My friend refers me to a barbershop on Broadway and Main in Vancouver BC. My friend has amazing hair, and I can’t help but be impressed by how neat it always looks. I call in and schedule an appointment for the next day because I want my hair to be as neat as his.
I arrive at the Belmont Barbershop and it’s absolutely amazing. To say it’s decorated well would be stupid, because there are no decorations, instead there are gentleman artifacts and it’s like a man museum in there. As I enter, both of the barbers, Dustin Fishbook and Rich Hope look up. I’m not sure but I think Dustin might have nodded at me, but no words are exchanged. As I sit I can’t help but admire the details in this shop and the way it is run. An older gentleman comes in selling hair product, Dustin, who has a shaved head and an impressive beard and tattoos quickly inspects the product, nods, and goes back to the task at hand; giving a good-looking guy a stylish haircut. That description was shit, but it’s a hard to describe. A man with great shoes comes in. A man with a beard and tattoo’d sleeves comes in, he has on big leather boots.
Then the man in Dustin’s chair get’s up and pays. Dustin motions to the empty chair, I’m not sure what to do and I stare at him blankly. He motions again and I realize that it’s my turn. I think I mumble off something like, “I like it high and tight”, and clumsily shuffle through a few photos of a haircut I like, the photos are terrible and I’m not even sure if he sees them. I am turned away from the mirror looking at the doorway, so I have no idea what is happening to my hair. I’m thinking in my head, “Does he know how I want it styled?”, “Did I explain what I wanted at all?” He starts immediately and I can’t believe how quickly he moves but in such a way that each gesture seems purposeful and meticulous. Nothing is said as he works except that he asks if I want my eyebrows trimmed. I mumble, “yes please”. I try to sit as still as possible. Then suddenly after working in an amazing smelling thick wax and working it through with a comb, he spins me around in one smooth motion.
I am looking at myself in the mirror, except it’s not me. It’s a badass version of me. The guy sitting in the chair looks like a hip 50′s character/modern New York artist/punk-ish refined biker/20′s war hero. I say three words, “It’s fucking awesome.” Dustin says nothing and simply bows.
Don’t go to Belmont Barbershop if you want bullshit small-talk with prissy stylists that don’t give a shit about what you have to say. Don’t go to Belmont Barbershop if you want flower smelling lotions and people to wash your hair with tepid water.
Go to Belmont Barbershop if you want the best haircut in the world, done by true professionals who know what looks the best, and that talk about badass shit like surfing, motorcycles, and hockey. I will do everything I can to get my haircut by Dustin or Rich next time I am in Vancouver and for now I am refusing to take the wax out of my hair one day later, because as I sit and type this I feel too damn cool.