Hair, someone clever once said, is the crown you wear every day. So, it pays to look after it; to treat it with the same attention and love you would to, say, a new leather jacket or that covetable suit you have had your eye on. The thing is, often people cut corners – sometimes literally – with their hair, taking heedless risks with it.
" Hair, someone clever once said, is the crown you wear every day "
Choosing the right barber is important. Shoes you can change; hair sticks around until your next cut. Barbers, like therapists, are supposed to be a boon for the soul. You ought to be able to walk straight in, hungover or otherwise, sit down in the chair and feel the weight of the world seep through the soles of your brogues, as a skilled pair of fingers in a sharp pair of scissors sort everything out for you, allowing you to leave looking younger, smarter, and better looking. To help you on your way to hair nirvana, we have travelled the world to bring you the best barbers wherever you are.
1. FIGARO'S BARBERSHOP (LISBON)
The first thing to know about Figaro’s is that its owner Fabio Marquez is responsible for several of David Beckham’s haircuts, which in and of itself should make it stand out from the crowd. This is an old-style establishment in the Chiado district and it specialize in cuts from the 1920s and 1950s – and when we say specialize, we mean it. There are no appointments but they give beer and whisky to queuees.
2. LA BARBIÈRE AT THE HOTEL DE CRILLON (PARIS)
There is but one single seat in the new Barbers inside the recently reopened Hotel de Crillon, which gives you some insight into the peerless level of service the man in that Belmont design chair is getting. The barbers come from Sarah Daniel-Hamzi’s famous grooming emporium La Barbière de Paris, and services are manifold. Plus, while you are getting a trim you can smoke a cigar and get your shoes shined.
3. MANIFESTO (LONDON)
If the famous minimalist, Donald Judd had built a barbershop it would look something like Manifesto - the modern man’s grooming salon. Its sleek leather chairs, bare brick walls and polished concrete floors though are just the start. We recommend going for the aptly named Dandy, which polishes off a traditional wet shave, haircut and massage with a complimentary glass of whisky.
4. TRUEFITT & HILL (LONDON)
Opened in 1805 by William Francis Truefitt, this is the oldest barbershop in the world and was the first establishment to ever hold a royal warrant, from George III. The present premises are in upmarket St James’s. Their past client list reads like the guest book of a grand stately home and include Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra and the Duke of Edinburgh. The Rolls Royce of barbers.
5. NOMAD BARBER (LONDON & BERLIN)
Award-winning barber, Miguel Gutierrez spent 10 months visiting 20 countries to learn local grooming techniques and customs. Now you don’t need to look any further than London or Berlin to get Turkish neck and Indian head massages with your short back and sides. Oh, and if this year’s holiday is still to be determined, check out Gutierrez’s wanderlust inducing Nomad Barber YouTube series.
6. FILTHY RICH BARBERSHOP (NEW YORK)
What Picasso did with a paintbrush, barber Richard Mendoza and his team achieve with electric clippers. Ever since Filthy Rich opened its doors back in 2006, rappers including Flo Rida and Big Sean, as well as NBA players Patrick Patterson and Austin Rivers have made a b-line to Queens for one of their razor-sharp cuts or original works of hair art.
7. DEEP CUTS (SINGAPORE)
Started by a group of friends in an attic on the Kampong Bahru road, the barbers at this retro parlour have a passion for male grooming as well as cutting hair. So much so, in fact, that within a few short years it has won a clutch of awards and a whole load of global recognition.
8. JIMMY RODS (BRISBANE)
One of the great names in Australian barbering and with outlets all over that hirsute city. The main action, however, is at the appointment only Shave Saloon, which, alongside its barber area, also boasts a fully-stocked whisky bar and a kitchen.
9. MANLY AND SONS BARBER COMPANY (LA)
Although it only opened in 2014, Manly and Sons has become something of an LA legend and now boasts 3 salons across the city. They specialize in traditional techniques using the most modern of tools – think razor fades and buzz cuts – though if you ask for the Full Works, you will get a straight-edge razor hot towel shave with your haircut.
10. ERA BARBERS (HONG KONG)
Era is a relative newcomer to the well-bedded scene in Hong Kong, having only appeared on the scene in 2014. And yet it has drawn plaudits far and wide. Tatler named it one of the best barbers in HK and with good cause: its traditional full men’s service can’t be beaten anywhere.