Why Better Barbers Matter

Cuts by Hugo is successful due to a winning formula.  We have the best barbers in the DMV who consistently provide the highest quality cuts. We proudly do so at a competitive price. The shop continues the longstanding tradition of barber shop excellence in the National Press Building. Formerly known as Mario’s Barber Shop dating all the way back to 1975, our career barbers love what they do. Stop by and see for yourself why better barbers matter.

Our Philosophy

The essence of any barber shop is the talent and personality of its staff.  That’s one reason that CbH stands out in the landscape of D.C. Metro area barber shops.

Over the years, the “ButcherShop” chains have sneakily raised their prices to $20 or more. If you roll the dice and find someone you like, the odds they’ll still be there in a few years are slim to none. The turnover in those shops is brutal. Staff members are often trained to purposely leave one component of your hair long in order to snag your next $20 sooner rather than later. Some corporate chains now skim a portion of tips paid on a credit card.  It’s no wonder their employees are often miserable and uninspired. Worst of all, you often leave with a poor quality hair cut.

The other end of the spectrum is made up of the gimmicky over-priced barber shops. They often boast a retro theme or British motif. They use the “snob factor” to try to convince you that their $55 haircut somehow just has to be better since it costs more. The dirty little secret is that they have a flawed business model. They overpay for their lease and buildout and thus operate with high overhead levels. They are also lower volume shops due to their high price point. This contributes to their barbers receiving a smaller than normal percentage of the revenue they generate. This combination prevents them from attracting and retaining the best barbers. Thus, you “pay more for less.”

Simply stated, CbH is the home of better barbers. Career barbers. Successful barbers. Inspired barbers who love what they do. Yes, better barbers really do matter.

A History of the Barbering Profession

THE profession of barbering is one of the oldest in the world. Archaeological studies indicate that some crude forms of facial and hair adornment were practiced among prehistoric people in the glacial age.There are in existence many relics, such as combs, cosmetics and razors, the latter made of tempered copper and bronze, which came from the tombs of Egypt. These relics, as well as many written records, reveal that the nobility and priesthood had already become regular patrons for the barbers’ services 6000 years ago.

In those ancient days the barbers’ art included shaving, haircutting, beard trimming, hair coloring and facial makeup.  During the time of Moses (1450-1400 B.C.) barber services became available to the general population, as well as to the nobility.

In the golden age of Greece, 500 B. C., well-trimmed beards were fashionable. Later, in 334 B. C., Alexander the Great decreed that beards must be shaved, Thus the have became a military. expediency for the purpose of gaining advantage in the hand-to-hand combat. This enabled Alexander’s warriors to grasp an enemy by the beard, but they themselves were safeguarded in this customary method of fighting.

Barbering was introduced in Rome in 296 B. C. There the art became further advanced, and Rome became known for it fine baths and barber salons. The barbers became very popular and prosperous, and their shops were frequented as centers for daily news and gossip. All free men of Rome were clean-shaven, while slaves were forced to wear beards. It is from the (Latin) word barba, meaning beard, that the word “barber” is derived.

The year 1745 marks the end of a long and glorious period in the history of the barber profession. Stripped of it’s former prestige, barbering continued to decline economically, technically and even morally.

The Rebirth of a Profession

In the latter part of the 19th century a few barbers who were men of high ideals initiated efforts to lift the craft of barbering from its degraded position to it rightful level of professional, personal service.  On December 5, 1887, the Journeyman Barbers International Union was formed at its first national convention at Buffalo, New York.

In 1897 the first barber license law was passed in Minnesota. This state legislation was designed to prescribe sanitary practices for barbering, and it stipulated minimum educational and technical requirements for barbers in that state.

On October 21, 1929, the National Association of State Boards of Barbers Examiners was organized at its first convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. Its purposes, expressed in resolutions adapted by the convention, were to standardize qualifications of applicants for barber examinations and to standardize methods of examining applicants. Also, this organization of State Barber Boards declared itself to be a clearing house for information that might be of value to all State Barber Boards.

In 1925 the Associated Master Barbers and Beautification of America established the National Education Council, whose purposes were to standardize school training and to uplift the art of barbering.

Source: Excerpted from Standardized Textbook of Barbering Fourth Edition. Published by Associated Master Barbers And Beauticians of America. 1950