Steamboat barber attracts over 760K views on YouTube channel dedicated to haircuts
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — When he opened an old-fashioned, gentleman’s barbershop in Steamboat Springs nearly two years ago, John Greco couldn’t possibly know that a popular British YouTuber would track him down specifically for Greco’s signature straight razor hot shave. Not only did the man find the Steamboat Barbershop on Fifth Street, but he also brought an entire film crew.
“HairCut Harry is a famous blogger that focuses on small and unique barber experiences through YouTube,” Greco said. “He travels around the world, and this past year, he picked five U.S. barbershops to visit.”
HairCut Harry filmed Greco in October 2019, and that video now lives on Harry’s YouTube channel, which includes a fan base that focuses on Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or ASMR — in other words, people who get a “buzz” or feel relaxed watching and hearing sounds in their typical environment.
Cameras were set up all around Greco’s small barbershop and microphones captured every detail of the barber’s process, from stirring the shaving cream in a bowl to the scratching of Greco’s straight razor on HairCut Harry’s face.
Almost 800,000 people have viewed the YouTube video, entitled “From Rat Race to RV Life: The Wanderlust Barber’s Journey to Finding Happiness,” and when views reaches one million, HairCut Harry is coming back.
“Once the video hits a million views, he’ll do another video,” Greco explained. “The viewers get to choose the location and tools and the service I will perform.”
For example, viewers could request Greco give a haircut and shave on a Steamboat Resort gondola — it’s all up to the YouTube viewers.
When asked how HairCut Harry found him, Greco said the Brit never reveals how he chooses his barber experiences. But Greco’s reputation for indulging his clients with one-on-one attention, along with being a connoisseur of the hot shave, makes him a hot commodity.
“There’s a month-and-half wait for a shave,” Greco said. “I suspect that led him to do research on social media and see my work.”
In fact, it could be client Perry Merritt of Denver who Greco can “blame” for his latest fame. The Hewlett Packard engineer put one of his shaves with Greco on YouTube in 2018.
Merritt said Greco’s relaxing hot shave, which includes lotions, steam and a massage, has caused him to change his shaving habits at home.
“In my almost 60 years, I’ve never put on moisturizer or aftershave on my face, but now I do that every time I shave,” said Merritt, who hits up Greco’s barbershop when he vacations in Steamboat. “I just feel better after I’ve done a decent shave with moisturizer and aftershave.”
Greco said one of the weird byproducts of having a popular video on YouTube is how people from all over the world now try to contact him.
“People in the industry, other barbers, manufacturers and shave enthusiasts ask me about my process,” Greco said.
The third-generation, Italian barber didn’t start off in the family business where he grew up in his grandfather’s and uncles’ barbershops in Trenton, New Jersey. In fact, he was a policeman, Wall Street executive and entrepreneur, among other things, before settling into barbering.
“It wasn’t until I stopped chasing materialistic wealth and wanted to be happy and accomplished did I pursue barbering,” Greco said. “I do this because I really truly enjoy the work. Unfortunately, my industry has gone the way of the chop shop and lost focus on what this craft is all about. It’s a unique experience for the client in the chair, and they appreciate the work I perform on them.”
Greco and his family moved to Steamboat in 2018 after living in Florida. His wife, Jennifer, is COO of Steamboat Emergency Center, and his youngest child is a junior at Steamboat Springs High School.
And if you’re nervous about trying out an old-fashioned straight razor and hot shave, Merritt has this assurance:
“The first time I went in there he told me, ‘It’s an honor to shave a man who trusts me to put a straight razor against his neck and trusts me to make him feel good,'” Merritt said. “That always stuck with me.”
The Steamboat Barbershop also offers beard care, haircuts, coloring, charcoal masks, paraffin wax care and a fully stocked array of hair care for men. Visit steamboatbarbershop.com for more information.
Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.
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