A young man strides into Blendz Barbershop with a purpose, scans the room, and then finds his target: the shop's most requested barber, Christopher "Criztofferson" Betancourt. The new customer, a Florida International University student, echoes a story Betancourt hears all week: He's one of the nearly 60,000 fans following the buzzcut artist on Instagram (@criztofferson) and he's dying for one of his signature "freshies." Who can blame the kid? There's no time for trial-and-error while on the hunt for a dope cut in Miami. If you're looking for a spot guaranteed to transform the uneven mop on your head into a crisp, clean hairstyle, end your search at this shop in West Miller Square, where owner Lester Gonzalez and his team have spent the past three years making their name. Barbers like Jorge Perez and Jose Ibarra are well-versed in intricate artistic designs, and all of them excel at precise tapers, remarkably balanced fades, and other GQ-approved styles. Criztofferson has become famous on Miami's college campuses thanks to his knack for speedy "freshies" and because after his day shift at the shop, he takes his services on the road to trim stars such as the Miami Heat's Hassan Whiteside, rappers the Game and O.T. Genasis, producer Rvssian, and internet sensation LeJuan James. Prices vary by barber, but customers can expect to spend $8 to $15 for a shapeup, $18 to $30 for a basic haircut, and $40 including beards. There's a busy rush of clients toward the end of the week, but you usually won't wait too long, especially if you call ahead for an appointment with one of the shop's 12 skilled barbers.
Readers' choice: Tru Cutz