Like almost everywhere else in the world in the past five years, Jakarta has not escaped the trendy barbershop boom.
Whether you want to get a classic short back and sides for the office or a slick, greased, long-trim pompadour for your '50s rockabilly dress-up party at the weekend, the city's barbers – some of whom have traveled as far away as Schorem in Rotterdam to train – are ready with their scissors, clippers and dabs of pomade to keep you well-groomed like Cary Grant – or Elvis.
Here are three of the city's best luxury barbershops that offer a complete range of professional services from cut, trim, shave to that all-important, refreshing, old-school head massage. Bet you can't get that in a salon!
1. The Barberia Empire
With four different shop names, the Barberia Empire is playing it coy with their branding. But not without a reason – apparently this chain of premium barbershops has carefully curated its locations so their customers can enjoy a unique experience at each shop. One of their more popular branches is the Batavorum Barberia in Plaza Indonesia, where the ambience pays homage to colonial-era Batavia – the old name for Jakarta. With a Batavia map on the wall, a gramophone and a complimentary mug of "Bir Pletok" – a non-alcoholic, traditional "beer" – you could be forgiven for thinking you might walk out wearing a safari suit and a pith helmet. Make sure to book your favorite barbers a few days in advance for a weekend cut since the wait for walk-in customers can stretch to six hours. If it's your lucky day, you might end up with the barber who cuts President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's hair.
Try your luck at these locations:
Shortcut at Grand Indonesia (021-23580339)
Barba at Senayan City (021-72781592)
Batavorum at Plaza Indonesia (021-29924342)
Baba at PIK Avenue (021-22570870)
2. Chief Barbershop
Authenticity is key for Chief, another chain of barbershops with four branches in the city. The shops' industrial-rustic interior design makes their restored vintage barber chairs look at home, not gimmicky. They also offer a complete "menu" of men's grooming: from a hot towel shave to haircuts of every style topped with dabs of their own store-branded pomades. Chief also owns a men's supplies store that sells a wide range of men's grooming products. Enter a man and come out looking like a gentleman.
Chif Gunawarman (021-27513162)
Chief Ciragil (021-7251130)
Chief Cipete (082113207659)
Chief Kemang (081290008559)
Barberbox, located in leafy Senopati area in South Jakarta, has its own digital app, so their customers can easily make reservations online. They keep their services fun, and affordable, by offering special promotions on "Family Days" and clients can always consult with their favorite barbers before they come to the shop. Barberbox has branches in Jakarta, Padang and Bali.
Barberbox at Senopati (08561077736)
Jl. Birah Raya No. 10, Blok S, Jakarta.