Blood & Bandages

Barbershop, originally uploaded by Rigmarole

You can tell it's a manly place as soon as you walk inside. There's a leather couch in the waiting area, and a big jar of Barbicide on the counter. In the place of oversized books with photos of outdated hairstyles, you can find magazines about cars and motorcycles. It's my barber shop, and it's awesome.

I've been going to unisex salons for most of my life. Over the years, I've received my share of bad haircuts. Many people have struggled to tame my naturally curly hair, so when I found a good stylist, I tended to stick with her. I'd been with my previous stylist until she moved several states away and I got a job on the other side of the Twin Cities. Out of necessity, I started to patronize a local barber shop, and now I no longer dread my visits to the chair.

The Art of Manliness argues that every man should go to a barber shop. After a few trips to my new barber, I vowed to never again get my hair cut in a salon. I end up looking great every time, it's a relaxing environment, and my barber works as a part-time fireman besides. How manly can you get?

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