Need a new 'do to match your summer tan? Check out these cool new additions to the capital's grooming scene - while you've still got a decent answer to the dreaded 'Have you been anywhere nice on holiday?' question...
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.
Back where I’m from, a long-haired urchin like me would often be treated to a cry of ‘Cut your hair!’ from a passing Ford Fiesta. With the arrival of Cut Throat in my adopted home of Peckham, the drive-by style advisors have finally got their way. It’s a cosy white cube of a hairdressers, with just four seats. Reassuringly, on my visit, the other two customers were equally tentative (‘Can you do something… to my beard? NOTHING WEIRD!’) but the staff coaxed vague requirements and excellent styles out of all of us. I was treated to fancy pomade which I was assured was vegan – good to know as until now I’ve been using bacon fat. A full menu of shaves, trims and cuts are on offer (£10-£35).