“You expect me to just pay bills and die?”

The Gentleman's Secret Hideaway

The Gentleman's Secret Hideaway

Now if your fade is as tight as we is on the mic
Just got your whip clean and your kicks on tight
'Bout to pull the flyest chick you ever pulled in your life
Then you doin what we doin and you doin it right

~ Barbershop, MURS feat. Rapper Big Pooh (2006)

The latest I can be, is on time.  By that metric, I'm absolutely late.  It's a reunion today with some of the greatest people in my life, but I refuse to appear without my greatest accessory.  There's twenty men deep in the shop today.  My barber, Maurice, is shaving through cuts like the express checkout at Sobey's.  It was a difficult road to arrive here, but here we are.


First week of high school, I'm nervous as shit  to be starting from bottom all over again.  I have a high top, pseudo fade that my dad has been perfecting since I was seven.  I'm out here thinking I'm the 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air', but I'm Steve Urkell awaiting his Stefan moment.  Picture this, if you will, black splash pants, a daffy duck Chicago Bulls shirt and frames that cover 70 percent of my face.


Over the summer I decide to up my game.  I bought contacts, jeans, bench pressed endlessly and last, but not least, found a barbershop.  Cutmasters was my sanctuary for the next twelve years, a place to chop it up with my community and talk everything from politics to sports to music to who the baddest dimes are.  This became my haven, I'd go bi-weekly and Kevin, my barber, turned into a friend.


When I moved to the 6ix, auditioning barbershops was a tough job.  If you have to look fresh.  The hair cut is the most important accessory.  My caucasian brethren would let their shit flow like Samson.  For us, you have a couple variations on styles, let it D'Angelo, Jump Man or Nasty Nas.  I've always been a pretty boy, this was my lane.  I auditioned fourteen barbers in search of the perfect fade.


Finally, enter Onyx barbershop, Lowell and Maurice balanced the finesse and style with the efficiency I required.  The ten other barbers at Onyx all have their own unique benefits, but for my purposes, these were my dudes.


Since then, I go every week and allow me to give you a look inside with a couple tips.


1)  Call ahead, unless you want to be sitting for up to four hours.


2)  Brush up on your sports knowledge because every one is a GM who knows what's best for their favourite NBA, NFL and premier league franchise.


3)  Know what you want, don't come in indecisive.  By doing this, you're just holding up the fluidity of the service.


4)  DO NOT BRING YOUR GIRL.  Allow me to reiterate, do not bring your girl.  Unless she's an extremely comfortable person.  She will be glared at and this is a establishment rampant with mirrors.  This isn't intended to be creepy, its just natural for especially when you're mostly dealing with men.


5)  TIP!!!  If you're impressed with the way they finessed everything, show your appreciation with a great tip.  Keep in mind, this isn't a restaurant, these barbers are essentially styling your head top.  These men are Picasso with the shavers.


These aren't hard, fast rules, but they're a guideline.  This is my weekly haven where I go to chill, feel the pulse of the city and relax.  When you find a great barber, never let them go because the only one that knows your head more than you, is them and they'll never do you wrong if you treat them right.


Marque Cecil

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