Roadtest: A cut above the rest

Hairdressing is fast becoming another industry that is heavily monopolised by the larger franchises. However, across the Inner West there are still a few traditional independent barbershops that remain. Here we find some of the best places for Santa to get his unruly beard trimmed this Christmas…


roadtest-barbers-vinceVince’s Continental Hair Stylist, Leichhardt

Vince began his trade when he was growing up in Italy, going to work at his local barber after school since he was just 10 years old. 54 years later and all of his customers swear by him, one of who said he has “the steadiest hands” he’s ever seen. Vince jokingly replied to this by saying how the first shave he ever gave was to his father and he walked away with more than a few nicks. It is these interactions that Vince loves about his work; every customer is also a personal friend who he gets paid to chat with.



roadtest-barbers-tonyTony’s International Men’s Hair Stylist, Five Dock

Tony La Macchia has run his barbershop in Five Dock for the past 40 years. He came to Australia from Sicily when he was just 13 years old and had begun his apprenticeship by the time he was 15. Despite having worked for over half a century now, Tony says he still absolutely loves what he does and he likes to take time with every cut and make sure it’s perfect, rather than just rush through. This commitment has earned him the respect of his community and of one man all the way from Melbourne who said he would be back at the start of next year for another trim.



roadtest-barbers-georgeOld School Barber, Russell Lea

If anyone was born to be a barber, it’s George. It quite literally runs in his blood; his father, grandfather and great grandfather were all barbers and so are his three brothers. Having owned the same shop for the past 47 years – making his the second-oldest business in the Drummoyne area – George has served generations of customers, with entire families coming to him for decades, all of whom are now his friends as well. And here’s a little bit of gossip too: one of George’s customers was the late Sir Roden Cutler.



roadtest-barbers-pinoPino’s Mens Hairdressing, Five Dock

When compared to the other barbers, Pino seems like somewhat of a rookie; he’s only been working professionally for the past 26 years! His fascination for hairdressing began when he was a child, cutting the hair of his sister’s dolls, though Pino soon learned that he was far better at cutting the hair of people. Pino says there are two main reasons why he loves his work. First off, he gets to create and express himself through his work. Secondly, he has been able to turn his business into a haven for new Italian immigrants, especially those with poor English-speaking skills.

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