It was 4 am and I was wide awake. Swiping my thumb up and down for a page refresh that would never appear on my Instagram feed. So, I turned to the next best thing, my explore page. I'm still unsure if it was the delirium or complete and utter desperation for entertainment -but one of the tiny icons caught my eye. It was a rather attractive man getting a haircut. I clicked on the video because I then decided that man would be my husband. Little did I know that I was about to fall down a rabbit hole. For some reason this video mesmerized me and I couldn’t stop watching barbers cut men's hair. I was so intrigued and relaxed.
Doing this project pushed me to do something I've never done before- ask strangers to take their picture. There is something terrifying about the matter, but also doing it in a place where usually you won't find another woman. I found it almost impossible to find barbers who were not busy. The sleepy stores I would glance into out of sheer curiosity didn't seem to exist anymore. And every man in New York City is apparently getting a haircut at 2:00 in the afternoon on a work day. I found myself loitering in front of shops while the men from inside would stare at me with intrigue. Sometimes they would wave me in, or open the door and ask me what I was doing. They were curious as to why me- a woman is photographing their shop. The answer is simple. I am an outsider looking in on something that I will never experience or fully understand; and I think that's the beauty of it. While some people think well, it's just a haircut, others look at it as a lifestyle. Avi, a barber at the Bonefade Barber Shop in the East Village shared that with me. And when you're in his shop you can feel the reality of that statement.
A New York City barbershop is timeless. They are on almost every block, trust me, I know I've walked this entire city looking for them. They are a dying breed, but here in New York - they will in fact, live forever.
Below, I have some of my favorite photos from the project!