How it is already November is way past me. In the blink of an eye that sweltering summer has now been replaced with frosty mornings, giant scarves, and hot chocolate for breakfast (just me?) And what rhymes with November? Movember! Yes, it is that time of year to shed that facial fuzz boys (and girls) all in the name of charity. Definitely worth clogging the plug for.
Founded in 2003 by Aussie mates Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, in less than 2 years they had 10,000 Mo Bros (and Mo Sistas!) all raising money for prostate cancer research. Fast-forward to last year, and over 5.5m Mo Bros and Sistas now take part worldwide, with 1,200 men’s health projects supported since its inception. Amazing.
So that you can start and end Movember in the right way, we have handpicked 10 of London’s finest barbers to suit every taste, budget, and ‘Mo.
1. THE OTTOMAN CREW
Nearest Station: Oxford Street
If you’ve ever been on holiday to Turkey you might have noticed how perfectly shaved and coiffured the men are. You might even have walked past one of the numerous roadside barbers and been amazed at the plumes of fire being taken to the faces of those inside. Well, you can now experience this traditional Turkish grooming for yourself at The Ottoman Crew. In a decadent – yet manly – barbershop in Oxford Street, treat yourself to a cutthroat shave, followed by a bit of eyebrow trimming and ear flaming. With treatment names such as the Sword Cut, Dagger Shave, and Sultan’s Treat, enter and leave with swagger, and a sharp shave.
2. PALL MALL BARBERS
Nearest Station: Trafalgar Square
If you’re a traditional chap and like things done the old way, then head to one of the oldest barbers in London, Pall Mall Barbers. Based at 27 Whitcomb Street (the street name is a coincidence, named after brewer William Whitcomb who began building on the site in the 1670s), while the upstairs rooms were once occupied by Sir Mortimer Wheeler – one of the greatest British archaeologists – in 1896 it is listed that the business below was Wonters & Charles Mens Hairdressing. The barbers have since been known under various guises, yet what remains the same are the traditional methods used. Large ceramic bowls and oak panelling add to the ambience of a luxury wet-shave, or beard styling. They even offer shaving lessons with their top barbers to teach proper skin and beard care techniques, and how to achieve the perfect shave every time. Seeming as the average man will shave 10,000+ times in their lives, knowing how to do it well should be a part of any man’s grooming process.
3. ROCKET BARBER SHOP
Nearest Station: Cambridge Heath
Charmingly rough around the edges, Rocket Barber Shop is the epitome of a man cave. “You grow, we mow”, as they say. Founded by Stephen and Neil – who, although both working in different barbershops up in Nottingham but randomly met in Melbourne – the shop is incredibly laid back, not even taking reservations. Once a month they host Beard Night for moustache and beard wearers to socialise, drink, and have a trim. When advertising one of their first social nights, they misspelt “Beard” and instead advertised it as a Bear Night, introducing them to a whole new fan base…
4. TRUEFITT & HILL
Nearest Station: Green Park / Picadilly Circus
Giving Pall Mall Barbers a run for their money in terms of tradition, Truefitt & Hill was awarded “World’s Oldest Barbers” by the Guinness World Records, having kept the well-heeled men of London perfectly trimmed since 1805, the year of Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar. Born from a time where good grooming was the mark of a British gentleman, the ethos of this barbershop remains the same, as does their Royal Warrant, having served nine monarchs. If you want your beard trimmed or shaved in the same place as Charles Dickins, Laurence Olivier, Fred Astair, Oscar Wilde, John Wayne…(the list goes on), then this is the place for you. This is Britishness at its very best.
5. NOMAD BARBERS
Nearest Station: Aldgate East
The year prior to opening up his own barbershop in 2014, Miguel Guiterrez travelled the world for his YouTube series on global barber techniques, covering Polynesian Power Cuts, Masai Male Grooming, and Hindu Haircuts. His love of the barber tradition began when Miguel used to accompany his father to their local barbers in Liverpool, becoming fascinated with the old photographs on the wall. Now based in Brick Lane, Nomad retains a very laid back vibe where you’ll experience a warm welcome and at least a 40 minute appointment that is accompanied by a hot towel and massage with every booking. Oh, and they have a beer fridge.
6. BARBER & PARLOUR [Neville’s Barbers]
Nearest Station: Shoreditch High Street
Turn your trim or shave into a whole experience at Barber & Parlour. Owned by the Soho House Co., spread over three floors you’ll find a bar, café, shop, and Neville’s Barbers on the ground floor. Grab a light lunch and a cocktail (or coffee) before having a peruse of the Soho Home Showroom for some interior design inspiration before heading downstairs for a traditional wet shave or trim. With a contemporary yet retro feel – billed as a “gentleman’s retreat” – they use traditional methods and natural ingredients to achieve superior grooming.
7. BLADE HAIRCLUB
Nearest Station: Leicester Square / Covent Garden
If you find the process of getting your hair cut or beard trimmed tedious, welcome to your new favourite lifestyle concept; hairclubbing. Typically Soho in nature, this is a bar-cum-hairdressers/barbers, with iPads fixed to every station for binge watching Netflix at the same time. The coffee station at the front hides the bar full of hard liquor to be enjoyed while the vinyl spins pumping out music to add to the party-like atmosphere. Once a month they host live jazz, but cocktails and cuts are very much a daily occurrence.
8. MURDOCK LONDON
Nearest Station: 6 locations
A contemporary take on traditional barber methods, Murdock London is all about enhancing men’s confidence through quality cutting and shaving. Their locations wouldn’t go amiss in an episode of Mad Men, with every one of their barbers effortlessly cool too. From their wet shave to a full menu of post-shave offerings – including a full beard reshaping, handy for the end of Movember – they’ve got you covered. Take the Murdock experience home too with their own in-house range of specially created products.
9. HUCKLE THE BARBER
Nearest Station: Old Street
No nonsense and no gimmicks, enjoy a classic cut and shave in the hip Huckle The Barber. With craft beer on tap (and the odd bottle of whiskey), a bi-monthly Cut Throat Comedy Club, and sporadic acoustic nights, don’t be put off by the butcher-inspired décor. The only thing getting butchered are your split ends.
Nearest Station: Covent Garden
This legendary barbershop began life in Edinburgh 2012, with the London branch opening just a year later. Multi-award winning, grab an iPad while you wait (or a coffee or whiskey), and treat yourself to a 45 cut throat razor shave. Enjoy an exfoliating scrub, hot towel, cut throat shave, and face massage, following a consultation with your barber. If you’re keeping the fuzz, go for a beard tidy or reshape. For added comfort they even have an integrated vacuum system to stop stray hairs from doing down your neck and irritating you all day!