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The cutting edge of cool

Filed by Lucire staff/October 31, 2010/22.08

On a recent stealth mission, Lucire’s fashion spy Samantha Coagan visited the über-trendy Rudy’s Barber Shop in Santa Monica, California. Rudy’s, founded by one of the partners from the oh-so-chic Ace Hotel chain (see ‘Volante’ review of their Palm Springs property), advertises cheap cuts, no frills and a walk-in policy, though you can reserve. Most locations, five in the Southland—as well as Portland and Seattle—are open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.
   Imposing the most difficult conditions on the unsuspecting business, Samantha danced unannounced into the Santa Monica shop at 1 p.m. on a Saturday, where five cutters were happily at work snipping away. She waited only 10 minutes before settling into her own chair in the minimalist, spacious, post-industrial storefront, which features vintage décor. The store has a friendly and open style, with cutters greeting their customers with a smile and a handshake. The manager was observed making a circuit of the stations, sweeping away the hair on the floor.
   â€˜It’s a scene,’ Samantha says. ‘A place to see and be seen, and everybody has pierces and tattoos.’ There’s a shelf of old National Geographics which nobody was reading, opting instead for the excellent and up-to-date magazine rack. One guy thumbed through a style book trying to decide which look he wanted. ‘The stylist told me it’s mostly guys who come to the shop, but half the customers today were women. There were “before and after” Polaroids on the wall next to the desk, which gave me a feeling of reassurance, but I also felt pretty safe after the honest consultation with my tattooed lady stylist before she starting shearing me.’
   Samantha’s last cut was 60 days ago, so she was prepared lose some length, and the stylist didn’t disappoint. The final cut has a rough, retro ’60s shape that later very nicely survived a windblown ride in a convertible on the Santa Monica Freeway. Total price US$30, with a US$5 tip.
   Rudy’s stocks a full shelf of Bumble & Bumble products, and will soon have its own signature products on offer as well. Remember to pick up a free pencil on your way out.
   Would she go back? ‘Let’s see how it grows out,’ Samantha answered. ‘If I like it in a week, yes, I definitely would.’—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor

Rudy’s Barber Shop
3101 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Telephone 1 310 450-2930

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