First stop was “Bolt” Barbers in downtown LA. A bit of a dark area of the city, but this open planned old barbering business with its bygone nostalgia was a great experience for the historian looking to see how old mixed with the new. The full size timber shuffleboard table was a hit for a quick game whilst waiting for a clip. I was very pleased with my new style up and was looking good for the start of the journey up the West Coast. I had a quick chat with the owner of Bolt, “Mohawk Matt”, and he was excited about his latest venture, with a barbershop on a train carriage in downtown Las Vegas – the first of this concept in the States. Next stop was San Francisco – a city with hundreds of cool barbershops to experience. I was in training for a Fun Run in Portland, so I took the opportunity to push my fitness and walk around the hilly inner city of San Fran and check out the best of the best. Being an upfront Aussie hipster, I pushed my way into a Product Launch in the “Fellow Barber” in the Mission District of the city. This cool space is part of a New York Chain, which has multiple stores in the Big Apple and its suburbs. The shop had a very cool fit out; it felt like I was on the set of a Sex in the City shoot, as the drinks flowed freely. My next port of call was a visit to the coolest city in the USA: Portland, Oregon. A good mate I was visiting led us on the ultimate barbershop adventure into the arty district of North Portland to check out the Latest of the Modern Man concepts, with a sideshow alley fit out barbershop and the coolest “Speak Easy” basement whisky bar. The bar was like the inside of an old red rattler train, and the screens in each carriage showed a moving train journey – Disneyland for adults, with whisky and a stable, sit down ride. The last episode of my journey was to visit downtown Seattle, Washington, where I headed straight to Pike Place to visit the recommend “Squire” barbershop. The fitout was simple/traditional, and the place was set up for the serious hipster wanting to maintain the right Seattle look. I think the guys on the cutting floor thought I was a bit of a freak wanting to do a story on American barbershops, but they warmed to me and my pointing camera lens after a few accent translations. The trip was very quick, and I saw hundreds of cool businesses that would be the envy of many Aussie barbers. A lot of the businesses I visited were tired hairdressing salons tapping into this growing trendy marketplace. The better businesses I experienced were the original shops that were steeped in tradition, and young, funky entrepreneurs had jumped in to the space and given it the new cool makeover. The top end of the market was very similar to our Australian city barbers and were appealing to a similar growing crowd of men wanting to look good. Another hard day in the office!