be able to tell the difference between a short sides with brush top versus buzz crop or a pompadour versus a slick back,” Mr. De Ubago said.
You can check out Sports Barbers Barbershop at UP Town Center, SM Clark, Ayala Fairview Terraces, SM Mall of Asia, SM Bacoor, SM Bicutan, SM Southmall, SM Cebu, SM Bacolod, Eastwood Citywalk, SM San Pablo, SM San Lazaro and SM North Edsa. You may also like Facebook.com/sportsbarbersph and follow Twitter.com/sbbarbershop and Instagram.com/sbbarbershop.