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Haarbarbaar is a barbershop is the heart of Amsterdam. For men coming here, it is a tranquil island in the midst of a busy city. The shop does not work with appointments in order to give every men the time he needs and to force the next client to slow down. The friendly staff and the nostalgic interior take you back in time and allow you to relax and feel energized again.

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contact details Haarbarbaar :
Wolvenstraat 35
1016 EN Amsterdam
The Netherlands
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Why did you decide to become a barber?

I used to be a hair dresser specialized in women’s hair. At a certain point I decided to focus on men only and hence I came in touch with the barbering profession. I liked the traditional wet shaving very much. It is an age old profession that is been extinct for a period of time and is being revived by the increasing number of barbershops. Interestingly enough, there are no barber schools in this country, so I had to learn barbering by myself.

You have been a hairdresser for women, do you have a background in that?

Sure! I am trained as an all-round hairdresser at the hairdressers school. We had a training salon at the hairdressers school where we cut everybody’s hair: men, women, children. Already during the training I had a preference to cut men’s hair. It is not only cutting hair but also the conversations we had.

How would you describe men that come to your barbershop?

My clientele is very diverse: children, old men, hipsters, elite men. There is not one type of person that comes here. I guess about thirty percent of my clients are gay, which is quite a lot. I asked few of my clients and they say they love the experience. They like the concept and enjoy the interior of the shop as well. Besides that, we give our clients a plenty of time and pay attention to detail. We strive for perfection and that is appreciated very much especially by gay people.

What do you want your clients to experience?

We aim to give our clients the perfect shave or haircut and give them the opportunity to relax and feel energized. We don’t work with appointments here for two reasons. First, it makes it easier for us to give each client the time they need. If I need an hour, then I take an hour and the next client has to wait. Second, it is a way force men to slow down. They know that if they are not prepared to wait they will not get their treatment. I think that we need it. Amsterdam is quite a busy city and everybody seems to be running around. A little time to slow down here is very much appreciated.

We live in a time where everything is about speed. Do you think that there is still room for craftsmanship in general and for barbering in particular?

I think that not only there is room for it, but there is a need! We need those moments and places where we can slow down and enjoy and appreciate craftsmanship. A barbershop is one place that fulfils these wishes.

Who is the most interesting, strange or moving client you have had so far?

I have had a weird moment, it was not here in this barbershop but at the salon at the hairdressers school. I had a client who came there to cut his hair for more than 25 years. Every year he gets assigned to one of the students who will be cutting his hair in that year. During my year at the hairdressers school I was assigned to cut this man’s hair. After a while a I had a good relationship with this man. He was a very energetic man. He was 70 years old and yet he exercised a lot. He went swimming in the morning and in the afternoon and played tennis on a regular basis. Every time we had interesting conversations. One day he was very quiet. I asked if everything was alright and he told me that he had hit a girl with his car. He told me that it was such a shock for him that this accident affected him profoundly. Suddenly he said that he had the feeling that he was about to die soon and that he was afraid of leaving his wife and family behind. He told me that he did not discuss this with anybody except for me. I was quite shocked and surprised that someone tells me his deepest inner fears which he did not even tell to his wife. We had a long talk that day, long after I finished his haircut.



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