For a long time, it has been said that there is ‘no such thing as the perfect haircut’, and that may be true. But with Ruffians offering everything you would ever want from a haircut, the pursuit for perfection has led them to become of one the finest barbers in the capital - and the latest hotspot to fall under the focus of the OPUMO London series.
Just off the main square in Covent Garden and down the cobbled street of Maiden Lane lies Ruffians Barbers. Despite the barbering scene brimming with beard-trims and hair-cuts, Ruffians have nurtured the ideal formula of a laid-back, down-to-earth grooming space, specialising in men’s hair and cut-throat shaves.
But Ruffians is more than just a one-stop shop for a haircut. Eradicating the awkward encounters and sense of emasculation that comes with describing how you want your hair like that guy off Instagram, or even worse, just like how you always have it. Instead, just how you perfectly imagine every haircut to be before you make the dreaded steps in to the chair; Ruffians deliver.
“The 'Ruffians Experience' is all about having an enjoyable and relaxing time,” explains Adam Brady, head of PR and Marketing for Ruffians.
“For years, haircuts always seemed like a chore rather than something pleasurable. So by creating a space which has a warm atmosphere, stylish and uniquely designed, Ruffians aims to provide a memorable and positive experience for everyone.”
Created in 2012 in Edinburgh’s West End, Ruffians opened their flagship London store in December 2013. With the English branch kitted out in similar modern-vintage decor to its Scottish counterpart.
It is in complete contrast to the abrasive atmosphere often found in traditional barbers. The shop itself has been carefully planned and executed to impeccable detail. With rustic worktops and desks, stripped back brick walls and tiled facades alongside the solid oak benches and exposed filament bulbs, there’s a certain timeless quality that all traditional barbers boast alongside an innovative, stylish edge.
“The shop's aesthetic is not based on any kind of design – rather than what would function well in a barber shop. There's a lot of movement and activity in here all day, so it was important to install chunky and sturdy units, which also are complemented nicely by industrial and practical metal shelves and cages for customer’s belongings,” says Adam.
Fronting the barbers is the apothecary-inspired shop where the signature line of Ruffians products can be purchased (the Styling Paste in particular comes highly recommended from OPUMO). It is the aspect of the Ruffians experience that cannot be overlooked. So often the gripe with every haircut is when facing your bathroom mirror, your new found style is near impossible to replicate. By offering a range of products, from clays, waxes and shampoos, the Ruffians experience will extend beyond the barbers and in to your daily routine.
Vacating the shop-front the barbers opens up in to its centrepeice; where traditional white ceramic sinks and Takara Belmont leather bound barber chairs are complimented with light touches of wood, cladding and an open fireplace which anchors the relaxed waiting area.
“The mixture of traditional elements and contemporary design manage to appeal to a variety of men from all ages and lifestyles”, explains Adam.
“We feel that there is something in the barber shop which can speak to everyone: whether it be the changing menu of craft whiskies and beers, the shop which sells our own range of products or the open to the public events that we hold. Ruffians is intended to be a lifestyle destination for men who enjoy and appreciate the finer things.”
The experience of course is paramount to the final result; the haircut. The standard 45-minute appointment, starting with a five-minute consolation, exemplifies Ruffians’ attention to detail. Where previously getting your haircut was not viewed as an enjoyable experience, with Ruffians it is the opposite. There’s no worry of stepping out the barbers with a bad cut, as Ruffians take time to make sure you’re happy with every last detail.
So good at what they do, that the first visit will undoubtedly lead to a lifetime of devotion.
Check out Ruffians website here and keep updated with their latest events and services on Instagram and Twitter.
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