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Old 10-24-2008, 08:52 AM
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How much did barbers charge for a shave?

You see this in old cartoons, TV and films--the hot towel, open blade, etc. I realize this was before safety razors, but a clean-shaven man has to shave every day (haircuts are not daily), and that might add up, depending on the charge. If a shave and a haircut were really two bits, was that a luxury or normal, everyday expense?

Also I wonder: Can I go to a barber today and get a shave? How much would they charge?
Old 10-24-2008, 08:57 AM
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I had one last year from the barber on the corner.
I think it cost me about 1/2 of what the cost of the haircut was...
$11 for a haircut, $15 or $16 for a shave AND a haircut.
Old 10-24-2008, 08:59 AM
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Also, some barbers still use straight blades, but quite a few now use safety razors.
Old 10-24-2008, 09:00 AM
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And if the barber shaves every man who doesn't shave himself... [ d & r ]
Old 10-24-2008, 09:00 AM
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I can get a straight-razor shave for about $8 in Paris.
Old 10-24-2008, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Slant View Post
I had one last year from the barber on the corner.
I think it cost me about 1/2 of what the cost of the haircut was...
$11 for a haircut, $15 or $16 for a shave AND a haircut.
So the price has certainly gone up.

Anyway, you obviously don't get a shave from the barber every day, right?

Last edited by guizot; 10-24-2008 at 09:05 AM.
Old 10-24-2008, 09:05 AM
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Removed

Last edited by BubbaDog; 10-24-2008 at 09:06 AM. Reason: maybe I should have read the OP closer
Old 10-24-2008, 09:11 AM
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I forgot to shave once and by coincidence had a haircut scheduled that afternoon. At the end of my haircut, I asked the barber for a shave. He looked me over and said, "You don't need one."
Old 10-24-2008, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by guizot View Post
So the price has certainly gone up.

Anyway, you obviously don't get a shave from the barber every day, right?
No, though I'd actually love to.....
Old 10-24-2008, 09:39 AM
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A shave and a haircut would be priced the same -- fifteen cents -- so two bits for a shave and haircut was a combo.

But no, your average cowpoke didn't get a shave every day. A shave, haircut and hot bath were only part of ritual "go to town" cleanup.
Old 10-24-2008, 10:44 AM
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The barber across the river from me does a straight razor shave, using what is called a "shavette", that is a straight razor with a long disposable blade.

It cost me $8, which seems to be the going rate.

I have since purchased my own blade, strop, mug, and do my own straightrazor shaving.
Old 10-24-2008, 11:00 AM
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I remember the British TV series "1900 House". It was quite a chore to shave in 1900-you stood a good chance of cutting yourself quite badly with the straight bladed razors. Also, good lighting and hot water are essential. So I can understand the popularity of barber shops. My question: when Gilette invented the safety razor, did a lot of barber shops close down?
Old 10-24-2008, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
A shave and a haircut would be priced the same -- fifteen cents -- so two bits for a shave and haircut was a combo.
No toon can resist this.
Old 10-24-2008, 11:39 AM
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I've paid for a shave at a barber's a time or two and I view it as kind of a luxury. The shave you get is very deep and clean and will last longer than one done with a cheap disposable blade (IME). Plus, there's the hot towel, the rubdown with whatever after-shave lotion they use...

Facials for men, I tell 'ya.
Old 10-24-2008, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by HeyHomie View Post
I've paid for a shave at a barber's a time or two and I view it as kind of a luxury. The shave you get is very deep and clean and will last longer than one done with a cheap disposable blade (IME). Plus, there's the hot towel, the rubdown with whatever after-shave lotion they use...

Facials for men, I tell 'ya.
Everything old is new again. Men's Grooming Lounge.

ETA: Holy follicle, they're expensive. $50 for a shave or a haircut.

Last edited by CookingWithGas; 10-24-2008 at 01:00 PM.
Old 10-24-2008, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by HeyHomie View Post
I've paid for a shave at a barber's a time or two and I view it as kind of a luxury. The shave you get is very deep and clean and will last longer than one done with a cheap disposable blade (IME). Plus, there's the hot towel, the rubdown with whatever after-shave lotion they use...

Facials for men, I tell 'ya.
Make sure the barber knows what he is doing and does it occasionally at least (same advice for a heart transplant, actually). When I got married in 1964 my father told me there was nothing like the luxury of being shaved by a barber and I should do it on my wedding day. So I did, I went to a barbershop in the small town in southern NJ where the wedding was and asked for a shave. One of the worst experiences of my life. He left my face scratched and raw, it was awful. About nine months later I stopped shaving and have never shaved since.

I think he charged me a couple bucks and got no tip.
Old 10-24-2008, 02:50 PM
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My ole faithful barber charges five bucks for a straight-razor shave. More if the fur is longer, same as the haircut.
Old 10-24-2008, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
A shave and a haircut would be priced the same -- fifteen cents -- so two bits for a shave and haircut was a combo.

But no, your average cowpoke didn't get a shave every day. A shave, haircut and hot bath were only part of ritual "go to town" cleanup.

So I guess John Edwards would pay about $700 then.
Old 10-24-2008, 06:08 PM
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In the first decade of the 20th Century, in the US, a haircut most places was fifteen cents. A shave was ten cents.
Old 10-24-2008, 06:47 PM
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I got one for 50 US cents in Cambodia five years ago. I got a haircut then the guy asked, or rather told, me if I wanted a shave as well. I had to lie back in a big leather dentist's-style chair while he went to work with a big cut-throat razor. I don't think I've ever stayed as motionless in my life! My face stayed smooth for ages though.
Old 10-24-2008, 06:53 PM
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By the way: Never get a shave from a barber whose shop is upstairs from a place that sells meat pies.
Old 10-24-2008, 10:07 PM
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Interesting thread. As a female, please elaborate:

(1) Do men really pay for a straight-blade shave because it's a sort of luxury and pampering?

(2) In the "olden days" (and really, how far back are we talking? 1950's?) was the shave at the barber done for the exact same reason? (i.e., city-dwelling men could easily shave at home using whatever means were at hand; but going to the barber was an inexpensive excuse to get out of the hosue and be pampered for a bit). I'm unaware that my dad (b. 1931) ever paid for a shave.

I can understand the range-dwelling cowboys coming to town for a shave; but IME even farmers had blades and mirrors at their disposal from fairly early on.
Old 10-24-2008, 10:16 PM
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Shave at a barber's in Bangkok for US$3 or $4 tops in many shops. Occasionally I'll stop in for one if it's been a long day and I'll be staying out late without stopping home first.
Old 10-24-2008, 10:18 PM
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I have never had a barber shave my face but I gotta say the best part of a haircut is when you get that back of the neck and sideburn straight razor treatment, Man does that feel good!
Old 10-24-2008, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by drpepper View Post
Interesting thread. As a female, please elaborate:

(1) Do men really pay for a straight-blade shave because it's a sort of luxury and pampering?
Before I go on the air I like to have a good shave. If my guy's not too far into the gin I'll get him to strop me up a clean one. Otherwise I use my electric shaver.

It's a very deep shave that lasts much longer, plus it feels quite nice.
Old 10-24-2008, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drpepper View Post
Interesting thread. As a female, please elaborate:

(1) Do men really pay for a straight-blade shave because it's a sort of luxury and pampering?

(2) In the "olden days" (and really, how far back are we talking? 1950's?) was the shave at the barber done for the exact same reason? (i.e., city-dwelling men could easily shave at home using whatever means were at hand; but going to the barber was an inexpensive excuse to get out of the hosue and be pampered for a bit). I'm unaware that my dad (b. 1931) ever paid for a shave.

I can understand the range-dwelling cowboys coming to town for a shave; but IME even farmers had blades and mirrors at their disposal from fairly early on.
1) IME, yes. Plus the shave is better and lasts longer than what you can get at home.

2) Don't know.
Old 10-24-2008, 11:44 PM
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Back when I was mustache-only, I was late for a sales meeting, so I ran out of the house without shaving.

After the meeting, I had an appointment in an hour and a half. I needed a haircut, so I ran into Art's shop two doors down for one.

I asked Art about a shave. "No problem," he said.

I have never felt so pampered. Hot towels, hot lather, a straight-blade razor well stropped...all while expounding on the virtues of the Reagan administration.

Now I feel like shaving off my beard again, just to visit the barber and get a shave! And BTW, I still am visiting Art - he's in a different location, but he's still going strong - and still as opinionated as ever.

To answer the OP, this was 1984. The haircut was $6.00, the shave was $2.00 additional. A shave alone was $5.00.

Art now charges $9.00 for a haircut, $3.00 additonal for a shave with the haircut, and a shave alone is still $5.00.

Don't know what I'm going to do when Art retires. He's 68 years old now - and I'm afraid that's going to happen rather soon.
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Old 10-25-2008, 01:53 AM
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My barber back in the States, an old Portuguese guy, used to give me a hair cut, safety-razor shave and a beard trim for $23 or something. It was nice, but not quite as good as a straight-razor shave.

(for the females out there, straight razor shaves are much cleaner, much closer, and they last longer. It's just a nice feeling you get on your face)

Now that I'm in Japan I'm in freakin hair cut heaven. Seriously. A bit expesnive $35-40 but you get a full hair cut, a beard trim, a straight-razor shave on your face, your forehead, your ears, EVERYWHERE (I dunno, they just do it, I don't ask questions. My earlobes really aren't that hairy, but it's more of an effort to tell them not to do it than just let 'em go at it) Plus you get a head, face, and shoulder massage out of the deal. Seriously, if you're ever in Japan, get a hair cut, you'll feel like a million bucks when you come out.
Old 10-25-2008, 03:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drpepper View Post
(1) Do men really pay for a straight-blade shave because it's a sort of luxury and pampering?
When it was available back then, yes. Right now I use a gillette mach 3 razor and its been the only disposable that comes close to a straight razor shave for me.

About the only difference between a barber and me is that when I shave, its rushed affair. Shower, shave and try to be out of the bathroom within about twenty minutes. A barber on the other hand, your in a comfy chair letting someone else do the work for you.

Quote:
(2) In the "olden days" (and really, how far back are we talking? 1950's?) was the shave at the barber done for the exact same reason? (i.e., city-dwelling men could easily shave at home using whatever means were at hand; but going to the barber was an inexpensive excuse to get out of the hosue and be pampered for a bit). I'm unaware that my dad (b. 1931) ever paid for a shave.
For me it was probably the late eighties when I last had it done. I imagine that I could probably find a barber to do it, but its not a burning desire at the moment, since the Mach3.

I think that you have to remember that the barber shop was a social gathering point for guys, shave and a hair cut, smokin a stogie and shootin the breeze about what ever issue of the day.

Quote:
I can understand the range-dwelling cowboys coming to town for a shave; but IME even farmers had blades and mirrors at their disposal from fairly early on.
And after working an 18 hour day, six days a week, they probably did not have the time or inclination to shave when the only day it would have mattered was sunday for church. I imagine after looking at the south end of a cow, that someone pampering you would be the cats meow.

Declan
Old 10-25-2008, 03:35 AM
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In Quartered Safe Out Here George MacDonald Fraser described getting a shave after a long spell in the Burmese jungle from an Indian nappy-wallah in the street who used a razor stropped on his own dhoti and no lubricant except the customer's own sweat. You might be surprised, but Fraser reported never feeling a thing and being left with a face and chin that were mirror-smooth. Must've been some good steel, and a hand well-practised from performing a hundred shaves a day, I'm thinking.
Old 10-25-2008, 06:46 AM
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I have to say that I'm a little surprised that so many people have gone to a barber for a shave in recent days. Still, it surely isn't a thing that anyone does on a daily basis, yet I imagine most clean-shaven men shave every day, at least if they're going to work and it's expected. It just seems like something that takes up too much time and money for something that you can do in your bathroom quickly for free.

However, if the straight razor does indeed make a shave that lasts longer, and if there are indeed barbers who still use them, then I think a woman might consider going to one to get her legs shaved. I wonder what that would cost.
Old 10-25-2008, 11:32 AM
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Barber shaves are pretty common in India. They range from the person sitting on the ground on a brick holding a small mirror in his own hands while the barber sits facing him and gives him a shave costing something like 20 cents to sitting in air conditioned comfort in a upholstered chair and getting a pampered shave for a couple of dollars.

For an additional 25 cents you can also get an invigorating head, face and shoulder massage which is something I miss a lot here.
Old 10-25-2008, 01:37 PM
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I've always wanted to get an old-fashioned straight razor barbershop shave. The only places that will do it around here seem to be black barbershops, though, and they give me very strange looks.
Old 10-25-2008, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guizot View Post
You see this in old cartoons, TV and films--the hot towel, open blade, etc. I realize this was before safety razors, but a clean-shaven man has to shave every day (haircuts are not daily), and that might add up, depending on the charge. If a shave and a haircut were really two bits, was that a luxury or normal, everyday expense?

Also I wonder: Can I go to a barber today and get a shave? How much would they charge?
My husband used to get a straight-razor shave once a month back when we lived in Chicago (I used to tease him and say it was a "man facial"). $10 for haircut, shave was a free extra. That was 10 years ago.

Regrettably, that barber passed away. We have no idea what the charge would be now.

Here in Indiana the local barbers claim they can't give straight-razor shaves due to anti-HIV regulation. I can't confirm or deny the truth of that.

Last edited by Broomstick; 10-25-2008 at 01:45 PM.
Old 10-26-2008, 02:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Rico View Post
Back when I was mustache-only, I was late for a sales meeting, so I ran out of the house without shaving.

After the meeting, I had an appointment in an hour and a half. I needed a haircut, so I ran into Art's shop two doors down for one.

I asked Art about a shave. "No problem," he said.

I have never felt so pampered. Hot towels, hot lather, a straight-blade razor well stropped...all while expounding on the virtues of the Reagan administration.

Now I feel like shaving off my beard again, just to visit the barber and get a shave! And BTW, I still am visiting Art - he's in a different location, but he's still going strong - and still as opinionated as ever.

To answer the OP, this was 1984. The haircut was $6.00, the shave was $2.00 additional. A shave alone was $5.00.

Art now charges $9.00 for a haircut, $3.00 additonal for a shave with the haircut, and a shave alone is still $5.00.

Don't know what I'm going to do when Art retires. He's 68 years old now - and I'm afraid that's going to happen rather soon.
That sound exactly like the barber I go to. You don't live in southern Colorado, do you? I wouldn't think so from your location, but it's hard to tell.

Actually, I don't think my Art is quite that old, but he's been in the business for a long time. He uses an antique cash register that can't ring up anything over a dollar! (He just puts the money in anyway.)


ETA: I keep meaning to get an appointment for a haircut. I think I'll stop shaving for a few days so I can get a good shave from him. I love the feeling.

Last edited by Alan Smithee; 10-26-2008 at 02:11 AM.
Old 10-26-2008, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Colophon View Post
I got one for 50 US cents in Cambodia five years ago. I got a haircut then the guy asked, or rather told, me if I wanted a shave as well. I had to lie back in a big leather dentist's-style chair while he went to work with a big cut-throat razor. I don't think I've ever stayed as motionless in my life! My face stayed smooth for ages though.
Yeah. I had a shave in Turkey, cost me about 3 million Turkish Lira (about 1 )

Big hairy armed Turk weighing about 25 stones came at me with a cut throat razor, slash, scrape and finish....took him about 45 seconds

Closest shave I ever had. I didn't need another for about 3 days
Old 10-26-2008, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by chowder View Post
Yeah. I had a shave in Turkey, cost me about 3 million Turkish Lira (about 1 )

Big hairy armed Turk weighing about 25 stones came at me with a cut throat razor, slash, scrape and finish....took him about 45 seconds

Closest shave I ever had. I didn't need another for about 3 days
I used to lead tours through Turkey. I'd go through Ephesus once every three weeks and we'd eat at a restaurant in the evening where I would always pick the table by the window of the (still open) barbers.

As the group were having dessert I would go in for my three weekly shave as they stared on through the window. It consisted of the full straight razor and lather deal with two 'special' additions. Firstly you're ears would be defuzzed by the barber wrapping an alcohol laden cloth round a kebab skewer, lighting it, and then flapping the flames into your ear!

The barber would then finish with a massage which included wrenching your neck left and right until it very audibly clicked. All very dangerous probably, but you felt wonderful afterwards and baby-faced for a few days.

Cost about $1 I guess, though I mostly got it free as many of the blokes in my group would then want a shave as well (though most would ask me to tell the barber to refrain from the flame and the clicky things!).
Old 10-26-2008, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
A shave and a haircut would be priced the same -- fifteen cents -- so two bits for a shave and haircut was a combo.
.
Thanks for this (and sorry for this minor hijack). But I've always wondered how much a "bit" was since my grandmother used to sing that song "shave and a haircut, two bits".

So a bit= 7.5 cents? Was this a US term? Does anyone know where it came from?
Old 10-26-2008, 10:26 AM
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Thanks for this (and sorry for this minor hijack). But I've always wondered how much a "bit" was since my grandmother used to sing that song "shave and a haircut, two bits".

So a bit= 7.5 cents? Was this a US term? Does anyone know where it came from?
Two bits is 25 cents, or a quarter, so a bit would actually be 12.5 cents. Ever hear the old cheerleader yell: "Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar?

From here, it says it comes from colonial days.
Old 10-26-2008, 01:41 PM
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[QUOTE=Petrobey Mavromihalis;10361471]I used to lead tours through Turkey. I'd go through Ephesus once every three weeks and we'd eat at a restaurant in the evening where I would always pick the table by the window of the (still open) barbers.

Then perhaps you can answer me something that has absolutely nothing to do with shaving.

My pals and myself found a restaurant in Turkey, it was good, the food was excellent and the service just as good.

So night after night we went back for dinner, 12 of us every night.

One night the owner said to us if we paid in English currencey the bill would be reduced by 25%. Naturally we always paid in sterling after this deal.

Now I do realise that the Turkish lira isn't so stable but even so to reduce the bill by 25% seems an awful lot...perhaps you can tell me why he did this
Old 10-26-2008, 03:52 PM
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I have never had a barber shave my face but I gotta say the best part of a haircut is when you get that back of the neck and sideburn straight razor treatment, Man does that feel good!
I know - I love that too! Something about the way the straight razor scrapes across the nubs just feels great.
Old 10-26-2008, 04:16 PM
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One night the owner said to us if we paid in English currencey the bill would be reduced by 25%. Naturally we always paid in sterling after this deal.

Now I do realise that the Turkish lira isn't so stable but even so to reduce the bill by 25% seems an awful lot...perhaps you can tell me why he did this
I think you have one of the reasons - currency stability. The other that springs to mind is laws on currency exchange. I don't remember specifics in Turkey, but it is not unusual to have restrictions on the amount a national can change into foreign currency. Therefore a stash of ready foreign cash gains disproportionate value.

I'm a bit pissed, so I hope the above makes sense?!
Old 10-27-2008, 08:20 AM
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I still want to know: Why don't women who shave their legs with a safety blade consider a barber with a straight blade that gives a shave that lasts much longer?

Last edited by guizot; 10-27-2008 at 08:21 AM.
Old 10-27-2008, 08:51 AM
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Two bits is 25 cents, or a quarter, so a bit would actually be 12.5 cents. Ever hear the old cheerleader yell: "Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar?

From here, it says it comes from colonial days.
Just remember "Brawwk! Pieces of Eight! Brawwk!" [/Parrot voice]
Old 10-27-2008, 02:55 PM
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I still want to know: Why don't women who shave their legs with a safety blade consider a barber with a straight blade that gives a shave that lasts much longer?
Because if a woman is going to pay to have her hair removed by somebody else, she is going to have her legs waxed. IIRC, waxing lasts several weeks since it actually pulls to follicles out of the skin, instead of just cutting them level with (or slightly under) the skin.
Old 10-27-2008, 03:33 PM
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Do Thai Barbers do those "Ear Cleaning" Operations?

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Shave at a barber's in Bangkok for US$3 or $4 tops in many shops. Occasionally I'll stop in for one if it's been a long day and I'll be staying out late without stopping home first.
I remember reading about this-thye clean your ears 9using allkinds of stange instruments)-sounded like torture to me!
Old 10-27-2008, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ralph124c View Post
I remember reading about this-thye clean your ears 9using allkinds of stange instruments)-sounded like torture to me!
I've only ever encountered that with one barber, but I tend to stick with a barber for years and not shop around, so I don't know how common it is. The one I've been with for years now doesn't do it. It did make me feel kind of squicky, and I remained absolutely still. I did hear better afterward, though.
Old 10-27-2008, 11:29 PM
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I learned it as: Shave and a haircut -- six bits. What's up with that, I wonder.
Old 10-27-2008, 11:54 PM
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I learned it as: Shave and a haircut -- six bits. What's up with that, I wonder.
Inflation.
Old 10-27-2008, 11:59 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 17,208
When my friend was here on vacation last summer I got him a shave at a barber shop in Scottsdale. It was $45 and IIRC I tipped the guy $10, so $55. It took over an hour.
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