The Barber is Back in Sonoma County

The 50’s are back in style at the Santa Rosa Barber Shop. Owner Eric Gardea runs pomade through the hair of Cody Garzini. (JOHN BURGESS / The Press Democrat)

Men are flooding back to barbershops, lured by the prospect of a clipper cut and beard trim in the company of other men. Changing hairstyles have provided some of the fuel. Salon-driven ‘70s feathered hair styles and ‘80s mullets have been replaced by the fades and pompadours that are the specialty of old-school barbers, delivered in man caves with games on the flat-screen TVs and signed Buster Posey pictures on the walls.

At the simply-named Barber Shop, a 60-year fixture in Santa Rosa, customers fill eight extra chairs while waiting for their turns. Across town is Dappers, where young barbers cater to bearded hipsters with razor cut styles. At both kinds of shops, customers who want a little more pampering can spring for steamy straight-razor shaves.

Why Barbershops are Popular in Sonoma County

Fred Reed, who has operated Reed’s Hair Barn in Cotati for 33 years, said, “When I started there were only three barbers in two towns. Now there are three on this street alone.”

The return to basics is more than just nostalgia.

“For $20 you not only get a haircut, you get your community,” said Lamarion Spence at Plaza Barber in Healdsburg, where the smell of pomade and after shave greets fathers and sons as well as doctors and janitors. “It’s the only place where everyone is exactly the same.”