Some guys think their fancy new electric razor is the latest and greatest in shave technology. Those guys have never experienced the bliss that is a straight razor shave by an expert hand. Babies’ bottoms will have nothing on your cheeks.
Originally launched in 2004 as a brick-and-mortar extension of an online destination for high-end, hard-to-find men’s grooming products, Momentum owners Robert Graham and Graham Bingham expanded the next year by adding a full-service men’s barber shop. Recently named one of Canada’s best barbershops by Sharp Magazine, the specialty of the house is the hot-towel straight shave featuring exclusive-to-the-store Truefitt & Hill products. 1237 Burrard St., 604-689-4636
With its dark wood paneling, a few shiny, vintage Ducati motorbikes, checkerboard tile floors and club-style chairs, Farzad Salehi’s wood-beamed space gives off a relaxed, old-world feel that compliments his luxurious straight shaves. A 30-year veteran of the industry, Farzad’s basic technique includes a moisturizing massage, hot towel treatment, two shaves, a cold towel wrap to close the pores and a finishing massage with after shave balm. 1208 Homer St., 604-408-0060
Like most trends in the city, the straight shave revival got its start in Gastown, around the time that master barber Judah Down opened his doors in 2001. Polished concrete floors and a mural by local graffiti artist The Dark give the shop a sleek feel that appeals to the hipster crowd. Across town, J.D.’s second location caters to the CEO set, hidden away inside the member’s only Vancouver Club. 235 Abbott St., 604-331-8441
The newest straight-shave shop in town, Male Essentials is definitely a product of its geography — namely Granville Street. The room feels like part club, part man-cave, with oversized dark leather couches and games on the big screen TV. A complimentary beer with each service helps keep that party vibe thumping. The shop also boasts an impressive online men’s grooming superstore with an exhaustive inventory. 655 Nelson St., 604-681-1911
Image courtesy of Sunsetnoir.