Blades of Glory: San Francisco & Oakland
From hippies to yuppies, California’s Bay Area is the nucleus for some of the most eclectic personalities. Tour our roster of equally eclectic barbers and find one that suits your individual style.
Known for its natural beauty and liberal views, the Bay Area in California is a hot bed for diversity. Encompassing the highest concentration of artists per capita in Oakland and San Francisco, the misconception here is that artists don’t care about their appearances. But hearing from the locals, it’s the artists that work the hardest to look as if they don’t give-a-damn. So take a read and discover our list of barbers who can make you the sharpest, unkempt fella on the street.
Go all in with Mikey Francisco at Ace of Fades to get your ears lowered. Located on the border of San Francisco and Daly City, the community barbershop boasts of an amazing walk-in clientele. The block is filled with mom & pop shops, local restaurants and a pool hall within stone throwing distance. With high foot traffic just outside its windows, walk-ins are always welcomed here.
Mikey insists that once you take a seat in any of the barbers’ chairs, expect quality cuts to your liking. Here, they’ve developed an eye for hair and styles and understand how a mane grows and forms on a scalp. These guys are always on the cusp of barbering because they’re constant students of the craft. Taking every opportunity to learn new skills or designs, Mikey believes that every haircut is a new beginning. So if you’re looking for something original or a fresh start, this barbershop definitely has an ‘ace’ up its sleeve.
Ace of Fades
5201 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94112
The gloves are off and clippers in hand, Michael the Boxer is ready to barber. You may doubt that a boxer may have the finesse to cut, but with 20+ years of cropping hair, this man’s a heavy weight in the industry.
Influenced by his Italian heritage, Michael the Boxer wanted to combine his two passions in life: boxing and barbering. Conveniently connected by an adjoining door, one can go in for a spar and then leave with a cut. He loves switching between his two passions throughout the day; he claims it keeps him on his toes. And when speaking with Michael, it’s cool to hear how he reasons life with a mixture of both boxing and barbering mantras.
Located South of Market (SOMA District), Michael describes the area as a bit gritty but full of community – kind of how the locals like it. He warns that clients should have a tough skin ‘cuase he keeps it real, he is from Jersey after all. But his honesty will never fail you and he won’t let you leave unsatisfied. If you try, he’ll go twelve rounds with you.
Michael the Boxer
96 Lafayette St
San Francisco, CA 94108
Meandering through Temescal Alley’s massive First Friday Art Walk in Oakland, you may pass by this minimalist barbershop without taking notice. With true artists at work, this shop is a must-see when you peruse through the local masterpieces.
Co-owners Nicholas Vlahos and Bradley Roberts built the barbershop from the ground up. But construction and designing aren’t the only things their hands can do; they also give stellar cuts and shaves as well. When you enter the place, their straightforward attitude is abundant in the low-key, relaxing environment they’ve created. They’re known for their traditionally classic haircuts; so don’t get too complicated with your requests - this isn’t a coffee shop. While they don’t serve coffee, they do pass out shots of whiskey to loosen you up. What the barbers are striving for is to make the shop a third place for their patrons. Neither home, nor work but a place where their clients can escape from their daily routine. That’s why they don’t take appointments, they want you to stop by, chill in their lounge and be a part of their barbering community.
Temescal Alley Barber Shop
470-B 49th St
Oakland, CA 94609
Located just off the shores of Lake Merritt in Oakland, California, Station 33 is the place to go for your haircut. It’s a spacious joint with five barbering chairs and a waiting area immersed in a theme of black and wood furnishings. What’s also appealing is that as you wait, you’re certainly going to be entertained. The shop’s decked out with a big screen TV airing sports and music. They even have a computer lab for clients to browse through the latest styles and fades. And though there’s a bustling, eclectic neighborhood just outside their doors, patrons wouldn’t have to leave the shop to kill time as they wait for their barber. Marcel, the owner, designed his place as a one-stop shop for guys to hang.
Marcel’s been barbering for approximately 15 years and has worked with all sorts of hair. From traditional cuts and shaves, to dreads and color – there’s nothing that he and his crew can’t do. When speaking to Marcel about his barbershop, his words exude positivity. He loves his career because it’s a new experience and journey every time he gets a client in his chair. He claims Station 33’s not there to duplicate haircuts but strive to give something new and unique for his clients. With that optimistic approach, we know we’ll be coming back here again. Because really, would you want a disgruntled barber with sharp clippers working with your hair?
Station 33 Barber Shop
440 Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94610
Looking for a classic cut in a relaxed environment? Then Tone’s Barbershop is where you need to head to. You’ll be greeted in the waiting area with plenty of comfy seats and a TV set you can control. The white walls featuring minimalist graffiti art add some attitude to the shop. And the barbershop’s clean, open space allows patrons to focus on the service and their barber. The vaulted ceiling and the natural sunlight seeping through their huge windows amplify the size of the barbershop.
When speaking to Tone, you’ll learn that he’s lived a hard life. But amidst his troubles, he always has a positive outlook. He takes that mindset with him to the barbershop, jumping on every opportunity to learn and to teach those on his team. Every head that walks in, Tone sees it as a blank canvas where his skills and his client’s imagination meet. The barbers provide classic cuts to contemporary fades etched into the side of a patron’s head. But what Tone specializes in is straight-razor shaves. He loves making your skin feel as smooth as your game. So rest assured guys, whether you’re going for classic or creative, Tone’s Barbershop can do it all.
5229 International Blvd
Oakland, CA 94601