Brazil, and São Paulo in particular, is home to the largest ancestry of Italians, Japanese, Portuguese and Lebanese immigrants in the world. And like many cities across the world, Latin America’s largest city is seeing a renaissance of traditional barber shops attempting to recreate that nostalgic charm while offering customers additional extras such as craft beers and live DJs. Although new premium spots like Barbearia Corleone, Cavalera and 9 de Julho are leading the way, it is the peeling old barbearias hidden in the traditional immigrant neighbourhoods that remain the finest. With no websites or social media presence - half of the Google maps entries we have added ourselves - and mostly run by octogenarian immigrants and their sons, these are the real places to go for a wet shave and chat about the ‘good old days’ in São Paulo.
The Portuguese Seu Joaquim has been clipping customers for half a century at his blink-and-you-miss-it space next to the cemetery in Pinheiros. Few know he is there and, sadly, he won't be around for much longer.
The legendary Motohide Yahiro was one of Liberdade's first barbers and founded Salão Yahiro in the 1960s in Brazil’s Japanese district. Although now run by his son Teruo, this is still the place to go for a Japanese style tokoya and they still use their original Belmont chairs and towel steamers imported from Japan in the 1970s.
For a trim in the Jewish neighbourhood of Higienopolis, look no further than Huguinho's.
Spanish barber Valentin Ramirez has been running his barbershop, still frozen in time, for over 50 years. As usual, payment is by cash or cheque only.
No signage and almost no evidence of its existence online, those in the know that work on Avenida Paulista, São Paulo’s famous main thoroughfare, go here.
The Sicilian Gaspar Mirrione still runs this old haunt hidden downtown in the back of an inconspicuous shopping gallery.
Founded in the 1960s by Italian immigrant Bruno Mingozzi, this remains a classic spot for a shave near the São Paulo theatre and used to be celebrity Chacrinha’s barber during the dictatorship.
Senhor Carmine, ‘o belo de Moóca’, has been shaving beards at his hole in the wall in the old Italian industrial neighbourhood of Moóca since the 1950s.
This unique Japanese tokoya is exclusively for the local Japanese and Asian population but you can still try to convince them to shave you.
Run by charming local chatterbox Seu Osny who looks more like an old fashioned Paulista malandro than a barber and worth going just to laugh at his jokes alone.