Just like how women go to a spa not just for better skin but also as a relaxing session, English gentlemen in the past are known to go to their regular barber for a shave, hair trim or massage as part of their grooming ritual.
Daily Vanity has seen a few salons bringing this culture into Singapore in the last few years, but the newly opened LA Barbershop definitely has the works to make us feel like we were transported back to England in the 18th century.
Located conveniently at Novena Square, LA Barbershop stands out among the other shops in the mall because of its interior design that oozes old English charm. It’s hard to miss the barbershop because of the red-and-white pole that you’ll be greeted by at its doorway.
Walk into the shop and you’ll definitely notice comfortable chairs featuring full leather upholstery from the headrest to the footrest. But its vintage appearance hides a high-tech feature – a button on the chair helps adjust how far it reclines and another turns the chair so customers can sit on it more easily.
LA Barbershop presents a personal cosy experience. Barbers in smart shirts and suspenders can only attend to two customers at a time, and you can enjoy a cup of freshly-made coffee as you enjoy the services, which makes it the perfect place to head to for a father-and-son bonding session.
While LA Barbershop offers an extensive suite of grooming services that you can find in mid- to high-end salons, it prides itself in offering them at affordable prices. A Premium Cut (precision hair cut, razor line clean up, shampoo, scalp massage and styling) is available at SGD36, Beard Trim (precision beard trim, clipper and razor clean cut) is at SGD15 and Head Massage is at SGD25.
When we visited LA Barbershop, we tried their Ear Cleaning service (SGD20), which was recommended to us as a unique service that we can’t usually find in other salons. The barber doesn’t just clean your ear flaps and outer ear canals, but also offers a ear massage – a service that we definitely haven’t heard of before.
The barbers told us that our ears require regular massages just like the rest of our body for it to relax and be able to function better.
How was the Ear Cleaning service at LA Barbershop like?
I were surprised that it was definitely nothing like the ear candling service that we are more familiar with. The tools and gadgets that they used were nothing like what I’ve seen before: peacock feather and horse tail hair on sticks, and a “tuning fork”?
Inspecting my ears with a headgear that comes with a magnifying glass and light, the barber carefully check my ear canals to study their depths and condition.
He begins the service by tickling the ear area with the peacock feather. The process is done to relax the ears, he explained. Following which, he started cleaning the ear canals.
Although I find it a little awkward at first for someone to look at my ears so closely, I quickly got used to it, because he worked very gently and professionally so there was no discomfort at all.
Then, he moved on to using the more sophisticated tools such as the horsetail hair and tuning fork. The former is used to gently massage the ear canal, and the latter was used to create a ringing sound.
The ear massage felt ticklish, but strangely relaxing. The ringing sound, on the other hand, sends a lot of vibrations that I could feel down my ear canal, and is said to also help relax the ears. I don’t particularly enjoy the process but find the peculiar process very intriguing.
If you’re visiting LA Barbershop for its grooming services, give the Ear Cleaning service a shot. Try it once for the sake of a unique experience, and who knows, you might enjoy it so much, you’d want to come back more regularly for it!
LA Barbershop is located at #02-02 Novena Square and is opened from 10.30am to 9.20pm. Call 6904-4311 for enquiries and appointments.