Shop Talk: The Standard Barbershop

Once you’re inside The Standard Barbershop, it’s hard to leave.

The Standard Barbershop
Photo by Christin Boggs Peyper

Once you’re inside The Standard Barbershop, it’s a bit hard to leave. Maybe it’s the handcrafted benches, the collection of edgy-yet-chic art or the fresh playlists of garage rock and blues, but there’s an intentional and effectively homey quality about the space.

The 2017 Best of NoVA winner got its start in 2015, when barber Tommy Cheung transitioned from operating out of existing shops to running his own. Cheung began cutting hair in middle school, at one time even shaving the heads of members of his high school wrestling team in Columbia, Maryland, to intimidate the opposition. After a brief career in IT, he returned to barbering and refined his craft under the guidance of National Barber Hall of Famer Simon V. “Cy” Avara in Baltimore. Cheung tries to extend the proficiency and professionalism he acquired there to the ethos of the Standard.

“There’s no smoke and mirrors here; there’s just real barbering,” Cheung says. He notes that community members seek a place that captures the “nostalgia of the barbershop” and also maintains a high caliber of work.

The Standard Barbershop
Photo by Christin Boggs Peyper

Haircuts range from $25 to $50 and include a personal consultation, complimentary beverages, a straight-razor finish, hot towel, aftershave and styling.

“There has to be an authentic experience and exchange between customer and barber, and I think that’s one thing that a lot of these chains lack,” says co-owner Wendy Wong, who is married to Cheung.

The Standard takes pride in its local role, both as a Fairfax hangout spot (folks often stop by to drop off local doughnuts or say hi to their two rescue dogs, Sega and Kodi) and as a force in the community. Their philanthropic work includes adoption events for Fredericksburg’s Bully Paws animal rescue and a recent head-shaving fundraiser for the childhood cancer charity St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

“There’s a lot of passion and a lot of heart in here,” Wong says. “We really are trying to elevate the standards of the industry.” // 10409 Main St., Suite B, Fairfax

(July 2017)

The Standard Barbershop
Photo by Christin Boggs Peyper
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