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Groomed: Ruffians Barber shop

In a little corner of Covent Garden lies the Ruffians Barber shop, London’s latest addition to the men-only salon solution. It’s first store outside of its home city of Edinburgh, Ruffians’ new London flagship looks groomed to pick up popularity at pace.

Founded in 2012 by Andrew Cannon from his own desire for a tailored men’s salon experience that provided higher quality than cheap barbers, Ruffians has hit the ground running in the awards stakes. The Edinburgh salon and the brand have already won several awards including ‘Best Designed Hairdressers in the UK’, ‘Best Salon’ and ‘Independent Salon Best Newcomer of 2012′. Not a bad feat considering the brand was founded in 2012. Impressed yet?

Ruffians Covent Garden

The location couldn’t be better, right in the centre of the beating heart of London’s West End with a wide variety of clientele on offer. The shop itself is stunning; exposed brick and metal framework provide the foundations while the wooden workstations, comfy sofas and plaid blankets provide a warm, homely feel. There’s a masterful blend of old-time nuances and modern sensibilities, the iconic Belmont barber chairs with their steel frames and padded leather cushions make you think of the barbers your grandfather went to, while the artisan light bulbs and spacious layout gives it a contemporary feel. It’s masculine without being to intimidating and homely and inviting without being feminine.

Ruffians Covent Garden

I took along Notion’s Online Editor, Seb Law to partake in the experience, with Seb getting a haircut while I got to experience the cut-throat shave.  The shave was fantastic, even to the point of being over-indulgent. Several steps of cleansing and prepping the skin, including three rounds of having my face wrapped in a hot towel, as well as trimming the beard down first were followed by the actual shave with a classic badger-hair foam applicator and straight razor, then a final cold towel and moisturise leaving my skin feeling pretty darn incredible. It also left me with one of the cleanest and closest shaves I have ever had, which was surprising considering the irritation that was already present, as I had let my beard grow excessively in prep for the salon. I was talked through every step, of both process and product being used, making it an education as well as a pampering session.

Ruffians Covent Garden

Another key part to mention here is that Ruffians use all of their own products. Ruffians has a great selection on offer for every stage of the shave and for skincare before and after as well as hair care and two fragrances, aptly name Fragrance One and Fragrance Two. Simples. It’s a concise offering that will appeal to the clientele; it’s simple and straightforward and they smell good too. Watch this space for my full review of Ruffians products.

Ruffians Covent Garden

Seb’s haircut was also a success with our Ed looking as clean and fresh as ever. I’ll let Seb let you know what he thought:

“I always get terrified in hairdressers: something about not being able to wear my glasses (and therefore not be able to see), and having someone use sharp things near my brain that always puts me on edge. The boys in Ruffians though are as their salon’s name suggests: likeable lads with plenty of banter who make you feel comfortable without it feeling contrived, and pleasingly, actually deliver an ace haircut. I wasn’t entirely convinced about their use of forward-facing basins (though that’s entirely a personal choice) but I was thrilled about the end result: my hair was exactly as I’d wanted, exactly as I described it – after a run-in with an inferior barber a few weeks earlier – and it’s still looking fresh several weeks and a beach holiday later; the true mark of a good haircut. <3 you guys!”

We had a great time at Ruffians; it simply felt special being there, it felt like we had entered our own little boy’s club and it provided everything we needed. Before or after your appointment you could pull up a chair and have a freshly ground coffee, a coke or even a signature beer. The staff are brilliant too, an eclectic bunch of characters, they are fun, knowledgeable and engaging; so much so that Seb and I stayed for over an hour after our appointment chatting away.

Ruffians Covent Garden

There’s a great culture brewing around this little area of Covent Garden, and Ruffians is leading the charge. It’s not just a quick-stop convenience, it’s a solace from the outside city, it’s a home from home, it’s a friendly chat and a time to take a load off – it’s heralding a rebirth of a time where such places as barbers were a community’s central hub – I’ve even popped in twice since, just to say hi.

To find out more about Ruffians and the current services on offer visit here.

Ruffians Barbers
27 Maiden Lane,
Covent Garden,
London,
WC2E 7JS

-        Words by Neil Thornton, photos by Jonathon Daniel Pryce courtesy of Ruffians

 

 



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