Finding the right barber is usually a pain in the ass, especially when you're abroad, blind trust just because the place is a hipster hangout doesn't mean they'll make you lady ready by night fall. I love a good barber shop, always have since I was a kid, and know now in my adult life that its not all the glitter and gold, its the fucking haircut, whether it comes from the fanciest and most expensive place or the barber down the street thats 80 years old and worked in the same spot for 50 of those years. To help you sort out whats missing, here are my favorite, you'll see that The US is left out, because i haven't found anyone that meets my expectations, Im still searching.
The Valet London, UK
In the number one slot, my all time favorite barber, and
usually one of my first stops once I arrive in London is The Valet. Located in
a little southern suburb called Addiscombe, outside of Croydon. 205 lower
Addisombe Road. This is a proper old school barber shop with some modern
adjustments. Its more like a male grooming salon. You’re treated like a king
from the moment you enter and offered a beer or whiskey while you wait. All the
barbers there are capable, and listen, confer with you and give you the best
advice as to what will make the ladies go wild and turn you into the magical
mother fucker that you are. I frequent this place as often as possible, every
second week or so, the hot towel shaves are infused with heavenly scents. I have been there so many times over my long trips to London I have
become friends with the owner Dave, who is an absolute gem. I get my hair cut
mostly by Sam, who is a world class ladies man and fine barber. Honestly, if you’re in London, add it to the list
of sightseeing and touring, because it is surely worth the experience.
205 lower Addiscombe Rd, Croydon, London, CR0 6RA
+44 20 8656 9222
Barnet Fair, Cape Town, South Africa
Both Locations, on top is Bree Street on bottom is Harrington Street
As far as old school barbers go, this is the place I visit
at my first opportunity when I arrive in the Mother City. There are two
locations, one at 59 Harrington Street and the Original at 98 Bree Street. Both
locations offer proper straight razor shaves and fades that can rival anything
out of the hood. I normally head to the original shop, which is from morning
until night packed to the brim with a wait list, but most people give up before
their time and youre in the chair in less than 30 minutes. The Afrikaans bounces around all over in this joint so speak slowly when describing what you want, especially if you're foreign. Just to test the
waters, on my final haircut in Cape Town, before a date with a classy lady I
tried the Harrington Street location, where I received a world-class fade from
a guy named Habib who I may return to next time I find myself in South Africa. At both locations they take their time and listen, which are
the two most important qualities in a barber. If you find yourself in the arms
of the Mother City, stop in, its walk-ins only and they wont disappoint.
98 Bree Street, Cape Town, South Africa 8001
+27 21 424 1302
Gentleman's Society, Singapore, Arab Street
Doesn't look like much, but the cuts are world class.
This joint is owned by an old friend of mine so last I was
in Singapore I decided to give it a run. It’s an old school shop, one of few on
the island. Most of the barbers in Singapore are these weird Japanese style 5 minute cuts
where their clippers are attatched to a fucking vacuum. At Gentlemen Society they serve you beer or
whisky while you wait and this time I had my hair cut by an Indian barber, who
took his time and left me feeling like a million bucks. Arab Street is always
worth the visit so , if your hair happens to be a bit out of control from
traveling then a quick stop with the Gentleman’s Society is certainly worth the
time. They work on walk-ins and appointments, but I would recommend an
appointment as they fill up quick.
12 Baghdad Street, Singapore 199669
+65 9457 9435
Eyup Savas Berber, Istanbul, Kadikoy, Turkey
If you visit Turkey, its an absolute must to get your hair cut at a traditional barber. its an art form there and is taken very seriously, almost every shop I have frequented has blown me away, if you have a mustache, this country is more equipped to handle your needs than any other country on earth. The place I always end up returning to is Eyup Savas. I was treated to a haircut there by a friend of mine while in town. They did all the things a traditional Turkish barber will do, but with a perfect fade and more of a modern twist on your hair, while most of the barbers just do basic cuts and finishes. This barber is on the Kadikoy (Asian) side of Istanbul, so its a little out of the way if you're there on holiday, and also, you'd probably need an interpreter. So in place of all that work, pick a reputable looking place and dive in. My favorite things about Turkish barbers is that after your hair cut you get a full shoulder, neck, head and arm massage, turkish style so they kind of beat the fuck out of you, which is nice. Second, they actually wax the inside of your nose, plugging your nostrils with cotton tipped sticks dipped in hardening wax and just jab them up until they're hard and dry and then rip both out at the same time, and you've got the cleanest nostrils your ever fucking seen. It goes the same with your ears, and ofter the barber will take that same cotton tipped stick and dip it in alcohol, give it a light and tap it against your ears until the hair is gone, almost whipping the fire into your ear. I really wish that I could get the above barbers to adopted the last two techniques.
Eyup Savas Berber
Görele Mah. Istanbul Cad. No: 9 / A (Acarkent C Opposite the Gate) BEYKOZ /ISTANBUL
+90 216 485 24 00
Ludlow Blunt, Brooklyn New York
Ludlow Blunt caught was a place a lustfully wanted to get a trim at, mainly because Scorsese has shot there and everything is pretty much classic, spot on 1930's original shit right down to the antique mirrors. A haircut will cost you $75 but its worth it, its a full service joint and they don't treat you like cattle. I got a tight as fuck fade from a guy named Rami, who is a top tier barber by New York standards, and thats fucking saying something. The place just oozes with ole timey style and class, the type of place you're proud to get your haircut at.
North 3rd Street #85
Brooklyn NY 11249