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Once upon a time there was a barber. Now there are none, or almost. In the midst of the jungle of mass diffused franchises and sparkling salons where every hint of tradition is banned, finding an authentic barber, how they were back in time, is getting more difficult. What shall a gentleman do, nowadays? Surrender to anonymity and distraction? To crumpled magazines he is forced to read while waiting for his turn? Perhaps frightened of the moment when, once the job is done, he will look in the mirror and whisper a half-hearted “fine” to a barber he’d never seen before nor will ever see again?
Luckily, Milan is still an oasis where a man of taste can always find what he is looking for. And if, feeling nostalgia for elegance of the past, one of these men wished to discover a perfect place in the Northern capital that throughout the years has not changed but, rather, always remained faithful to itself, now he knows where to go: The Barber Shop Salon in San Babila.
They say, a man will sooner be unfaithful to his wife than abandon his barber. A barber is the guardian of a part of our identity: the hairstyle. But he is also much more than that: he is a friend, a confidant, a confessor. That is why he’d better have our trust. After all, you can not carelessly choose a man who will put a blade to your throat. And in Corrado Polistena, the owner of the Barber Shop Salon with fifty years of experience behind, you can always confide.
A man of Sicilian origins, from Milazzo (did you know that the very first barbers came from Sicily, at the time of ancient Rome, hired by rich aristocrats?), Mr. Polistena continues the ancient centuries’ tradition. Sitting in the comfortable leather of his armchairs, the reflection of his face multiplied by mirrors, among fragrances of colognes and hand-made soap, truly makes the spirit go back in time. An immersion that one experiences into the past, rejuvenating each time.
There should be a reason behind popularity of shaving in the early days, shouldn’t there? One could hardly describe this pleasure, thin as a razor blade, of getting shaved by a hand stronger than that of a surgeon. A surgeon is needed for few occasions in a lifetime, a barber, instead, (and especially of this barber) is needed every day. If it is true that for a gentleman pleasure is the rule, even shaving cannot be an exception.
A few steps away from San Babila and Palazzo della Giustizia, Mr. Polistena’s salon can be reached in a moment. It’s almost like visiting a friend. The room is small and quiet, the gaze is lost in the black and white chess board of the floor as you get comfortable. Have you ever tried old-style shaving? With warm towels wrapped around your face, soft brushes and handcrafted after-shave lotions? It’s better than an hour of meditation. When you leave, you are reborn. On your cheeks, now smooth, office problems and daily woes slip away like water.
But Mr. Polistena does not limit himself to shaving. Are you tired of the heartiness, sometimes to exuberant, of modern coiffeurs? Tired of seeing awkward installations of modern art on your head, forced to explain their origin to your friends who are laughing at you? At the Barber Shop Salon haircuts have the most fundamental feature: sobriety. Sobriety that is not fooled by time and never goes out of fashion. Sobriety you always wished for and that you can finally enjoy.