Hair today, bare tomorrow: Nudist barbershops are trending in Brazil

By Charlie Sawyer

Published Oct 4, 2023 at 02:00 PM

Reading time: 1 minute

Ever heard of a naked barber? No? Well, if you ever visit Brazil, then you might find yourself stumbling upon one or two. A recent VICE article explored the ways in which nudist barbershops are quietly breaking down the stereotypes of male grooming spaces.

Going to get any beauty treatment, whether it be a haircut, eyebrow shape, or beard trim, can be a daunting prospect. While some feel at home in a leather chair and bib, others find the entire process relatively stressful and unenjoyable.

Would you perhaps feel more at home or comfortable if the person attending to all of your cosmetic needs was in the nude? For a lot of people, the answer might just be yes. According to sources, there are currently four nudist hair salons in Brazil, each with its own unique style. Barbearia Naturista is said to have been the first officially licensed nudist barbershop to appear in the South American nation, having opened its doors to customers in 2021.

Speaking with VICE, the owner of the shop Rodney Araujo stated: “A lot of businesses are trying to copy our name to get more clients, but they’re not associated with us.”

He continued, “I wanted to encourage men to take care of their bodies and souls, by showing a form of internal beauty that few get to see.”

Masculinity, particularly in South America, can often be highly rigid. Stereotypes regarding vulnerability and openness still run rampant among many communities. However, barbershops—which are often not just places for haircuts, but also a space for social interaction and group discussions—could have an impact on breaking down these stereotypes and encouraging men to be more outwardly at peace with their bodies and masculinity.

Nudist spots are of course nothing new. Nudist communities and clubs have been around for decades. However, bringing this activity into barbershops is definitely something new. It’s a testament to those shop owners who are using their work as a way to not only help some feel more comfortable in new environments but to also encourage many others to perhaps embrace a new way of feeling free.

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