Brisbane barber James O’Brien, aka Jimmy Rod, believes in the traditional way of doing things.
So do his clients, it seems, who have taken his business from two to seven stores in the recent years and will see more Jimmy Rod barber shops popping up all over town.
“We’ve had phenomenal growth over the past two years,” says O’Brien, putting the popularity of his old-school barber shops down to their up-to-the-minute styling.
“What makes us different is we’re a traditional barber shop but all our stylists cutting are very up to date so the young fashion-conscious guys want to come to the barber shop but all our crew’s very edgy and we like to stay on top of what’s happening.
“A young guy gets his hair cut, we re-style him ad people say ‘Wow, where did you get your hair cut?’.
“Reputation and word of mouth is what we pride ourselves on.”
Having trained as a barber from the moment he left school “I finished school on Friday and started at my dad’s friend’s barber shop in Wynnum on Monday,”, O’Brien has been in the trade for 15 years, having opened his first store in 2003 and grown steadily since.
“It’s a lot of hard work, 10 years to build what we are,” he says.
“We want our stores to prove we’re number one.”
One of the most popular services at Jimmy Rod’s is the cut throat shaves, a detailed process whereby hot towels are applied to the face and neck, then shaving oil and shaving cream, the barber shaves with stainless steel blades both with and against the growth of the hair, hot towels are often reapplied to soften the skin and open the pores, the shave is finished then another hot towel is applied before a cool towel and post shave cooling lotion.
“It’s basically a men’s facial; it’s what blokes want to do,” says O’Brien.
At $45 a shave, it’s a popular service for men and their groomsmen on the wedding day.
“We have regulars that come in once a week for a shave or for groom’s parties it’s very popular.
“It’s a good treat for them.”