Research has shown that we trust our barber more than a priest or the police. It probably comes down to the fact those wielding the scissors know that if they get it wrong there’ll be hell toupée, ahem. Plus you really have to be able to trust a man holding a sharp weapon near your neck. To cut a long one short, if you’re after a lemon squash (wash) and a Sandy Lyle (style) to pair with a new suit or just for a freshen up, this selection of the ten best barbers in London are head and shoulders above the rest.
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The best barbers in London
With countless awards under its belt, you can bank on more than just a bog standard snip at Ruffians. The Edinburgh export is now on its fourth London location: Covent Garden, Marylebone, Shoreditch and Liberty in Soho. The Shoreditch in branch is manned by talented hair experts ranging from an ex-butler to a former social worker and even a part-time cage fighter. We’ll let you guess who is who.
Haircuts from £58
Established in 2014, this high-quality Islington inclusion combines an old school barbershop feel with contemporary cuts. Staff are cool as cucumbers but super friendly and, most importantly, really know their stuff. Gents of London also stock their own range of products which we've used and liked. No hard sell, either. Recommended.
Haircuts from £32
Bid (temporary) adieu to your mop at one of Ted Baker’s 11 Grooming Room spots across London and leave feeling sharper than sharp. The lifestyle brand offers a range of classic Turkish barbering treatments with an added ‘Ted’ twist. Plus, with cuts from just £32, the experience won’t shave too much off your wallet either.
Haircuts from £32
After the coolest cut in Clerkenwell? Take yourself and your tresses to Manifesto. This razor-sharp outpost on Leather Lane is a metropolitan mix of Instagram-baiting interiors, speakeasy-inspired reception-cum-workspace and grooming packages with names like ‘The Dandy’, which include a glass of whisky. A second salon has also opened in Coal Drops Yard, in Kings Cross.
Haircuts from £40
Jack the Clipper might be the home of cut-throat craftsmanship, but the ancient techniques employed by its demon barbers also extend to using fire to get rid of hair. Thankfully your locks (and your loaf) are in safe hands: the suave saloon was established in 1996 by London's first and biggest family of Turkish hairdressers.
Haircuts from £31
Check in for a chop at this gentleman’s parlour and if you’re lucky you'll get a history lesson to go with it. Founded in 1805, Truefitt & Hill is officially the oldest barber shop anywhere in the world. As well as grooming everyday men for greatness for more than 200 years, the firm’s master barbers have tamed royal manes for nine generations.
Haircuts from £50
With a celebrity client list that includes James Bay, Dermot O’Leary and Jamie Dornan, you’re guaranteed a barnet that’s more Brad Pitt than Boris Johnson at this Soho snipper. Headed up by Joe Mills and an army of hand-picked staff, Joe and Co offers style and technical expertise in an informal and unfussy way.
Haircuts from £46
Get a trim in a time machine at Notting Hill’s Carter and Bond. Set over two floors, the space is packed with vintage furniture and retro skateboards, with music played on cassette (yes cassette!) Plus, the men’s hair specialists are trained to serve a range of coffees from London-based roasters, Workshop. Barbers + baristas = barberistas?
Haircuts from £35
Lamb’s Conduit Street has been transformed into a sophisticated hub for stylish men in recent years and now the road is home to the second outpost of Huckle the Barber. This independent spot promises to keep customers lubricated with top-notch craft ales on tap, and is also planning to launch its own range of products in 2017.
Haircuts from £48
Venue says No gimmicks, independent male grooming of the highest quality with no pretence. Two shops to choose from: Shoreditch and Holborn.
There’s a lot more to be had than a quick short back and sides at Pall Mall Barbers. One of the oldest and most respected barber shops in the UK, the current line-up of coiffuring confidants boasts more than 350 years’ experience in the art of male grooming between them.
Haircuts from £30
Miguel Guiterrez is not your average barber. Ten years after starting his career, the Liverpudlian embarked on an epic 12-month journey around the world to perfect his cutting craft. After spawning the immensely popular Nomad Barber YouTube channel, Guiterrez returned to London to set up his own barbershop just off Brick Lane in the heart of the East End.
Haircuts from £35
You'll find this south London male grooming salon just ten minutes from Oval tube station. It promises to serve up 'a quick cut before a business meeting or a night out with the lads.' You'll also find free wifi, free drinks and even sweets.
Nestled in between the stalls of Borough Market and under the London Bridge railway tracks, Hobbs has all the charm of an old-school barbershop, with a few hip twists. A mishmash of ’70s tat cover the walls – Bowie posters, antlers, violins, and saucy seaside postcards in golden frames – and Union Jack flags dangle from the ceiling, semi-ironically. It’s no-nonsense here, just cheap-and-cheerful cuts and beard trims, with no appointment necessarily. But sharply-dressed barbers Ian and Wayne will give you a neat, stylish, precision cut, complete with cutthroat-razor finish and plenty of cheeky banter. The train station-style waiting room, in a separate wood-panelled room, is particularly nice touch, where you can read a back-catalogue of Empire magazines or simply watch foodies wander about the bustling market.
This traditional Mayfair barber has been pampering men since 1875 offering both a range of fragrances and grooming products (aftershave balms, razors, shaving brushes) as well as an indulgent range of treatments from wet shaves to manicures and facials. Branches: 1 Duke of York Street, SW1Y 6JP. Sharpen up at more of London's best barber shops