No beauty parlors here. Enjoy a shave, a haircut and a few bits from four South Bay experts in the classic business of men’s grooming.
- Written byPeter Madden
Deep Pocket Jean Company, Hermosa Beach
I understand this job is a family tradition.
My grandfather barbered through the Great Depression, and he always said to have a trade and a degree. So after working in accounting for a while, I went to cosmetology school, and then I met the partners here about a year before they opened in 2011.
What’s your specialty?
I book 45-minute appointments (I won’t go lower than that), so we have enough time for a consultation—to get on the same page—before we dive in. It’s a weird language. It’s hard for people to describe how they want their hair cut. But we’re here to help you reach your goal, to get you where you want to be as far as style goes. A haircut is $25. A shave is $35. We also do a deluxe shave that comes with a rolling facial treatment that dates back to the 1890s for $50.
Why sit in your chair at Deep Pocket?
It’s the original man cave. Men can get what they need here. It’s a nice place. It’s comfortable. We serve complimentary whiskey. We focus on who’s in our shop or in our chair 100%, because the goal is to make everyone happy so they feel good about coming back.
Tonsorial Parlor, Manhattan Beach
How did you get your start?
I come from a one-barbershop town in Ohio. In the ‘60s, long hair was in, but even if you grew it out, all you could do was go to a barber—who would cut it all off. So I started cutting my own hair … and then my friends’ hair. I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t get drafted, so I moved out to California (since that was the cool thing to do when you got out of high school), and I met Richard, who opened Tonsorial Parlor in 1968 and asked me to come work for him. It was a men’s hair salon before its time. It was perfect.
How did the shop get its name?
The name Tonsorial Parlor was what they called barbershops in the Old West. So we’ve got barn-wood walls, stained glass windows, classic barber chairs and Old West memorabilia with all the good guys and bad guys hanging out. It fit me. It’s been my shop since the ‘80s, and I’ve got myself a little niche cutting men’s hair.
Who are your customers?
My customers are my friends. I’ve always said, “My friends visit me once a month. We talk for half an hour. They give me money, and they leave. It’s great.”
Javier Van Huss
Floyd’s 99 Barbershop, Hermosa Beach
What brings clients to Floyd’s?
The name “barbershop” on the door draws mostly men. Haircuts for men are $24, and a shave is $27. But I’ve worked with entire families, from 2-year-olds right up to their grandparents.
Describe the vibe.
Floyd’s is an old-school barbershop with a new, rock ‘n’ roll twist. It’s fun. It’s loud. We have music posters—everything from Ozzy Osbourne to Mariah Carey—on the walls. And it’s very open. We do the regular stuff, but then we also do the mohawks and the pink hair.
What looks do most guys want to replicate these days?
Television drives the styles … Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men, Inglourious Basterds. We’re seeing a big resurgence of those types of “gentleman” haircuts. We got an email from the head trainer the other day saying, “Did you watch the Grammy’s? We’re going to have a lot of people coming in wanting to look like Mumford & Sons.”
Stormy’s Chop Shop, Redondo Beach
How many Stormy’s are there?
There are four shops throughout the South Bay, but the Artesia Boulevard shop is the original. All are owned by Norman “Stormy” Thompson, who has lived in Redondo Beach his whole life.
What do you guys offer?
We’re an old-school man’s barbershop. We do all the latest cuts, and we do straight-edge shaves with the hot towels. A haircut is $20, and a shave is $30. We have lots of memorabilia on the walls—old movies, old shows, old pictures from the Redondo Beach Pier—all the stuff that we enjoyed growing up.
What cuts do you see a lot these days?
I remember when I was young, it was tradition to get your haircut every Sunday after church. But we stay up on everything. The flat top is coming back in, the pompadour, the long chops. A lot of people will come in and say, “Gimme that Elvis Presley!” If that means you’re coming into the shop more often, I love it.
He’s got an eye for vintage.
As the sixth largest city in Los Angeles County, Pasadena is in many ways its most fiercely independent municipality despite improved mass transit connections to the rest of the San Gabriel Valley and beyond. If you’re from Pasadena, then you’re emphatically not from LA, and that’s that.