Far from being a case of just a quick number one and a shape-up, barbering has taken on a life of its own, from fantastic fade techniques to full on hairline artistry. Razor skills aside, what makes a really great barbershop is reliability and trust, qualities that our top ten barbers for Afro-Caribbean hair have by the bucketload.
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With possibly the best name in the business, Hair Force One spotted a gap for Afro-Caribbean barbers in Dagenham in 2009 and decided to fill it with their expertise. Since then they’ve opened a new shop in Ilford and added a ladies’ space too. Owner Anderson Boyce is responsible for a brilliant initiative giving free haircuts to job seekers – he’s a cut above the rest, we reckon.
Specialising in Afro, European and Asian hair, this barbershop has been an integral part of the west London community for over 15 years. Not only does it have a host of local regulars, it also has fans across the pond too with R&B stars Jodeci, Jeremih and Ginuwine all flocking here when they’re in need of a shape-up in London town. Prices start from £14 for over 18s.
‘Changing London one skin fade at a time’ might be their tagline but this barbershop’s major key is its diverse range of services – scissor cuts, beards and of course the classic fade, as well as its attentiveness to customers; 237 bottles of water were handed out in one month alone according to their online tracker. Fancy. Shape-ups from just £10.
You know you have to be a pretty great barber to maintain such a firm A-list clientele. World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, rapper Tinie Tempah and presenter Reggie Yates all regularly head to Slider for a shape-up. Happily, having superstar clients doesn’t always equate to astronomical prices, with cuts here starting at £20.
The self-acclaimed number one barber in north London is a big hit on social media too, where he showcases the variety of textures and lengths he works with. Skin fades, mohawks, patterns, they’re all in a day’s work here. They also take bookings on Sundays (for £5 extra) so you can glide into Monday with the freshest trim.
With over 20 years in the industry and a bookcase full of hairdressing and barbering accolades, 5ive’s barbering talent is undeniable. As a freelance stylist he works on shows such as Afro Hair and Beauty Live and with clients like Chiwetel Ejiofor and Craig David. But if you want to catch him for some chair time when he’s not on set or picking up awards, he’s based in Hype Coiffure Battersea. Gents’ cuts are from £30.
Not only has Tahj perfected the basics in the past eight years since he’s been cutting, he also offers excellent additional services such as facials and dyes to take your time in the chair to the next level. You can check out his work on Instagram.
Slick Rick’s Barbershop seems to be not only one of the most in demand in south London, it’s also one of the most entertaining. Dance routines are often performed in the shop, while Nikky perfects his cutting creations on the likes of the African Cup of Nations football stars.
They claim to offer the ‘sickest fade in the galaxy’ and appointments start at just £10 for over 17s. For now, you can find them in Dagenham but the team plan to expand the franchise to central London. They specialise in Afro-Caribbean hair but are skilled in Asian and European hair too.
Diligence by name, diligent by nature. This barber knows how to achieve an on-point skin fade. Patterns, cutting and shaping are the expertise of multi-award-winning Steve and Pekka – just take a look at the salon’s Instagram page and how they can create a perfect high-top from any shape of ’fro.
With a plethora of options, Afro hairstyling and maintenance offers up a world of possibilities. Twistouts, silk press, locs, weaves, braids… Whatever you want, there’s a salon to tend to your mane, but how to trim down the capital's wealth of options? You don't have to! We've done the legwork and picked ten of the best Afro salons in London. RECOMMENDED: London's best nail bars