The best health venues in London
The best beauty venues in London
Blue Tit East Village
A stone’s throw away from Westfield Stratford – if you’re shot-putter that is – is the latest outpost from hip boutique hairdressing salon Blue Tit. In a marked departure from the vintage style for which the salon has become known, the new offering is bright, airy and ever-so-slightly industrial. With untreated wooden floors and concrete fixtures – plus the obligatory cactus plants – you could almost imagine yourself in a Stockholm salon. Almost. But while the interior design may have undergone an update, the menu – using all-natural products – and service remain unchanged. This is no bad thing: with its fashion-forward approach, fair pricing and friendly staff, Blue Tit has built a loyal following of customers, which sees no signs of waning.
The Nomad Barbershop
Does your barber cut hair on a mountain top? Perhaps you’re using the wrong man. Miguel Gutierrez, of hugely popular vlog The Nomad Barber, travelled the world to observe cutting and shaving techniques in Dubai, Turkey, Chile and even London’s East End. The video series documented Liverpool-born Gutierrez’s year-long odyssey to learn the history of barbering. ‘I wanted to create a concept that would allow me to travel, but also keep me in the industry,’ Gutierrez tells me as he snips methodically at my wayward hair. I’m getting spruced up at the Nomad Barber’s first permanent residence, a smallish shop off Brick Lane. The space is stylish without being pretentious, and it’s free of the hippyish travelling trinkets you might expect. Chic indie flows through the speakers and portraits from Gutierrez’s travels adorn a wall. It’s a cool, comfortable set-up that’s been swamped with happy customers since launching. ‘We get such a varied mix,’ says Gutierrez. ‘City boys, hipsters, guys who want a style they’ve seen on Instagram.’ Ah yes, Instagram. The Nomad’s hefty social media following has served him well, he says. ‘A lot of customers come via YouTube.’ The three-man team (one of whom was a sniper before he became a snipper, so think twice about asking for ‘a tiny bit more off the sides’) work through cuts and shaves in 45-minute slots, priced at £28. It’s competitive, and extras like a hot towel with every cut make it memorable. Let’s hope this nomad has finally settled.
You wouldn’t need an overgrown fringe to miss Asashi Hair when wandering around Shoreditch. Tucked away in a workshop down a cobbledy alley is a modestly attired little grooming bolthole, delivering cuts (£45-£55) but not colour. It’s the home of mono-monikored Asashi, a Japanese stylist who has coiffed for the likes of Vogue, GQ and Dazed over a 25-year career before opening this spot for personal clients. He has Dapper Dan pomade on hand for ducktail-seeking dudes, or precision snips to deliver a directional spirit-levelled bowl cut. But if you must ask for a trim, you’ll get one.