Hey gang, I’ve been feeling a little bland lately and couldn’t find a good muse to get the writing juices (eewwww) flowing so my lovely lady and I took to the road to see what we could turn up. I needed another bowl for my shaving soap (reviews forthcoming) and the interwebs pointed us to a local barbershop that was supposed to have a nice selection of stuff. Now this isn’t my first rodeo and I’ve been to a few of these “barbershops that carry grooming products” only to walk into a salon with a shelf full of plastic combs and axe hair cream. What a great surprise it was to show up at Herman’s Barber Shop and Supplies.
When we pulled up in front of Herman’s it looked like a converted auto shop but with a barber pole by the door. There was a sign on the curb that said “Herman’s” so we were pretty sure that this was the place. Outside was a beautiful white 1953 Ford Courier Sedan Delivery with the Herman’s logo. Trivia time: These cars were sometimes used as ambulances in the way back time. This one, however, is used for making deliveries to other barber shops.
Going through the front doors took us into a two-chair barbershop. One seat was occupied by someone I’ll call Lucky Bastard. LB was getting a fantastic pomp by Deric. I would say that Deric cut an imposing figure but his welcoming smile put us quickly at ease. He was ready for a walk-in but we were still on a mission for a shaving bowl. He directed us to a door in the back which opened into the warehouse. The warehouse had some glass counters surrounded by classic barber chairs, old fashioned posters, barber poles and display cases full vintage straight razors. Here’s where we met Phil.
The thing I noticed first about Phil was his great hair. Thick black hair with a widow’s peak and great body. I asked what he used in it and he said nothing…sigh. He gets fantastic hair and I get a puffy, grey q-tip I need to glue down each morning. Oh well, I’m sure someone will discover a redeeming quality in me someday. Anyway, like Deric, Phil was very friendly and happy to talk about the products, the shop, his families history in barbering. I think he said his Grandad started the business in the 1930’s. Pretty impressive.
The product lines read like a who’s who of all the stuff I’ve been resorting to mail order for: Suavecito, Layrite, Imperial, JS Sloane, Colonel Conk, Merkur, Shiner Gold. I’m sure there’s more that I’m missing but if there’s something their missing just tell Phil and he’ll put it on his list of things to get. I took a peek at it and it contained such things as wool fat shaving soap (maybe Mitchell’s?) and Tabac shaving soap so we know that the clientele has good taste also.
Unfortunately they didn’t have a covered wooden shaving bowl for me, thought they did have a couple of lacquered ceramic ones and a few Colonel Conk ones that came with that brands glycerin shaving soap. However we didn’t walk out empty handed, how could we with that selection? We grabbed a tin of Shiner Gold Pomade and Imperial Classic Pomade so expect to see something about those in the upcoming weeks.
I know I didn’t spend much time on the barber shop portion but I didn’t have time to get a haircut. Let me just say that Deric is fast, does a great job and the prices are very affordable. We watched through the window for a bit as he was doing a cut and it was a lot of fun. Not only am I going back for a cut but I’m looking forward to the massage you get afterwards. I’m going to avoid quoting you their prices because I don’t want to hear it if you find this post in 5 years and complain that he’s charging 3 dollars more. Just be happy there are people this talented out there who are willing to help you look great.
You can find them on Facebook and Yelp (see all those 5 stars? That’s good.) If you tell them Grooming Dave sent you they’ll, well, they won’t do anything different because they don’t know Grooming Dave but you’ll get a great haircut.
Herman’s Barber Shop & Supplies is at:
525 Auzerais Ave
San Jose, CA 95126
Mon 9 am – 5 pm
Tue-Fri 9 am – 8 pm
Sat-Sun 9 am – 6 pm
Disclosure: I stole all these photos from their Facebook page without permission. I’ll try to take some of my own when I get my haircut but I’m lazy and wouldn’t count on it. I am not associated with Herman’s Barber Shop or any of the products or web pages mentioned in this article.