style by Sam Potenciano

Not Another Barbershop

This Poblacion barbershop wants you to take your grooming seriously—and to stop being embarrassed by that.

Tell us about the overall concept of Another Barbershop.
We’re a small neighborhood barbershop and retail space in Poblacion. The shop’s main goal is to helps guys upgrade their grooming routine beyond just buying pomade or getting a haircut. That means offering haircare, skincare, and lifestyle products and services that’ll help him look good and feel good. We know that men’s grooming has been getting more sophisticated and guys are more open to adopting a grooming regimen of their own—but there was an absence of a space or a brand that really catered to all of this. Housing this concept in a barbershop made sense, as the barbershop is the original grooming destination for men.

Your shop name is very tongue-in-cheek. Is there a story behind that?
There’s no big story behind the name. I think when we were thinking of what we wanted to call the shop, we knew that there were already a bunch of barbershops out there—really good ones, too. And so in some sense we wanted to keep reminding ourselves of what we were getting into, if only to keep us on our ass, making sure we were different, making sure we had something else to offer. We wanted to remind ourselves that we could end up being just Another Barbershop. Hopefully we don’t end up being that!

How did you settle on this location?
We’ve been captivated by Poblacion’s character and the creative energy coming from all the new establishments opening up in the area. We knew we wanted to open up the shop in this neighborhood. Going around one week, 5880 Enriquez really caught our eye—the architecture, design. We loved the neighborhood vibe and knew we wanted to be a part of it.another barber 1How would you describe your design influences when putting together the look of the shop?
Because we wanted to offer something more than the traditional barbershop, it was important that people felt that right away. So the best place for us to show this was in how the shop looked and felt. We have a lot of affinity for barbershop culture, but we want to offer a different perspective of that.

Being fixated on this story of grooming, the first thing that always came to our minds was the color white. We wanted the shop to be very clean, somewhat sterile and clinical, but at the same time allude to a barbershop in the details. That’s where the industrial touches came in. The shop is still very much a work in progress, we want to put a few plants in there and some artwork perhaps, but we’re letting it evolve on its own as we go. I think the most important thing for us is to make sure the products and the services are able to stand out in this space.

Can you tell us about the services that you guys offer? Are they more on the traditional side? What makes them stand out from other barbershops?
At the moment, we have all the services you find at other barbershops: cut, shave, hair/scalp treatments, nail grooming. What make these services stand apart are the products and brands involved with these services.

For our cuts, we offer two shampoos to finish off the service: both from Redken for Men. They cater to two different needs and we pick and choose based on the client’s profile. Clean Brew is a shampoo made primarily from malt (yes, beer) and is perfect for the guy that uses a lot of styling product on the regular. It cleanses the scalp but also effectively cleans the hair of product buildup better than any other shampoo out there. Mint Clean is peppermint infused and perfect for maintaining a healthy scalp; it feels great on application as well. 

For our shaving service, we use all Proraso products from the beginning to the end of the service. It’s a great Italian brand that has been family owned for more than a century. And for our treatments we only use Davines products. 

We’re also working hard to start rolling out more skin-related services in the near future. Again, we want to be a shop that answers all the grooming needs: skin, hair, body, etc. Once those are rolled out, definitely that will be another area for us to stand apart.another barber 2We overheard that you might be offering unisex services in the future. Can you tell us a little bit about what made you decide to do that?
We want guys to be able to come to our shop and not be intimidated or embarrassed about talking about grooming; that’s our main goal. We’re really into all these products that we’re finding and carrying, and we want to invite women to come and check them out too. They’re not necessarily just for guys. All our candles skew towards a muskier undertone but surely there are a lot of women who appreciate that. I think that’s what we had in mind when talking unisex: grooming nowadays is quite fluid, and while menthol, musky, woody profiles are generally marketed towards men, fuck it, we invite all the women who appreciate that to come by just the same. Maybe you won’t get a shave, but definitely try our treatments.

Your product selection stands out right away because it’s so distinct. Can you talk about some of your favorites that are available for retail?
We’re really proud of all the products we’re carrying. We want to make sure we carry products from brands that we stand behind: tested and vetted by our team, products we would use ourselves. So we try not to carry a dozen different pomades or a dozen different facial cleansers; we’re on the hunt for the perfect pomade, the perfect cleanser, the perfect scrub and so on. At the moment we have haircare products (shampoos, conditioners, treatments), hairstyling products (pomades, creams, pastes), shaving products (pre-shaving to aftershave balms), and lifestyle products (we carry two scents from an LA-based candle company called PF Candle Co.). We’re kind of suckers for things that smell great! It equates to cleanliness for a lot of us. So all of our products have very distinct fragrant characteristics and carrying scented candles was important for us. We believe that while looking good makes you feel good, this also goes the other way around: feeling good makes you look good. And who doesn’t appreciate a good smelling room, right?another barber 3The thing that initially actually caught our eye about the brand was the typography that you use for your logo. It gives off a bit of a retro feeling, which ties in with the old school barbershop pole outside. Was it a conscious decision to marry the old with the new?
Definitely. Again, we still identify ourselves as a barbershop—just one that is trying to offer something else. So design wise, with the logo and the shop’s aesthetic, we wanted this contrast to be evident. The old with the new is a good way to put it.

Lastly, what do you personally look for in a barbershop experience, and how did you make sure to address this when putting together your own space?
We wanted that neighborhood feel: a shop where there’s no feeling of intimidation, where people know your name, or at least are interested enough to know your name; to really listen to what you want and help you get that. This is something we’ll always be working on, making sure that with all the services and all the different products that we have in our arsenal, we can really speak to each of our customers and get to know them well enough to know how we can help them groom better. It doesn’t escape us that we’re new players in a field of great barbershops, but we’re looking forward to evolving into a great shop and want people to come experience the shop and grow with us.

Produced by Sam Potenciano
Photography by Ralph Mendoza

Sam Potenciano
Sam Potenciano
Sam is the digital editor of L’Officiel Manila. Formerly the founding editor of The Neighborhood and the editor-in-chief of Candy magazine, she is also a columnist for The Philippine Star's Young Star section. Follow her on Instagram at @sampotenciano.
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