Old school, faux old school or modern hipster joints, Jakarta’s got it all when it comes to barbershops. What used to be a pretty low-key affair for men—hair grooming, wet shaving, neck and shoulder massaging—is now a growing industry for the discerning male.
At Ugo, customers are transported to American-style barbershop experience right from the entrance—think visual styling of brick walls and black leather chairs (Ugo owner Ranthy Rahajeng admits she was inspired by barbershops in San Francisco, where she used to study).
But an ordinary place for snip and trim it isn’t. Haircut aside, popular services at Ugo also include shaving, creambath, reflexology and ear cleaning. The idea is to provide quality service for the upper middle class, hence its location in the elite SCBD area.
“Ugo is originally derived from the old French word ‘Hugon’, meaning heart, mind and spirit. We are here as a solution to the lack of premium-class barbershops in Jakarta. We mainly target young executives but we also welcome high school and university students. Sometimes even little kids come here to get a haircut together with their fathers,” says Aliyah Sujatin, Ugo Manager.
Still in the SCBD area, another high-end establishment stands ready to offer full-service, luxury barber experience. At the vintage modern, British-inspired Gents at Pacific Place, customers can also request manicure and pedicure services, shoe polishing, tailoring and a cup of coffee, while they’re at it. Demand has been high. Next year, a second branch will open at Plaza Senayan.
“We are not even one year old yet, but we have been listed as one of the best barbershops in Jakarta by an online media just a few months after we opened up for business. To keep our clients loyal, we give them a friendly reminder every two to three weeks after their most recent haircut, asking when they will be back so they can arrange their next haircut schedule,” says Aswin Lim, one of the co-owners of Gents.
Over at Barberbox, clients are entitled to consultations with highly trained barbers prior to getting their haircut. Here, personal attention to details seems to be a key ingredient. Having expanded the shop in multiple locations in Jakarta, Padang and Bali over the past four years, the folks at Barberbox must have gotten something right.
“Our customers can make bookings online using our app available on iOS and Google Play Store. In the future, we would like to create a track record meant to keep the records of their hairdos. So, when they say, ‘I want to have the same haircut like last month,’ we can do it,” says Erwin Aryo Rinaldi, Barberbox Chief Marketing Officer.
The barbershop is also known for its fun promotional deals. If you’re a woman fancying a men’s haircut, the service is free of charge—it turns out women make up to two percent of the total number of clients here. On Family Days, fathers and sons only get to pay the price of one. However, if you want to experience the full service—massage, hair wash, consultation and cut—go for the Barberbox Package.
For many out there, barbershops are, and should remain, an old school institution where men go for a traditional shave, haircut and massage. It’s something antique collector/barbershop owner Zikra L. Anwar believed in and wanted for himself, though perhaps given his passion, would also include a vintage flair. That’s why at his barbershop, aptly named Batavia Barbershop & Vintage Gallery, clients can expect a certain retro charm.
The chairs may be recovered, but everything else on display here, such as radio, telephone and wall posters, is actually vintage, not faux vintage.
“Four years ago I stumbled across an abandoned barber chair in East Jakarta. I bought it, restored it, but then I didn’t know where to put it at home. Since I spend so much time at Citos (Cilandak Town Square), where my children attend swimming lessons, and the fact that it’s also near their school, I needed an activity to kill time. So I thought, ‘Okay, I’ll just make a barbershop’,” says Zikra L. Anwar, owner of Batavia Barbershop & Vintage Gallery.
With that, Anwar began to set up shop, which continues today. Haircutting isn’t the only thing on the table at Batavia Barbershop & Vintage Gallery. Clients are also encouraged to support sustainability by reducing, reusing and recycling items. Bills will arrive via email and not be printed on paper.
Fairgrounds Lot 14 Kav. 52-53 SCBD, Jl. Jend. Sudirman, Jakarta
T: +62-21 51400990
Jl. Birah Raya No. 10, Blok S, Jakarta
Galeries Lafayette, Level 3, Pacific Place, Jakarta
Batavia Barbershop & Vintage Gallery
Cilandak Town Square (CITOS), Jl. TB Simatupang, Jakarta
T: +62-21 7654785