We are frequently asked questions about how we find barbershops and what makes us choose where we are going to film. We spend a lot of time researching and take several factors into consideration before we ultimately decide where to film. Sometimes our search can begin with a single photograph. In this article we share a little bit more background into our most popular videos with over a million views.
I Never Imagined There Would Be So Much Interest!
From the very beginning of our journey, it was such a great surprise to see all of the interest in our first YouTube video of an Indian barbershop experience. Many of you already know that our original video was filmed in 1999 prior to YouTube’s existence. I had no idea this video would lead into what this channel is today. Back then, I thought it was the greatest thing to surpass 100 subscribers and thousands of views. I never imagined there would be that many people interested in the video!
Since then the HairCutHarry YouTube channel was officially launched in 2012 with a reworked version of the original Bombay Haircut video. We have continued to travel and film over 50 barbershop experience videos in 19 countries around the world. It’s amazing to see eight of our most popular videos have over a million views!
“Massive fan, Harry. Your videos are amazing and give such an interesting perspective of people around the world through the lens of haircuts.” -Eliot W
The encouragement and support you have given the HairCutHarry YouTube channel over the years has truly meant a lot to us! Many of you have let us know you enjoy the videos for entertainment, relaxation, the art of barbering, the travel and culture, inspiration, and as an educational tool. We’ve been told the videos are being used in barber schools. We are really happy that so many of you enjoy HairCutHarry’s content!
1. Classic Old Time Wet Shave by the Guardian Angel of Route 66
4+ million views
We had the pleasure of meeting and filming with Angel Delgadillo, the Guardian Angel of Route 66, in 2014. Angel was born in Seligman, Arizona in 1927. He grew up in this small northern Arizona town with his eight siblings. During the Great Depression, Angel’s family was able to stay in Seligman because his two older brothers got jobs in northern Arizona towns along Route 66 playing music for dances. Later, Angel decided to attend the American Barber College in California and he became a barber like his father. Angel has been barbering since 1950 when he first opened his barber shop.
In 1978 the community in Seligman faced a huge economic crisis when the new Interstate 40 opened and bypassed the town. Overnight Seligman went quiet as people took the highway instead of Route 66. So there was no longer the traffic and people visiting the town’s local businesses.
Influencing A New Generation
Subsequent efforts spearheaded by Angel Delgadillo and local activists to persuade the Arizona government to designate route 66 as a historic highway were ultimately successful. In 1987, Route 66 from Seligman to Kingman was made historic by the State of Arizona. Seligman became known as the “Birthplace of Historic Route 66.” Without Angel’s foresight and perseverance, Route 66 as we now know it would not have survived progress.
With Angel’s sense of humor and classic barber shop, it’s not surprising that this is such a popular video and it shows no signs of slowing down! And yes, if you are thinking that Angel’s story sounds strikingly similar to the Pixar movie Cars then you are right. Angel along with others along Route 66 were interviewed by Cars writer John Lasseter while researching the movie in 2000. In the movie the fictional town of Radiator Springs is said to have been influenced by the history of Seligman, Arizona.
“I do everything by the book . . . I hope I don’t forget anything because I lost the book about ten years ago!” -Angel Delgadillo
In 2017, we returned to Seligman for a History Lesson and Haircut from National Treasure Guardian Angel of Route 66. Watch the video to hear more of Angel’s story.
2. Scissor Slinging Las Vegas Haircut Experience at Cliff’s Barber Corral
3+ million views
My research began with seeing a few photos online of Cliff’s Barber Corral in Las Vegas, Nevada. The name of the shop caught my attention. I also saw a Las Vegas business review that showed more of Cliff’s personality and the history of his barber shop. I felt there were all the makings for a good story. From there, we contacted Cliff and arranged to film with him in the winter of 2016.
From the moment we met Cliff we were struck by his passion and love for his work which really comes through in the interview we did with him. Watch the interview video to also find out more about Cliff’s scissors. Cliff has been barbering for over 50 years. He used to work as a stylist in Culver City, California and often found himself cutting the hair of Hollywood stars. When his mother who lived in Las Vegas became ill, he decided to relocate to be closer to her. Cliff has been in Las Vegas for the past few decades.
“I don’t take anything for granted, and I don’t try to be somebody who I am not.” -Cliff Wolosin
In 2018, we caught up again with Cliff and filmed a walk around tour of his shop. We also talked a little bit more about the original filming we did with him. Cliff joked about originally agreeing to do the video to help us out and had no idea his video would end up being so popular. He is really excited to see his video reach the milestone of 3 million views!
3. The Turkish Barber Haircut, Istanbul Turkey
2.8+ million views
While traveling in Turkey in 2010 we filmed this video in Istanbul at Yasemin’s Barbers. I was specifically looking for a barber shop in the Grand Bazaar because it’s one of the oldest covered markets in the world. It is huge with more than 4,000 shops and dates back to the 15th century.
While we were visiting the Grand Bazaar we stumbled upon Yasemin’s Barbers. We asked if we could film on the spot. Then we filmed immediately as we were concerned we wouldn’t be able to find the shop again. The most frequently asked question on this video is, “what was the fire for?” This is the first time I had ever experienced ear hair singeing where the flame burns away the hair! Please only see a trained professional for this. DO NOT ever try this at home!
Finally when editing software became more affordable, I was able to edit the footage. Some of you still remember this is the second video we uploaded to our YouTube channel.
4. America’s Most Polite Barber at The House of Shave Barber Parlor
2.8+ million views
We filmed three videos with Matthew Gallegos in 2014. We were looking for a barber shop in Phoenix, Arizona and saw a photo online of The House of Shave Barber Parlor. It wasn’t the best photo but I could still see there was something special and interesting about the shop.
When I went to visit Matthew’s shop, as soon as I stepped inside I knew this would be a great location to film. The shop is inviting, and it is a personal space that shows off the collector in Matthew. Then after meeting Matthew, I knew immediately he was the right barber to film with. His humble character and focus on “making sure that each and every single person receives the dignity and respect they deserve as a customer” is evident in the interview we filmed. If you have not seen our interview with Matthew, you need to watch it right now!
After we shared this video on YouTube, Matthew quickly got a reputation for being America’s most polite barber!
5. Turkish Barber Head Massage, London UK
2.7+ million views
Jack the Clipper in London was the third barber shop where we filmed in 2013. Founded by Master Barber Halil Ismail in 1996, the brand has expanded into five shops across London. Each shop has a different look and feel. All the shops are staffed by barbers of Turkish heritage who are trained in old Turkish techniques that blend with current trends. Whether you are looking for a cut, shave, or to experience the Full Ripper you are always in for an indulging experience. We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to meet and film with Alex who is a total pro!
We filmed at the Spitalfields Toynbee Street shop located in the heart of Jack The Ripper’s old Victorian terror stomping grounds. These days this area of London is not only much safer but is very popular with tourists exploring the surrounding history and for gastro-adventures along Brick Lane.
6. Lisbon Portugal Haircut Experience at Figaro’s Barbershop
1.7+ million views
Filmed in 2015 not too long after Fabio Marques had opened his flagship shop on Rua do Alecrim in Lisbon. Figaros was one of two shops in Lisbon we had researched prior to travel. I was interested in filming a shave video at an old traditional shop and a haircut at Figaros. At the time we traveled to Lisbon the first shop was closed due to construction. So unfortunately that video did not work out.
Figaro’s Barbershop was opened in 2014 and specializes in classic haircuts from the 1920s to the 50s. When we stopped by the shop to find out about filming there, we were greeted by the awesome Tomás Fernandes. He immediately recognized me from the YouTube channel. We later filmed this haircut video with Fabio, and a hot towel shave video with Salvador Rodrigues. We also filmed an interview with Fabio where he shared his passion about barbering.
7. Turkish Barber Wet Shave, London UK
1.3+ million views
In 2013 we had an overnight stay in London in between flights. So we literally went straight to Jack the Clipper from the airport. We made it before closing time to film this Turkish Barber Wet Shave with Alex. Alex gave such a luxurious and pampering treatment that included threading, ear hair singeing, hot wax, an eye mask, and an invigorating hot towel treatment. It was a good wake up experience to help shake off the jet lag! Please only see a trained professional for ear hair singeing. DO NOT ever try this at home!
Since this was one of our very early videos that we filmed, we didn’t have the greatest audio equipment at the time. Therefore, during editing I added background music since the audio recording wasn’t the best. However, the feedback we have been given over time has been that the preference is for no background music on the videos. Going forward from then we really began working on the audio and capturing the natural sounds of the barber shops. Our later videos do not have music added to them. As we continue to film, we experiment on the audio of the videos and are always looking at ways to improve.
8. The Phoenix Wet Shave at The House of Shave Barber Parlor
1.3+ million views
This is the second video we filmed with Matthew Gallegos at the House of Shave Barber Parlor in Phoenix, Arizona. Matthew came in on his day off when the shop was closed so we could film the videos with better control of the audio. In addition to looking for unique barbers and barbershops with an interesting story, we recognize that the audio is also a key component of our videos.
“What’s important to me is making sure that each and every single person receives the dignity and respect they deserve as a customer. A nice little hot steamed towel and a neck shave and a shoulder neck massage is very soothing to the everyday man.” -Matthew Gallegos
Ever since we began filming the barber shop experiences, we have learned a lot through trial and error. With each new video, we incorporate what we learned while filming the previous video. There is always something new to learn when it comes to cameras, filming, lighting, audio, and editing!
By filming outside of regular business hours, it helps us to have more control of the environment which results in better quality sound and film. We are able to turn off the music and television and not have personal conversations in the background being recorded. As you can run into copyright violations if you have unlicensed music playing in the background. We also only have one take to film the experience as we can’t film again for a second take once my hair has been cut. The goal is to capture the natural sounds of the barber shop in a way that we can create an authentic soundscape of the experience as if you were there.
9. Special Mention: The Original HairCut Harry Indian Barber Shop Experience
982,000+ views (getting close to a million views)
So many of you have been with our channel since the very beginning and remember our original YouTube video! This Indian barber shop experience was filmed in 1999 while we were traveling through India. I saw the barber shop as we passed by one day and saw all of this bustling activity inside. It was in a world of it’s own surrounded by the chaos on the street outside. I decided that is where I am going to get my haircut. It was my first time in an Indian barber shop and I went in just to get a haircut. Little did I know the extent of the services that are typically provided. So I was in for a great surprise when I got the full works including my face being massaged with an electric buffer!
When we returned home, I shared the footage with family and friends who enjoyed watching this unusual unique experience. However, it wasn’t until 2006 when a colleague introduced me to YouTube that I found a platform to share this video with a wider audience.
Our Very First Video Was Filmed In 1999 Prior To YouTube’s Existence!
In December 2006 I uploaded the video of the Indian barbershop experience to YouTube. At the time I couldn’t afford the editing software nor a computer powerful enough to run it. I ultimately found a cheap software program that could only auto edit video footage in sync with a music track. The software edited the footage to the beat of this fast paced track I had selected which made for rapid random cuts. Many viewers complained about this editing. I received feedback saying the video could be really good if it wasn’t edited in this style. Despite the bad editing, the video was actually getting a lot of views. It was great to see the universal appeal of an Indian barber shop experience! Some of you still remember that original video and for many years it was the only video on my channel.
When video editing software became more affordable I was able to re-edit the original Indian barber shop footage into the current version. So this video was uploaded to the newly launched HairCut Harry YouTube channel in 2012. Fast forward to 2017 when we returned to India after 18 years. We went back to where it all began to search for the original barber from the video and we were so happy that we found him! Watch the journey we filmed, Full Circle: Return To Where it All Started as well as the second video we filmed, Back After 18 Years – Wet Shave and Head Massage with YouTube’s Original Barber!
A Million Thanks!
We are extremely grateful to all of the awesome barbers who we have met and filmed with throughout this journey. To everyone who watches our videos, we can’t thank you enough for supporting the channel and being a part of the adventure! A million thanks to all of our Patreon supporters who are generously helping us with video production costs!