Slice of Hair #2

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Royal Lock and Key / Trendsetters Barber Shop

9851 63 Avenue Nw

There is nothing particularly new about the news that Country superstars Brooks and Dunn done broke up. In mid-August of this year, after 18 years and 11 albums, Kix and Ronnie decided to hang up their shared crown as Country Music’s biggest duo. While the story of how they met may differ from the ridiculous genesis narrative laid out in their first album’s liner notes, it is generally accepted that Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn were separately hacking away at fledgling solo careers in the late 80’s when Arista Records’ Tim DuBois suggested that they link up. Ever since, theirs has been a fairly deadly combination (judge them by their successes, not by their sullen faces and bad facial hair). The importance of that ‘just right’ combination is something that Al (I think that is his name…) at barber shop slash locksmith joint Royal Lock and Key / Trendsetters Barber can certainly identify with.

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After a day of G-Saling on Argyll Road, I decided to stop in to fix my fade. Trendsetters Barber Shop, the barber side of Royal Lock and Key, is a quaint shop with one hair-chair and a very small wait time. The walls are plastered with pictures of vintage cars, old calendars and lock paraphernalia. Al is very nice and was quick to tell the story about his unique business model. He was very curious about which shops I normally get cut by and seemed to know every barber’s name that I dropped.

I wasn’t in dire need of a cut, so I only had him fix my sides, do my neck, and take a little bit off the top. When I asked him to take care of the hair between my eye-brows he lectured me on the dangers of shaving unwanted hair. When I told him that Ted did it without hesitation, he scoffed.

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I would explain exactly how Al came to be in both the hair slicing and the lock de-icing businesses, or which business came first, or where his priority lies, but those are his stories and they are ones that he is more than willing to tell.

After his first attempt at the cut, I asked that he take another inch off the top and he did so without any hesitation. I paid the fair price, tipped well, and left looking like a Brand New Man.

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Quick note: Right next door to Royal Lock and Key is Royal Stamp and Sign Co. Across the street is Sentinel Self-Storage who use a British royal guard as their logo. They really like to play up that Argyll angle out there.

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. you’re a working class hero, chris!

    • missed you on the court yesterday…..

  2. Drove by the lock n’ key barbery yesterday. It’s right beside Billy Budd’s!! My favourite sports bar in Edmonton named after a gay Jesus figure from a Melville novel that also has off-track bets! (trust me, have you been to Pierre; Or The ambiguities? No off-track betting). I went there for a business lunch one day (as in, i went and split a pitcher during my regular lunch time with someone from work) and it was a dark and humongous place. I hope that locksmith/barber goes there every day for lunch and watches the horses, unwinds and has their mediocre bbq chicken sandwich. Next time – order a pizza from BB’s, and get them to deliver it to you while you get your haircut next door! That’s called multitasking, bud, and the synergies experienced by this combo are top notch. My blog is back!!

    • Good to have you back bud, we missed you. Just one tip (rule): leave your literary references at the door. References to Synergies, on the other hand: keep em coming.

  3. al is right man.
    i’ve lectured your brothers the same, shaving between brows shouldn’t be done.
    justin understands and is an adult who takes plucking with nary a wince,
    the other one, though i won’t say who, is a big baby about the whole endeavor.
    i love him anyway.

    • Woah. Hey Ali. Welcome back to, well, your city, which is nowhere near mine. I guess I can still welcome you back to there.

      I was never taught these kinds of personal hygiene things growing up. That is why i need you in ‘the other one’s’ life.

      Also, loving the blog. D. is a goof! 😉


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