The difference between a good haircut and a bad one? Two weeks—or so the old joke goes. But for the gent who hasn’t the time to spare, here are three Bay Area barbers who keep things high and tight.
Public Barber Salon (North Beach)
The best minds of this generation duck into public barber salon on Grant Avenue, where they’re greeted with the furious whir of scissors and the protracted hiss of opening an ice-cold Hamm’s (beers from the vintage Pepsi machine are gratis while you wait). With extended hours and a solid $31 base cut, Public has a cool-cat vibe buoyed by thrumming indie rock. Insist on a shampoo—it’s the best head massage in town—before getting the men’s short cut.
Bonus: Guard your fresh cut from the cold wind with a newsboy cap from Al’s Attire, two blocks down from Public Barber.
Temescal Alley Barbershop (Oakland)
Avoid the queue at Freemans Sporting Club, and spend an afternoon in the East Bay just off of Telegraph Avenue at the atavistic temescal alley barbershop. Straight razor shaves are $30, haircuts a mere $25, and a beard trim—it’s time, Grizzly Adams—$15. There are no appointments and a signature cut: short on the sides and a little longer on top. So if you’re looking for layers, go find a stylist. Another customer might stake you to a shot of bourbon though.
Bonus: Just next door to Temescal Alley Barbershop, Doughnut Dolly’s lemon curd-filled pastry is perfection.
Wingtip (Financial District)
Veteran barber Joe Roberts is bringing 20-plus years of know-how to wingtip, a dandy’s labyrinth of a menswear store and social club housed in the 104-year-old, marble-clad former Bank of Italy. Tucked into a private room kitted out with a vintage-inspired Takara Belmont chair, Roberts snips and shaves with an array of grooming products from London’s Truefitt & Hill. Get the Haircut and Wingtip Shave ($100)—despite the bill, it’s 90 minutes of manly pampering you won’t regret.
Bonus: A cut and shave at Wingtip turns triple whammy with a stiff martini at Sam’s Grill.
This article was published in 7x7's March issue. Click here to subscribe.