Tired of plastic razors? Not quite man enough to give yourself a Crocodile Dundee–style hunting-knife shaving? It’s time to put down the bottle of shaving cream and join the barbershop club. Fellas, a chop-and-shave shop should be a relaxing time filled with great conversation, decent prices and (most importantly) a complimentary whiskey bar—and luckily, Gotham doesn’t lack in ace salons for men. Unkempt and shaven dudes alike will enjoy these barbershops, which offer excellent services that will primp and clean your face—with facials and massages to boot. So when you’re not getting pampered at the best spas for men, go on and treat yourself to a beard trim at one our favorite barbershops in New York. You won’t regret it.
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The best barber shops
With black-and-white chandeliers, exposed brick and 1920s vintage vibes, this Nolita shop has the look of a high-end salon, but with a homey feel. Go in for a quick cut ($26), or sit back and relax during a 45-minute hot shave ($50), which includes a mini-facial with a peel-off mask and a massage. Bliss.
Ella owner Joshua Boyd has teamed up with Adam Kirsch and Jeff Laub (a former manager at Ted Gibson Salon) to open this dual-purpose hair salon and lounge. In the front, an old-timey barbershop provides cuts and shaves for men; a back area is decorated with couches and a bar that serves thematically appropriate cocktails, like the Sweeney Todd (Jameson, lemon juice, honey syrup, grenadine and egg white). If you're hungry, nearby Italian restaurant Gnocco will deliver its Roman-style pizza.
Fear not, Seinfeld fans: There’s no danger of encountering a hack like Uncle Enzo at this super tiny Italian barbershop. After settling into a chair at the cozy East Village storefront, opt for the Barbiere ($50). The shave concludes with an application of Moroccan rhassoul clay, a refreshing treatment for the dry skin that plagues many a guy during harsh cold-weather months. In keeping with the joint’s old-school, masculine environs, each shave comes with a gratis shot of Jameson.
This quaint, affordable neighborhood joint has roots in Brooklyn Heights, where owner Robert Isakov's brother, Sergey, runs the similarly structured Clinton Street Barber Shop. The Isakov brothers have a way of making customers feel right at home, starting with the Woodford Reserve whiskey they offer while you wait. Although children's ($15) and women's cuts ($20) are available, the offerings mostly cater to guys, including traditional chops ($17), beard trims ($12), and the signature hot-lather straight-razor shave ($30), which will soothe your mug with a facial massage and aloe-vera moisturizer.
Local beard guru and F.S.C. Barber founder Sam Buffa operates three barbershops in the city, under a new moniker, putting a greater emphasis on men’s apothecary products. After your haircut ($40), straight-razor shave ($40) or beard shaping ($15), a grooming guide can walk you through the curated collection of available products ($5–$150) and tools ($6–$310). Weekend warriors who battled too hard the night before should try the shave-less Hangover Treatment ($25) The lavender oils and Malin + Goetz moisturizer used in the mini-facial are sure to leave you feeling refreshed and refurbished.
With contrasting-wood-plank walls and immaculately clean facilities, Geno's Barberia works a hyperstylish cabin-in-the-woods vibe. Yet the display of antique straight razors and a massive 110-year-old cash register scream manliness without a hint of pretension or sleaze (despite the copies of Fast Company and Maxim laid out by the waiting bench). Take a seat in one of the three chairs for a $30 cut, $25 shave or the combo package for $55, and enjoy classically professional service and friendly conversation.
Your cramped bathroom may not quite be the gentlemen’s refuge found at the New York Shaving Company’s two Manhattan locations, with their mahogany paneling, crystal chandeliers and 1940s big-band soundtracks. But after getting the Ultimate Shave ($45), which includes a mini-facial, you can acquire both the skills and tools you need to give yourself a similarly smashing shave at home. All products used here are for sale, and you can even sign up for a one-on-one shaving class customized for your skin ($40–$60).
This salon looks like it was plucked from the Prohibition era with its tin ceilings, 1870s mahogany apothecary shelves and display cabinets and 1920s barber chairs. Barber Russell Manley founded the brand in London in 1994, and the Williamsburg space replicates the look of the original U.K. shop. Haircuts for men ($75) and women ($95) start with a consultation, before a shampooing and the trim (plus complimentary wine or beer to loosen you up). We'd recommend rounding out the visit with a traditional hot-towel shave ($45), featuring a series of citrus-scented steamy cloths, Proraso preshave balm and Baxter of California shaving cream to soften the whiskers for a clean cut.
Listen to foot-stompin’ tunes ranging from ’50s rock & roll to hardcore—made all the more sweet with a free PBR—while enjoying your straight-razor shave ($30) at this rockabilly barbershop in Greenpoint. Plus, if your car, motorcycle or helmet is in as much need of a makeover as your once-stubbly face was, bring it in for Tomcats’ on-site pinstriping and artwork service ($65/hr).
New York guys will be stoked to find this hip, retro joint from Alex Calderwood, David Petersen and Wade Weigel, located next door to the trendy Ace Hotel. The industrial New York space—codesigned with Brooklyn’s WRK Design—has a throwback vibe, with sea-green wall tiles, antique doors and window frames made from salvaged hunting-rifle parts. Walk-ins are welcome, and 10 cutting stations ensure a short wait for your buzz cut ($17), razor shave ($40) or standard cut (men $40, women $60). Lucky Ace Hotel guests cop 10 percent off cuts and 15 percent off the products you’ll find on the second-level retail floor.