The Bay’s Cutest Barbers, Found!

Saddling up in an old-school barber chair is usually a matter of classic grooming. Of course, when it comes to looking your best, you'll also want to be in the best hands — someone who knows a thing or two about looking sharp, if you catch our drift.
That’s why we popped our heads into the Bay’s top barbershops to find the snazziest cut masters around. Trust us, after meeting these five adorable, razor-wielding cuties, you’ll be running to your phone to make that appointment. From an Oakland babe who gives a killer shave, to a dapper dude you’ll be tempted to wink at in the mirror (we wouldn't blame you), get on a first-name basis after the jump, and find out what makes them, well, a cut above the rest.

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Photographed by Rachelle Derouin
Name: Kyle Holbrook
Gig: Barber at Fellow Barber
Hood: Mission

How did you start barbering and long have you been doing it?
"Not unlike a lot of barbers, I started off cutting my friend's hair in my backyard in college, and once I realized I could make a living working with my hands and talking to people all day, there was no looking back. I've been cutting hair for about five years."

Are you single? If so, how would a guy/girl get your attention when you're working?
"I am lucky to be happily taken by a girl I've known and loved since I was 16."

What's the most embarrassing thing someone's done to flirt while you're working?
"I'm pretty sure I talk about my girlfriend and home life so much that folks are too exhausted to even go there."

How would you describe your style?
"I don't stick to any particular style. I grew up fishing and being outdoors, so I stick with the old blue jeans and flannel or button-down shirt. Red Wing boots feel good on your feet when cutting hair all day."

Where do you shop for clothes?
"I know I might get some grief for this, but I have a soft spot for Western wear or consignment stores. It always ends up being the $3 shirts that I reach for in the morning."
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Photographed by Rachelle Derouin


What's your signature service and how do you do it?
"I'm pretty nostalgic for all the old-fashioned, clean-cut type of haircuts. My favorite is the contour or a pompadour faded down to the skin. I start by neatly tapering down the perimeter of the hairline, then throw a little pomade in, and blow dry the hair into shape. Then, I finish off the cut by blending it into the top length. This gives me a pretty good idea of what a haircut is going to look like when my client styles it the next morning. Cutting flat tops is also a blast, although not many guys are wearing them around S.F. these days."

What is the most popular service requested in S.F.?
"I'd say we get the most requests for a cut with short sides and back with a part somewhere, pushed over to the side and keeping some length in front. A lot of guys want a classic cut with a more modern texture, so we do quite a bit of those as well."

Have any crazy, behind-the-chair stories you can divulge?
"I've had my share of crazy in barber school, but these days it's the people watching through our big front windows and clients trying to send text messages while they are getting a shave."

Do you plan on sticking to barbering, or do you have any other plans for the future?
"I plan on cutting hair until I'm one of those long-winded old men reading the paper in his chair. I would also love to give back to the trade someday by teaching at a barber school or doing apprenticeships for young people interested in barbering."
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Photographed by Rachelle Derouin
Name: Sarah Schaefer
Gig: Barber at Temescal Alley Barbershop
Hood: Oakland

How did you start barbering and long have you been doing it?
"I wish I had some romantic story, but the truth is I didn't want to pay for college and I needed a job. It's been ten years with no regrets."

What's your signature service and how do you do it?
"I wouldn't say it's my signature, but we do a lot of fades and tapers. As to how I do it, let's just say 'carefully.'"

What is the most popular service requested in S.F.?
"Well, I think most people would agree that the Mad Men look is very popular right now, which is a classic haircut. Short sides, a hard part, and lots of pomade. I'm trying to get guys to switch it up though, and do the Walter White."

Have any crazy, behind-the-chair stories you can divulge?
"Not without offending someone, but it is pure comedy most days. Once I had a guy show me a picture of a margarita and said he wanted his hair cut like that. I said, 'Just so we're clear, you want your hair cut like a margarita?' So amazing."
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Photographed by Rachelle Derouin


What's the most embarrassing thing someone's done to flirt while you're working?
"Never embarrassing; always flattering."

How would you describe your style?
"I work around guys most the time and bite their style a lot."

Where do you shop for clothes?
"In S.F., I love Reliquary. In Oakland, lots of good stuff here in the alley. Also, I know I'm late to the game on this, but I just recently discovered eBay."

Do you plan on sticking to barbering, or do you have any other plans for the future?
"I think this is it for me. I can't wait for the days of being a little old-lady barber that gives seven-minute, terrible haircuts because I'm old and you cant argue with that."
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Photographed by Rachelle Derouin
Name: David Anthony Garcia
Gig: Barber at Peoples Barber & Shop

How did you start barbering and long have you been doing it?
"I have been the industry about eight years. I got into it because my boss at the time told me that I was something better and that this business was for me."

What's your signature service and how do you do it?
"Any type of hair cutting. I personalize every cut to each individual."

Have any crazy, behind-the-chair stories you can divulge?
"One time, a client asked me to cut his dog's hair because I gave him such a great haircut."

Are you single? If so, how would a guy/girl get your attention when you're working?
"I am! The easiest way is a smile."
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Photographed by Rachelle Derouin


What's the most embarrassing thing someone's done to try to pick up on you while you're working?
"I was sent flowers and a card that asked if I would go on a date. I was so flattered."

How would you describe your style?
"Alternative. I try to stay on trend. I'm always checking out what the newest trends are from high-end designers."

Where do you shop for clothes?
"I like to pair old and new pieces. I'll stop in Chanel for a button-down and pair it with jeans from the thrift store."

Do you plan on sticking to barbering, or do you have any other plans for the future?
"Yes, for the current moment. Maybe I'll open up my own shop someday."
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Photographed by Rachelle Derouin
Name: Joe Polissky
Gig: Barber at Temescal Alley Barbershop
Hood: Temescal, Oakland

How did you start barbering and long have you been doing it?
"I've been interested in the trade since I was very young. I pursued my license a few years ago and have been working at Temescal Alley Barbershop since."

What's your signature service and how do you do it?
"I wouldn't say I have a signature — just your basic barbering services: haircuts, shaves, and beard trims. Haircut-wise, I specialize in traditional tapered styles using clippers and shears for the cut, and finishing with a straight-razor shave along the neck."

What is the most popular service requested in S.F.?
"In Oakland, it's usually a tight, professional-looking taper. Short back and sides, and a little off the top."

Have any crazy, behind-the-chair stories you can divulge?
"I've had people nod off in the chair in the middle of a haircut quite a few times. Maybe high? Maybe really sleepy? I suppose that's not very crazy."
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Photographed by Rachelle Derouin
Are you single? If so, how would a girl get your attention when you're working?
"I'm not. I've been happily married to my wife, Vanessa, for four years now."

What's the most embarrassing thing someone's done to try to pick up on you while you're working?
"What's embarrassing is that I've never been picked up on while at work."

How would you describe your style?
"Simple and clean. I stick with dark denim, oxford shirts, crewneck sweatshirts, and boots for the most part."

Where do you shop for clothes?
"Standard & Strange, Taylor Stitch, and Minds Eye Vintage."

Do you plan on sticking to barbering, or do you have any other plans for the future?
"It took me a long time to realize that this was my calling, so I definitely will be sticking to barbering for the foreseeable future. I do, however, want to own a shop someday."
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Photographed by Rachelle Derouin
Name: Manee Ramos
Gig: Barber at Public Barber Salon
Hood: Tenderloin

How did you start barbering and long have you been doing it?
"I started barbering about seven years ago. I was inspired by a wonderful friend of mine named Tabitha. I was going to her shop every day just to watch her cut hair."

What's your signature service and how do you do it?
"I'm very particular on my men's haircuts, paying attention to small details on a guy's fade is key to a great result. No lines, just a soft blend."

What is the most popular service requested in S.F.?
"The most popular service right now are really close fades with strong partings. I would say a classic 1920s look."

Have any crazy, behind-the-chair stories you can divulge?
"The craziest thing a client has ever told me was that he stole a Snickers bar from the candy store. Sorry, I never cut and tell."
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Photographed by Rachelle Derouin
Are you single? If so, how would a guy get your attention when you're working?
"No, I'm not single. I'm with the most handsome man I know, Mr. Michael Correa."

What's the most embarrassing thing someone's done to try to pick up on you while you're working?
"The most embarrassing pick up at work was a man telling me, 'You're very good with your hands, and I'm sure you'd be good in other areas of the body.'"

How would you describe your style?
"I would say my style is pretty casual and laid-back, but always sharp."

Where do you shop for clothes?
"I usually do a lot of thrifting. I love buying something for the cost of nothing and making it look way more expensive than it is."

Do you plan on sticking to barbering, or do you have any other plans for the future?
"I will do hair until my hands fall off. Or, should I say until I can be a stay-at-home wife?"
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