Blades of Glory: Philadelphia
The City of “Barberly” Love: scope out Shave Your Style’s top list of barbershops in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia has been a part of the United States’ long, rich history since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. But leaving history in the past, Philly is home of the cheesesteak, hoagies, and the soft pretzel, it’s a munchies kind of city. And why wouldn’t it be, Philly has the biggest concentration of higher education institutions in the US. Note to college kids: we think the best way to get lighter in the head is to leave that organic stuff aside and check out our roster of Philly’s best barbers.
Will’s a fifth generation barber and dutifully serves Francis the Duke Barber Co. He’s proud to acclaim his family trade and speaks highly of his background. Will divulges that his ancestors were surgeons too, something not uncommon to the barbering profession back then. So with a profuse background in the industry, we were anxious to meet the barber.
Once you walk into Francis the Duke Barber Co., you’re struck with the classic and contemporary feel of the shop. Cemented floors, brick layered walls, steel and leathered barber chairs - you have to pause a minute to take the whole experience in. And once you get your bearings straight, the host offers you a beer and a seat at the bar as you wait for your barber.
There’s definitely a hip and casual feel radiating from the place. It’s a modernize adaptation of barbershops from the past. But Will insists that though it’s a new look to barbering, they’re heavily influenced from its history. Such as having genuine conversations and providing precision haircuts, they understand the core of what makes barbering so successful. We guess the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Francis the Duke Barber Co.
1001 N 2nd St Ste 7
Philadelphia, PA 19123
2 B Groomed or not to be groomed, is that even a question? Not if Jhamal Rhaney and his crew at the barbershop’s catering to you. Jhamal’s 18-year experience behind the barbering chair eases any client’s hesitation of visiting a new shop. He first started cutting hair when he was 11, tired of waiting for a barber and taking initiative himself. And it’s because of his assertiveness that 2 B Groomed Barbering Studio has made a name for itself.
Jhamal’s always been in love with the barbering culture and when visiting his shop, the evidence is everywhere. It’s a modestly sized establishment that Jhamal and his partner Majid maximized to its fullest potential. Getting your haircut here, you’re time warped to the Roaring ‘20s. With wood furnishings, antique decorations, and the crew in traditional barbering aprons, you can’t help but dance the Charleston after getting worked on by one of the barbers.
When asked what barbershop culture means to Jhamal, he responds that it’s the epitome of timelessness, it’s classic. It’s something that will never play out. And now fully understanding his passion and dedication for the trade, it certainly looks like 2 Be Groomed will be around for an infinite amount of time.
2 B Groomed Barbering Studio
270 S 11th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
It seems like barbering runs in the family. When speaking to Joe, the owner of Sulimay’s Barber Shop, he claims that he’s a third generation barber with his son being the fourth. He says that if you come across the name Sulimay around the Philly area, they’re all part of the family business too.
Sulimay and Joe have been in the same neighborhood in Fishtown, Philly for the past 23 years. And he’s hoping for another 23 as he doesn’t plan on retiring. That’s how much he loves his craft. He also adores the neighborhood he’s in. Surrounded by artists, students and blue-collar workers, he feels a connection to all those that come in the shop. After all, they’ve unofficially appointed him the Mayor of Fishtown.
When you do show up to your appointment at Sulimay’s Barber Shop, there’s a very homey feel to the place. Pale yellow walls with white trimmings, old-time music playing, and vintage décor - you can’t help but feel like you’re in a Victorian home. And this is all a part of Joe’s grand scheme to relax his guests, not heighten their senses after a long day. It’s important to him that his clients are able to relax while in his barbering chair. His son does take over for one night – dishing out appetizers and DJ-ing music for Fishtown’s first Fridays’ art festival. They’re certainly a part of the community and welcome you to become a part of it as well.
Sulimay’s Barber Shop
303 E Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
South Street Barbers is the place to go when you need to repair your haircut. So skip the hassle of visiting another barbershop and go straight to the professionals. The barbers there will make sure you’re leaving their shop smiling from sideburn to sideburn.When we visited South Street Barbers, it was bustling with clientele waiting for the next available chair. The place is spacious with five cutting stations, a waiting area with big screen entertainment, and guy paraphernalia hung on the walls. It’s located in South Philly, a creative area busy with local shops and stores. The barbers fit right in this eclectic neighborhood and you can tell by the guys leaving the barbershop with freshly cropped and designed fades. Anything from razor shaves, Mohawks or traditional cuts – you ask and they’ll deliver.
Though the barbers are creative artists, they always make sure to listen to their clients in the chair. They believe that providing a quality cut and style incorporates the customer and the barber. No matter how original a stylist may be, if a guy leaves unsatisfied, the barbers feel they didn’t accomplish their job as artists. That’s how dedicated the fellas are about their craft – they don’t even plan on retiring.
South Street Barbers
1302 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Mike, the owner and head chief at Barber on 24th, is a native Philadelphian and proud of it. Never intending on leaving the city he’s grown up in, he’s established his barbershop in the heart of downtown Philly. Nestled on the corner of 24th and Lombard Street, Mike says that the neighborhood is a mixture of young families and college students. The University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University are located just across South Street Bridge, bringing visiting academics into the shop. Because many transients make up his clientele, Mike ensures that his barbers are Philly natives. He understands that the barbershop can serve as a meeting ground for visitors and Mike and his barbers want to introduce the best of the city to their patrons.
Embodying cool and chic in its design, Mike utilizes every corner of the barbershop - even leaving walls unadorned for a sense of space. Barber on 24th’s waiting area is decked out with plush black couches and loads of reading material. The brick wall adds a touch of the city and the abundant natural light coming in from their windows provide fantastic views of the city. And that’s great for Mike and his crew because they can’t get enough of Philadelphia. They love the city, so show them some love and stop on in.
Barber on 24th
2401 Lombard St
Philadelphia, PA 19146