Fullerton barber shop cuts above the rest

In Features
Marco Caamal / For the Daily Titan
Marco Caamal / For the Daily Titan

Life is full of close shaves, but not quite as close and as comfortable as a barber’s straight razor.
Women enjoy the pleasantry of facials, nail and hair care. For men, it is the close shave that is the classic grooming experience. Nowadays, beauty therapies and treatments are not just limited to women.
Grooming services such as those offered at Downtown Fullerton’s Classic Barbers pamper men.
Downtown Fullerton’s Classic Barbers on East Commonwealth Avenue embraces with what has worked for generations––straight razor shaves, hot towel shaves, classic style haircuts and even a beverage while you wait for your turn in the chair.
It is the epitome of men’s grooming. Its old-school owner Maria Luna wants it that way.
“I started Classic Barbers here in Fullerton because I was looking for a building for the start of a barber shop, so I got it and wanted it to be known as ‘classic’ because not a lot of barber shops do those styles anymore,” said Luna, who opened the shop with sons Jesse and Joe Negrete four years ago.
As a family owned and operated business, Classic Barbers has been building a clientele list and reputation. Luna, 51, and her sons absolutely love the craft of vintage barbering.
The classic experience begins with a hot towel, hot enough to make you jump at first but completely bearable, over your face to soften the whiskers. The hot towel is followed by shaving oil and a hot lather of shaving cream.
Then comes the straight razor, gently gliding across the cheek; cutting every hair clean off. It takes Jesse and Luna at least 40-45 minutes to give a hot towel shave to a client.
The result? A BSS: baby smooth shave.
However, it’s an expensive service, which is why few barbers offer it.
“Barber shops don’t like to have those services because it’s more costly for them. They’ll spend more money and since they charge less they don’t want to do those extra details for the client,” said Jesse, a former construction worker.
Spending money and time on clients is what Jesse, 28, is all about.
“A lot of barbers are downgrading … they are trying to take quantity over quality and we’d rather do quality over quantity,” Jesse said.
Classic Barbers sees dozens of clients every day and apparently old school barbering also attracts a younger crowd.
“It has a very classic feel, you know, like an old school barber … I usually do the pompadour, kinda like old greaser style,” said Mynor Garcia, an entertainment studies major. “They were great. Right as you walk in, they sit you down right away and you get the cut.”
The prices for services range from $15 to $35, with the straight razor shave being the highest. On Mondays and Sundays, haircut specials are $15 (regularly $25). High school students, along with senior citizens, receive discounts off regular priced haircuts. You can even treat yourself to a beard trim or shampoo wash at $5 a piece.
Each haircut includes a straight razor shave around the ears and back of the neck, an old fashioned massage using an electric hand held tool and even a mustache or eyebrow trim. For an “old school,” shave and facial, the price is $35 and includes hot towels in the beginning, the straight razor shave with facial creams and oils, and a cold towel at the end to close off the pores. The cherry on top is a splash of Clubman after shave, or “hot sauce” as Jesse refers to it, that refreshes the face.
Every professional at Classic Barbers is fully licensed and even offers an apprenticeship program. Jesse said more people are looking for the classic barber service and the demand is what contributed to the resurgence of this art.
“We have a lot of clientele and business just keeps getting better and better. We treat every client the same as we give them detailed haircuts and that is why they come back, because we’re very detailed in the cut itself,” said Jesse.
Classic Barbers is open seven days a week, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday through Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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