Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Greetings and happy holidays to all my readers. Kinda crazy weather in some parts of the world, heavy snow in Ireland and flash floods in Los Angeles County. So, here's a treat: 1940s Mohawks. Yes, a lot of folks have heard or read about US airborne troops parachuting into Normandy in '44 with shaved heads and Mohawks. But you never SEE images of these guys... well here goes:
Here are some photos of "Pathfinders", guys from the 82nd and 101st airborne divisions who parachuted in first. These pictures are screen caps I took from an Army Air Force film made on D Day minus one.
These images are great because they are the real deal - the image of the all American citizen soldier that was portrayed in the media was very different to what these warriors looked like.
I'm pretty sure the guy above on the right has had his hair shaved with a straight razor. I mean, even an Oster machine with a 00005 attachment wouldn't be that close. What I find interesting is that this guy's hair actually looks like a modern marine "recon" haircut AKA a horseshoe. Recently I was in contact with another barber enthusiast who sports this cut called Musclebuzz and he told me about a Los Angeles barbershop run by recon-wearing Mohawk Matt. Keep up the good work Matt.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Courtesy of fellow barber blogger Frank Reiland I came across this new clip of Donny Hawley talking at his shop. It's beautifully shot - kudos to whoever put this video together. I find it very interesting that Donny talks about the hardships of barbers from the 60s to the 80s. This is exactly what Liam Finnegan, veteran barber and owner of the Waldorf talks about. Damn hippies ruined it for all of us!!! Anyway, a new Golden Age of traditional barbering seems to be back. Incidentally, in Donny's shop there's a b&w photo of his grandad motocross bikeracing in Dublin back in the 50s in "Shelbourne Park." This is only a couple of miles from me - I messaged Donny about this but I'm not sure he got it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ok. Here's some 'vintage' footage of yours truly shot on location at
the Waldorf barbershop in Dublin. Spot prize for having the most
interesting guess about what I was talking about.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I wanted to share this neat image I came across on the net of a Victorian gentleman shaving himself. It struck a cord because it reminded me of the video below of me shaving with a straight razor. What strikes me as unusual in the picture (or is it a painting) is that the subject is shaving - a mundane gentleman's task. Normally pictures from the period were more staged.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hello friends. I've been meaning to put together a shave video for a while and have finally done it. Shaving yourself at home with a straight razor is a different experience than shaving or getting shaved in a barbershop. You need to learn the basics, then figure out what works for you. Traditionally at a barbershop, one would start from the jawline and do the neckline later. I've found that doing the neck first works best for me. To keep this video as easy and practical as possible, I'm using a shavette (which we looked at in an earlier post) and I'm using  a cheap shaving brush and palmolive soap - yes, that's right, just a bar of plain old soap. That's why it drys in a little faster than palmolive shave paste would do. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Horstator Piccolo 55

Here is a picture I took of a new clippers that Liam at the Waldorf barbershop recently acquired. It's a Made in Germany clippers. I was debating with Liam about the age of this machine. Judging by the warranty and the instructions leaflet, and the illustration on the box, I'd guess late 40s to mid-50s. Liam thinks it's more modern, maybe 60s. In any case it does work and do a really good job. It's got a slower motor just like the Oster. There is a blade that is a 00005 which did give a tighter result than the Oster. There is a large chrome beak that juts out so it takes longer for the metal blade to heat up. That's one thing that I love about the Oster.

Below is a great clip about a barbershop in the late 50s. You can see that the barber is using a barrel type clippers.

Monday, April 5, 2010

On Saturday I called in early to the folks at the Waldorf. I had left my vintage pre-war straight razor in to Liam for honing and was looking forward to collecting it. One of the best parts of calling to the shop is the atmosphere and the people who come in - you just never know who you are likely to meet - especially on a Saturday. Linda from the shop had a photographer coming in called Rosco. I have seen Rosco's work before through mutual friends - he does a lot of work for the Burlesque and vintage scene. Rosco was kind enough to take these photos of me getting a shave and haircut from Linda:

If you would like to contact Rosco for photography work, you can message him in Facebook - where he goes by Oyster Zepplin