Step Back in Time at John’s Hairstyling

John Pacheco, Owner of John’s Hairstyling Shop.

A fixture of Beacon Hill since 1978, John’s Hairstyling Shop offers a glimpse into a bygone era.

Owner and stylist John Pacheco has modeled the 234-square-foot space on Myrtle Street after an old-time barbershop, adorning the rear wall with a compartmentalized wooden case filled with antique lather cups and the front window with stained glass that he crafted himself.  On the wall facing two barber chairs and a mirrored, mahogany counter hang an assortment of small, framed photos, including black-and-white images of the Titanic and its builder, Thomas Andrews.

Pacheco said he purchased the wooden bank teller’s window that conceals the cash register because it reminded him of a curio that he and his brother saw on a TV western as children.

Ty Perez, a State House worker patronizing the barbershop on his lunch hour, said the “old school” banter between Pacheco, fellow stylist Marc Carrillo and customers is what sets John’s apart from Supercuts and other “franchise” salons.

“I come here when I want to get away from politics and have a good conversation,” Perez said.

“It’s like a men’s sanctuary,” Carrillo added.

Although the decor and repartee might seem like anachronisms in today’s world, the services that John’s provides are anything but outdated.

Pacheco said he and Carrillo take a “parametric” approach to cutting hair, which takes into account the customer’s bone structure and collar length, among other variables.  As a result, the patron doesn’t need to comb his hair and can instead simply set it with his fingers after washing and drying.

“It’s very different than conventional haircutting,” said Pacheco, who describes his technique as “physics in haircutting.”

John’s has also reduced its prices, lowering the cost of a traditional haircut to $25 from the previous fee of $40.

“And every haircut comes with a hot lather neck-shave using a straight-edge razor,” Carrillo added.

The barbershop is also scheduled to enter the digital age this week, with the launch of its Web site (at bostonbarbershop.comand, which will offer hours of operation, other general information and coupons.

John’s Hairstyling Shop at 21 Myrtle St. can be reached at 617-523-5772.

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