The Art of The Shave

Entering V’s Barbershop in Del Mar, the first impression is that you’ve just walked into an upscale man cave. At each of the five leather barber chairs, there is a TV that is tuned to a sports channel. Songs by artists ranging from Frank Sinatra to the Eagles play over a sound system.

“We’re way more masculine than the salons,” says owner Scott McDaniel. He explains that their TVs are typically tuned to sports or financial news – whatever the customer wants to watch. McDaniel thinks the main reason his regular clients come here is because they get better service and a better haircut than the chain shops. Almost all of their clients are men, but they do sometimes cater to women as well.

The shop typically runs a shift of four to five barbers per day. Friday and Saturday are the busiest days, and according to McDaniel, they are often booked well in advance. He recommends scheduling an appointment though they accept walk-in business. Just before a holiday, V’s usually sees a spike in customers and they expect to get very busy as Father’s Day approaches.

The barbers at V’s are adept at a variety of styles, from haircuts for surfer kids to corporate executives to flattop and the current trend of fades. Along with haircuts, they offer a straight-razor shave, and beard and mustache trims. All of the services are finished with a hot-towel massage and a hot-lather neck shave.

McDaniel became a franchisee of V’s in 2010. His first shop was in the San Francisco Bay area. He relocated to Del Mar in early 2011 and opened another shop in Carlsbad/La Costa in May 2015. “I discovered V’s Barbershops on vacation in Phoenix and had such a wonderful experience, I looked around for something similar near me,” McDaniel says. He couldn’t, so he decided to bring that experience to the Del Mar area.

McDaniel has noticed a trend toward classic hairstyles – the side part with a tapered neckline – the “clean” look. “Maybe it’s an effect of shows like Mad Men, but I think it’s more of a return to cleanliness on the part of maturing men,” he says. There is also an increase in clients with beards that need to be trimmed. A hard part with a fade is also popular now. Occasionally they get a request for a Mohawk or flattop. His staff focuses on what style works best and takes time talking to the client to figure out what service they want.

V’s Barbershop is located just east of I-5 at 2683 Via de la Valle, Ste. H. They recently launched a cell phone app that makes it easy to book appointments. You can also book appointments on their website on

All photography shot on location by 
Taylor Abeel | Sojourn Imagery