At The Bureau we’re huge fans of looking sharp, despite the ongoing battle of “helmet hair” and the humid climate. But in order to look sharp, you need the right people for the job. Here’s our list of 8 barbershops in Ho Chi Minh City that you should be visiting regularly for all your gentlemanly grooming needs.
Vu Tri Barbershop
Since 1992, Barbershop Vu Tri has led the way in men’s grooming in Saigon. The brothers – Vu and Tri – learnt their trade from their father who still chooses to barber on the sidewalk 100 metres down the street from Vu Tri’s original shop.
Together, Vu and Tri brought the family business in off the street, and as they say, the rest is history. There are now 10 Barbershop Vu Tri’s across the city, a Barbershop Vu Tri Academy where they train new barbers, more than 100 barbers and close to 200,000 followers on social media. Oh, and they do damn fine haircuts and shaves at great prices, too. This place offers an amazing experience like no other as soon as you set foot inside the door. You can also keep your pomp “pompin” by getting yourself some of Vu Tri’s signature oil and water-based pomade.
Barbershop Vu Tri has 10 shops across Ho Chi Minh City, but their original store is at 306/8 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, District 3, HCMC. For more info, click HERE
Tony Barber House
Tony Barber House has five barber’s chairs and at least as many barbers, so the lads can knock out plenty of cuts and shaves in a day. No fuss. Just in and out and on your way. They stock one of the largest collections of pomade we’ve seen in Saigon. All the international labels are here, including Reuzel and Ti Gi, among others, while three locally-made pomade brands — Saigon Hustlers, The Gents Bay and Go Vintage — sit proudly alongside their more well-known brothers in wax. If you’re looking for a great cut and shave for a song (VND130,000), Tony Barber House is on the money. No whiskey, cigars, craft beers or gentlemen’s suits here, just a friendly bunch of blokes whose sole purpose is to make you look a damn sight better when you leave than when you walked in.
Tony Barber House is at 205/7 Nguyen Trai Street, District 1, HCMC. For more info, click HERE
A barbershop inspired by 1920s and 1930s American culture, 4RAU is just a short distance from Pham Ngu Lao Street, Ho Chi Minh City’s rowdy backpacker district. 4RAU — rau means beard in Vietnamese — is extremely popular with the young hipsters of the city. On Sundays, expect to see the back wall lined with clients patiently waiting their turn in the barber’s chair. There are at least eight barbers working at any given time daily from 10am to 8pm offering a cut and style for just VND60,000 — that adds up to about 200 cuts per day. The staff here are ultra-friendly and take great pride in the styles they create. The atmosphere and decor finds a happy medium somewhere between Brothers and Liem barbershops and is a shop worth trying out.
4RAU Barbershop is at 634 Dien Bien Phu, District 10, HCMC. For more info, click HERE
Brothers Boutique Men’s Salon
At Brothers, gents can get a great haircut, a traditional wet shave, facial treatments and hair and face wash followed by a quick head and shoulder massage for a reasonable price. Located in the centre of town on the second floor between the two L’Usine Cafes, Brothers is accessed through photographer Rehahn’s gallery. It’s a barber’s that’s great for a quick trim on the run, or if you’ve got the time, somewhere the ‘bros’ can partake in some bromance over a craft beer or a single malt whiskey and a ‘choof’ on a Cuban cigar on the balcony overlooking the Opera House on historic Dong Khoi Street. Expect to pay around VND380,000 for a quick trim or VND580,000 for a signature cut with all the extras. About the only service that Brothers doesn’t offer is a full-body wax, just in case you’re wondering.
Brothers Boutique Men’s Salon is at 157 Dong Khoi (2nd Floor), District 1, HCMC. For more info, click HERE
House of Barbaard
From little things, big things grow. What started out as a small box of pomade, quickly turned into a gentlemen’s lifestyle company for two friends from Holland with a passion for men’s grooming. House of Barbaard (Barbaard is a portmanteau of ‘bar’ and the Dutch word for beard) launched in Hanoi a few years back filling a gap for men who wanted more than just a quick short back and sides and a hair wash. Not long after, a second barbershop in a multi-story villa was opened in Ho Chi Minh City. A Gentlemen’s Combo, which includes a cut, shave, whiskey and snacks, will set you back VND600,000, while a hair cut only is VND400,000. House of Barbaard is more than simply a place to go and get your hair cleaned up a bit. It’s a destination that also holds alcohol tastings, jazz and themed nights, and events.
House of Barbaard is at 12/4B Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, District 1, HCMC. For more info, click HERE
Uncle Barbershop is tucked away in a neighbourhood down a narrow alley in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 5, not too far from the city’s famous Chinatown district, Cholon. Uncle’s has a small crew of three or four barbers. It’s clean and the staff are super-friendly and enthusiastic with good English speaking skills offering a range of different cut styles, specifically ‘hip-hop’ style, not just the Chicano-style of short back and sides and quiff at the top that is trendy at other barbershops around the city. Expect to pay VND100,000 for a haircut, which includes a hair wash and styling. Get the beard trimmed for an extra VND30,000.
Uncle Barbershop is at 84/37 Nguyen Bieu Street, District 5, HCMC. For more info, click HERE
Saigon Clippers is another super-cool little find. This barbershop is probably the furthest and trickiest to find, but it’s a fun discovery. Much smaller than the other barbershops, Saigon Clippers has four barbers wielding the scissors and clippers daily from 10am to 8pm. Things are less hectic here, but they still manage to punch out around 60 haircuts a day at VND60,000. Saigon Clippers is less ostentatious than the other places we’ve featured on The Bureau — indeed there’s barely enough room to swing a fully shaven cat — but that doesn’t mean it lacks in confidence and style.
Saigon Clippers is at 285/49 CMT8 Street, District 10, HCMC. For more info, click HERE
Liem Barber Shop in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 3 is one place that has to be seen to be believed. No less than 10 tattooed barbers dressed right out of the 1920s complete with vintage tweed caps shape a new Chicano-style cut on their 20-something clientele from 11am to 7pm daily. Sundays the shop is packed and humming, and not just to the sound of hair clippers. Bi, the owner, says his salon knocks out about 120 haircuts a day at VND60,000 a pop, so expect to wait in line for a while. The walls and benches are covered in photos, memorabilia, caps, boxing gloves, bulls horns, and traffic cones among other blokey barbershop paraphernalia, while the floor leaves no doubt as to the amount of heads that get shorn in a day – a lot. It’s quite a scene. Liem’s is a little tricky to find being down an alley barely wide enough for motorcycles to pass, but it’s not too far from Pham Ngu Lao Street and just a few streets parallel from Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street. If only to see the place, Liem’s is well worth a visit.
Liem Barber Shop is at 79 Nguyen Son Ha, District 3, HCMC. For more info, click HERE