A trip out to Johnny D’s.

Last weekend at The Bombshell Bop, I ran into Rachelle from Nor-Cal Rockabilly. She had mentioned that she showed her hubby my blog, and requested I checked out Cock Grease X, as an alternative to the Layrite he currently uses.

So I hit up the interwebs, checked the closest stockist, and the closest stockist was Johnny D’s Barbershop, out of San Jose. So after a failed attempt to visit the shop during the weekday, me and a buddy rushed out today before they closed.

First Impressions:

This place is in a very commercial area, with a Baskin Robins as it’s next door neighbor and a movie theatre a couple doors down. So hunting this spot, was a bit of trouble due to the huge parking lot and many other shops around. It didn’t help that the clock was ticking and it was about 14 minutes till closing time. But, luck on my side, we managed to find the shop.

With the closed sign up and the door closed, I knew what the deal was. It is a place of business, and the weekend, so having the doors closed with the closed sign up will try and deter those last-minute customers who can think they can snipe in a haircut. I know this trick, as I’m guilty of it as well. I think they could sense that I didn’t want a haircut, since I was pomp’n, so they opened up and let me in the check out the pomades.

Checking out the armoire that was stocked full of merchandise, I noticed the usual suspects, Layrite, Lucky 13 brand, and of course, the Cock Grease. I was helped out by a gentleman dressed in regular weekend wear. Shorts, shirt, and a hat. Whom I later found out was the owner, John.

After looking at the consistency of the Cock Grease X and XX, I was turned off as it looked very much like High Life. Which I’ve stated in previous posts, my lack of interest in the brand. Awkwardly, I asked him if Cock Grease was made by High Life, since they have the same tins. Even though I already knew they come out of Eddy’s Deluxe.

I noticed another pomade brand, that I’ve heard about a while back, but never paid too much attention to. He brought over some of the tubs the barbers use in the shop, and I checked out the scent and consistency of them all. And I have to say, this was very impressive looking. Each pomade having it’s own characteristic and scent. One even looked as if it had glitter specs in it. Hey, I wouldn’t want glitter in my hair, but the fact that this pomade had a distinct look, that’s pretty awesome. It wasn’t actually glitter, btw.

I then asked the two barbers who were cutting some customers, about which pomade would work best for me. After going back and forth with Anthony about different methods, taste, preference and such, I ended up settling for the red one. (More of a red-orange or orange-red, but who has crayons they carry around to get politically correct with colors? Exactly.)
Sorry Rachelle, the Cock Grease X wasn’t anything comparable to Layrite, as it isn’t water based. But hopefully this pomade will make up for it!

Cool Grease

This pomade, is on the pricey side. As it is a Japanese Import, the price for it is up there. For the 3oz, it was $20, and $35 for the 7oz. This brand being the most expensive pomade I’ve seen, so far. Amazon has the 3oz listed at $30.99, so I think this place has the best pricing I’ve seen so far. I probably should’ve bought the 7oz, but we’ll see how my hair holds up with this stuff, and maybe move onto the stronger stuff, and get the 7oz then. This place and one other salon somewhere in San Jose, seem to be the only stockist in the Bay Area.
I still have a ton of different pomades in my hair, so I’ll be writing a review for this pomade within end of next week, or the week after, so check back.

As far as Johnny D’s goes…

This place is a bunch of nice guys just doing their thing. Not over masculine or anything, so it’s definitely a place where kids can get a nice haircut. No mess of hair covering the black and white checked floors when you walk in. I really enjoyed seeing a chess/checker set, gives a real nice feel for the shop, which most people would usually dismiss as just a gimmick.

No one was getting a rockabilly/pompadour cut at the time, so I can’t say how they do their cuts. And the only real way I would be able to report that, would be to get a cut from them, myself. Maybe in the future, since this place is no where near home.

If you’re from or near the area and looking for a barbershop to call home, give these guys a try. They are very welcoming, even after my annoying ass was in there for a while talking about damn pomade. Check em out, I don’t think you’d be disappointed!

Edit*** [10/19/2010]

I mistaken the water soluble Cock Grease Pomade with Cock Grease X. So, do not fret! The water soluble Cock Grease Pomade is still in the works, and will be reviewed as soon as it comes out! Sorry for the mix up!

The Rebel Rouser


8 responses to “A trip out to Johnny D’s.

  1. The prices at that plaza barber are certainly not traditional. $25 for a short back and sides? Get real. I pay their ‘Senior Special’ price at my barber and I’m only 25 years old! My barber charges 8.80 for a cut, and hes a 75 year old Teddy Boy!

    • Yeah. The thing is, here in the states, there aren’t too many places that have the “good ol’ day” prices. Especially in the cities. Smaller towns outside of the city limits, have some barbers that charge the average of $10 or so. But with property owners charging up the ass on rent, it’s tough for these types of shops to charge anything less than $20. And here in the Bay Area, the average price for a mens haircut is $20. Location is also a factor, as their location is in a shopping center. So I wouldn’t doubt that Johns rent is a pretty penny.

  2. I live in London and still pay the £8.80.

    In Detroit I used to go to a place called The Chop Shop, and they charged $10, with a bottle of High Life, and they usually gave me a tin of pomade free. It was a young guy called Jay who owned the shop.

    The old boys are still out there, just need to track em’ down.

    • Indeed they are out there.

      But when it comes down to it, it’s all about finding the right barber for you. Because you can’t put a pricetag on satisfaction.

      Unless it’s a hooker.

  3. hey whats up man I just came across your blog while looking for reviews on pomades, your site helped alot. One quick question though, where do you get your hair cut at? Big Jims? I recently got a cut at Johnny D’s and it was pretty good to say the least. I dont know who it was that cut my hair it was a hispanic guy though with a part. I must say they did do a great job though I mean from start to finish.

    When I walked in they owners son came up to me and handed me a pop while i waited which was like 5 mins at the most. Then I sat in the chair and the guy asked what type of cut i wanted, I explained i wanted a West Coast/Southern Cali Pomp and he got the idea of what it was that I wanted. He started out by wetting my hair with a hot towel, never had that before so i was kind of confused but not in a bad way. After that he went to town with clippers and shears and taking his time it was at least a 45 min haircut and he wasn’t rushed at all the entire time which was awesome. when he finished he asked me what product i used in my hair and I told him that i use layrite cause it washes out the easiest and Im just tired of using murrays or voodoo brew or robs poison pomades although in certain occasions i do pull them out of my pomade drawer. although he couldnt comb the pomp he could absolutely cut a pomp. after the cut I too went to explore the pomades and saw the wide range, I will definitely be coming back here to get another cut or to pick up some pomade to just test out. by the way the new cock grease that is out is called XXX no grease they have it in stock Im going to be looking to picking that one up in the near future probably in the next few days maybe two weeks tops.

    But yeah man check it out if you know any spots in san jo let me know man im out in downtown on the reg

    check you later

    • Efren,

      Glad ya got quality service there, man!

      I haven’t gotten cut at either Big Jims or Johnny D’s, but I’ve been suggested to. It’s just hard to go all the way down there for a haircut, ya know? The drive back with little hairs down my back would be a pain in the ass!

      The cats at Johnny D’s are quality folks, they were closed and just finishing up a few cuts, but let me in to check out some pomade. They could’ve just had not let me in, but they take notice to potential customers and gave great service. Glad you got equally/better service!

      I’ll try and get a cut by them at some point. But for now, I either go to my old school barber, or if I’m looking for the cleanest fades, I’ll go to my homie Shane, over at Headshots. While he doesn’t “specialize” in pomps, he knows how to cut one and it’s always proper! Both take their time, and I always end up with a more than proper cut. If you’re ever in San Mateo, hit up Headshots.

      Let me know if you dig any other shops and I’ll look into em.

      – Jan

  4. yeah ill have to do that Im actually located in san mateo so that will probably be my next visit

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