These Old-School San Francisco Barbershops Somehow Haven't Been Ruined By Hipsters Yet

This series takes a look at the gentrification surrounding San Francisco's Divisadero Corridor through the eyes of four iconic barbershops.

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Complex Original

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Threatened by the ever-present possibility of gentrification that has already blanketed much of the surrounding city, the Divisadero Corridor in the heart of San Francisco is one of the few places left in the City by the Bay that still holds true to its urban roots. But at the current rate, it may not stay that way for much longer.

The neighborhood more commonly referred to these days as NoPa (North of the Panhandle) was once home to a flourishing African-American community centered around churches, bars, and barbecue joints. Today, as the tech-fueled hipster-type continue to fill the neighborhood streets, accelerating urban change, Divisadero Corridor struggles to accommodate the newcomers while trying to stay true to its identity.

Among the establishments that have witnessed this seemingly inevitable transformation are the iconic barbershops that line the Corridor. These social hubs weren't just a reliable place for a man to get a cut or a shape-up, but also provided a comfortable spot to catch up with old friends and talk current events. And unlike the manufactured nostalgia of modern "hip" barbershops where the dudes cutting hair could moonlight as male models or tattoo artists, plenty of these barbers just focus on one thing: making regular guys look a little better.

The folks over at Bevel paid a visit to four such shops: Chicago's, Newbill, J.P. Kempt Barber and Social, and Westside Cuts. Click on each shop's name to read up on their respective points of view.

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