This article was originally printed in the Kitchissippi Times on Feb. 4, 2016
Kitchissippi is a place where small businesses have learned they can thrive through the support of a loyal community, and it’s here that the classic barbershop has seen a revival over the last two years. With the Feb. 1 opening of Westboro Barbers, owned and operated by Fikri Riyata, there are now seven barbershops from Wellington and Sherbrooke to Richmond and Churchill, not including hair salons. In March 2016, an eighth will be opening up just off Wellington, on Somerset West and Spadina.
While the increasing popularity of facial hair does seem to align with the rise of the barber shop—devoted to that Mad Men style of hair care, specializing in beard service and straight razor shaves—Phil Ireland, manager of House of Barons on Wellington, is not so quick to put his faith in facial fads alone. “I think beards came into factor but everything is only cool and in style for so long,” he explains.
Beards are just another style in the shifting realm of personal taste, a style that he strongly believes barbershops will outlive.
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