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Atlas Barber School
Mon-Fri, 9am-8pm; Sat, 9am-5pm; Sun, closed
Nearby Subway Stops
6 at Astor Pl.; N, R at 8th St.-NYU
Founded in 1948, the Atlas Barber School may be the only place left in Manhattan where men, women, or children can get a $5 haircut—provided they’re comfortable as practice models for barbers-in-training. As a working school for apprentice stylists preparing for the Master Barber Examination, the shop does brisk business in buzz cuts and efficient trims but may not be the best option for those seeking the latest asymmetric shag. The unfussy storefront space boasts red-leather swivel chairs but little in the décor department, save for an ancient poster depicting “standard shaving procedures.” Most clients here are short-haired men seeking yet-shorter hair, but a few brave women turn up, too, undeterred by the constant buzz of eager clippers. Best not to get too attached to your favorite cutter here unless you’re prepared to travel: Most stylists are enrolled in four-month programs, so frequent turnover is part of the bargain.
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