This lovely old barber shop in Lisbon’s Largo do Chiado almost makes me want to be a man. I can just imagine leaning back in one of the old leather chairs to be lathered up with a horse hair shaving brush then scraped clean of whiskers with a well-sharpened cut-throat razor.
Miguel Leon has been working as a barber at Barbearia Campos for just a few months. He tells me how much he prefers this job to his former life as an account manager. “It’s more relaxing and the different people I meet are very interesting. It’s also less stressful because I don’t take work home any more,” he explains.
It must be quite satisfying work; His colleague has been making men look their best for 62 years, having started work at the age of 12.
The establishment has seen kings, poets, politicians and comedians come through its doors over the decades. Today, about half the customers have been coming here for generations. The other half are tourists, curious to experience what’s becoming a dying art.
When Barbearia Campos first opened in 1886, barbers didn’t restrict their services to tidying up their customers’ hair; they sometimes doubled up as dentists. The devil chairs at the back of the shop are named after this practice. The shop is full of original artefacts and curiosities, making it an interesting place to pop into, even if you’re not getting a hair cut, shave or beard trim.
If you do want to sit back and get the full experience, a shave with cut throat razor and hot towels will cost you 9 euros while a haircut is 12.50 euros. The barber’s shop is open from 9 am to 7 pm every day except Sunday.
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