Who among us hasn’t been there—it’s 10 p.m., and you’re browsing Instagram when you spy a friend’s photo from a recent trip to Prague in your feed. Suddenly, it’s midnight, and you’re hundreds of photos deep in the #travelgram or #travelersnotebook tag, eyeing your suitcase and wondering how much paid time off you have left this year.
For most people, the fantasy starts and stops with the scrolling. But not for Anthony Berriola.
The Razors Barbershop owner is as guilty as anyone of getting caught up in that late-night Instagram loop. One minute he’s checking out a fire fade from a local barber, the next, he’s double-tapping his way through shops in Sorrento, checking out tricks and techniques that might work here in Somerville.
“I’m in my shop all day, every day, and all I see is my shop and what we built over there,” Berriola says. “I want to see what the culture’s like in other shops as well.”
“It got to a point where I was like, ‘Okay, enough’s enough. Let’s get some plane tickets, let’s go see these places,’” he laughs.
So about a year ago, he did. And he’s channeling his social media obsession into a new online video series: “Anthony Shaves the World.”
Because he records and edits all the video and audio himself, Berriola started local, working out the production kinks close to home with trips to Wilfred’s Barbershop in Nashua, New Hampshire, and Urban Fellow Barbershop in Rhode Island. He took a trip to Brooklyn to check out Cotter Barber. And then, the series really took flight. He’s since jetted off to Italy and Amsterdam (episodes four and five), and is just now editing episode six, from a visit to Greece.
Each installment in the series gives viewers a little window into the shaving culture of the shop and the city, and the trends are surprisingly different from place to place. At Cotter Barber in New York, Berriola and his trusty GoPros introduce you to a team that’s combined cuts and caffeine “in the coolest hipster way.” The shop has a full-service espresso bar in the front, and if you come in for an a.m. cut, the coffee and pastries are on the house. (“Only Brooklyn would be able to make a good mashup of that.”) In Amsterdam, the staff at a place called Barber explain how shave shops only began popping up in Holland about four years ago. Today, they’re one of only a handful in the municipality, where a shave involves a massage, hot towels—the works. Berriola describes Gentlemen’s Barbershop, another Amsterdam outpost he visited, as “a men’s spa,” an old-fashioned joint where you nonetheless leave feeling pampered.
And Anthony Shaves the World’s bite-sized, five- to seven-minute videos have more going on than just cuts and shaves—each installment features a musician performing a live set inside Razors, which acts as the sonic backdrop for the episode. “Not everybody is as excited about barbering as I am,” he admits with a chuckle. “I thought I could use the music to fill in the blanks in the episodes, and also get people going, ‘Oh, that’s a cool band, that’s a cool song.’” The backing tracks are meant to match the mood of each episode, and the lineup has been pretty star-studded thus far. Reggae artist Mighty Mystic strums through an acoustic version of “Solid as a Rock” that backs Berriola’s sojourn to Amsterdam; Eli Paperboy Reed brings the blues that compliment his trip to Brooklyn.
For Berriola, filming the series has been an incredible and humbling experience. While he’s spent 16 years in the industry, he nonetheless learns a lot during each trip. In fact—while the plans are still in their early stages—he’s got some big stuff in the works back home at Razors inspired by the journey.
308 HIGHLAND AVE.(617) 625-4444 RAZORSBARBERSHOP.COM. Check out the first five episodes of Anthony Shaves the World at anthonyshaves.com
This story appears in the September/October print issue of Scout Somerville, which is available for free at more than 220 drop spots throughout Somerville (and just beyond its borders) or by subscription.