Being a female, I don't have any personal experience with barbershops, however, I wonder how many modern men today visit one. Yes, I know that some shops cater to women, but for the purpose of this photo blog post I'm talking about the barbershop as a male-centric business. A barbershop, by contrast, is a testosterone filled establishment. Barbers are professionals who have accepted the responsibility of the caring for men’s hair and grooming.
In the past, the local neighborhood barber shop used to be the place where men went to discuss news, politics, sports, women and anything else on their minds. Secondly, barbers know men's hair and how to cut it properly and into any style. Thirdly, they can get a shave while they're at it, a close, comfortable shave. Getting a shave at a barber shop is an indulgent experience for any guy, because they know what they're doing. They have the right equipment (you won't find a single disposable plastic razors in sight), know how to moisten the face with a damp, hot towel first and use special moisturizers and lotions that prevent razor burn. After a barber shop shave, a man will somehow feel ready to take on the world.
If you think local barbers = your neighbourhood pakcik who gives you a buzz complete with a smattering of talcum powder, then you are in for an education. It's time to think of barbers as grooming traditionalists and that's what you'll get the moment you step into the Hounds of the Baskervilles (yes, it's actually the title of a crime book novel series authored by Sir Arthur Conan Dooyle, featuring the famous detective Sherlock Homes).
With a polished Victorian gentlemen’s aesthetic straight out of a Sherlock Holmes novel, the aptly-named Hounds of the Baskervilles is Singapore’s first traditional Western barbershop. The decor and service immerses guys in a traditional barbershop experience with a measured attention to detail, from the immaculately coiffed barbers to the handsome vintage furniture the shop is kitted out in.
Hounds of the Baskervilles is located at 24 Bali Lane and given the brisk business at this barber shop, do make a prior appointment before heading down for proper traditional barbering or real old school tattoos.
Festled in old world charm with leather furnishings and vintage barber chairs, Hounds of the Baskervilles will groom your whiskers with hot towel shaves and maintain your mop hair with deft flicks of a razor. It's also a tatoo and piercing parlour, though i wouldn't recommend getting a haircut and your nose pierced simultaneously.
Looking straight out of a movie set, the recently opened Hounds of the Baskervilles has been making waves in the media for its fearless ode to vintage barber shops during their days of glory from 1880s to 1940s. Brick walls, wooden framed pictures and a leather sofa centerpiece gives the Hounds of the Baskervilles the necessary old-school glamor that all barber shops back then had, doubling up as men social clubs.
Hounds of the Baskervilles has two tattoo artists and two resident barbers. There will also be guest barbers from Australia.
Here's goes Hounds of the Baskervilles's barber rates, i just thought i'd state some prices in case if you are wondering for quite some time already:
* Cuts $25 - $35
Includes hot towels, warm neck shave, styling. HOTB's work speaks for itself.
* Shaves $15 - $20
Includes hot towels, cold towel, badger brush application of high quality shave cream lathered in warm water with shaving mugs, straight razor shave with and against facial hair growth for the closest shave. Prices are lower for the quality as an introductory offer to encourage the experience. Not forgetting that HOTB's barbers are trained by the best from Australia.
The barber shop tends to cater to a more classic style of haircut. There are only two chairs and one barber so you will probably have to plan ahead and make an appointment. If you're in a rush, this is not the place to go. I had the chance to sit down at the vintage sofa and browse some old (not classic, I mean printed in the 50s "old") hot rod magazines while the man on the chair ahead of me got a lesson on how to pomp his hair. All the while I kept wondering why there aren't more places like this.
Besides the fact that Hounds of the Baskervilles is awesome at what it does, the barber shop is also amazing and pretty much a museum of old religious stuff and barbering vintage equipment tools.
Today, I think there are two factors that could potentially hurt the barbershop business: mobile devices and impatience. In our rushed society, people want to be in and out of the salon chair, while the traditional barbershop is seen as a place where you're going to be spending some time and talking to other people. For those nostalgic guys out there that don't mind and are tired of the impersonal cookie cutter haircut chains out there, perhaps an old school visit to your local barbershop is just the ticket.
Hounds of the Baskervilles barber shop is a sancturary for a man to be a man. What real barber shops are supposed to be. Hey to all the men out there, you wouldn't know what hit you. There's never been a better time to get a classic cut and shave - no matter where you live. So what are you waiting for? It's time to go for a hair cut and shave at a real barber shop!
p/s: Special Thanks to the owner of Hounds of the Baskervilles for allowing me to have an opportunity to do such a vintage photography shoot at your barber shop in Singapore. I really like the vintage look of your shop, please continue to keep it up, guys! :-)
A freelance Singapore-based travel photographer / photojournalist. I seek the extraordinary, but finds beauty in the everyday. Life is interesting, capture it.
That's Life, Capture It! Blog is Pledged to Singapore Memory Project
Browse That's Life, Capture It! Blog @Flickr
Follow That's Life, Capture It! Blog in Twitter