Trim Some – Top 4 High-end Hong Kong Chaps’ Haircutters
An essential part of the art of looking good is feeling good. In fact, if you don’t factor each of the elements in, you’re always going to score poorly by both metrics. It’s also true that you won’t feel good if you’re poorly groomed. While you can decant yourself into the snazziest of duds, if your skin is pallid and blotchy, your signature scent is distinctly Body O’Dour and, most especially, if your follicles are less artfully arranged than a blind man’s stamp album, you’re not going to be the belle of any ball.
While this particular requirement has long been something of a fetish among welloff, well-groomed women everywhere, the comparatively more uncoutured chaps have taken rather more convincing that floppy freerange fringes and conspicuously unmanaged manes really are now far from de rigueur. Latterly, however, more modish-minded men have taken on board the notion that they need to be a little more tonsorially on-trend if they are to truly shine in the chicest circles.
Thankfully, this belated barbering bloom has given rise to an ever-growing selection of superbly skilled stylists throughout Central Hong Kong, all of them committed to delivering quality coiffuring to the unsuitably hirsute. This, though, consists of far more than the standard issue short-back-and-sides of yesteryear. Instead, pate-conscious patrons can expect expert advice on exfoliation, masterful manipulation of moustache and beard architecture and tailored trims designed to bring out the very best in their luxuriant
locks or receding ringlets.
For those keen on a little stylish hair repair, here are five of the finest ‘trim some’ outlets Hong Kong has to offer.
The Handsome Factory
Recently named the best barbershop in the world by at least one publication, The Handsome Factory Barber Shop opened its doors in 2015, as its founders recognised the need for an authentic classic barbershop in downtown Hong Kong. From having just one barber back then, it now has a team of 25 and operates from six sites across Hong Kong – one each in Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui, Wan Chai and the IFC and two in Central. It is now, committed to continuing to expand its retinue of renowned razor-wielders, all of whom have to be cutting-edge clipper craftsmen (or women). As a testimony to its high-quality service, its famous clientele is said to currently include such well-groomed gents as professional boxer Jan Lamb, actor Philip Keung and athlete David Benjamin James.
The Mandarin Barber
Located on the second floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, The Mandarin Barber boasts a warm and intimate atmosphere, giving it an overall feel somewhat reminiscent of a private gentleman’s club. Its bespoke grooming services range from traditional shaving, waxing and facials to massages and haircuts.
It also offers a variety of lifestyle treatments for men, including its acclaimed Shanghainese Pedicure, courtesy of inhouse legend Master Ben Cheung. Should you prefer the privacy of a solitary shave and trim, meanwhile, a particularly luxurious VIP room has also been incorporated within the wider space.
For those with mini-me’s in tow, particularly recommended is the 30-minute Baby’s First Haircut service, which, as its name more than suggests, gives you the opportunity to enter with your heir apparent and exit with less hair apparent. Available from 9 am to 11 am every Sunday, this reservation-only service is a boon to every parent concerned that their little un’s first haircut should be both a joyous occasion and that their offspring’s curls should be the undoubted highlight of their kindergarten class group photo.
The Beau Barbershop
Aiming to combine the finest English barbershop traditions with South Korea’s famous attention to detail, the Central-set Beau Barbershop prides itself on offering precision pampering services in a refined and exclusive city-of-London-meets-cityof- Seoul gentleman’s club vibe. The master barbers behind this bijou-barnet boutique are unashamed about their aspirations to create a uniquely relaxing environment that is a true respite and an undeniable refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city beyond its doors.
Endearingly, its team of highly-experienced barbers is on an avowed mission help to help all of their clients relax and make the best use of the extensive range of grooming services on offer, including haircuts, wet shaves and facial massages. These are all accompanied by a glass of Gin and Tonic or any other beverage – alcoholic or non – of their choice while enjoying their bespoke portfolio of services. Aside from this, the barbershop has also longstanding partnership with Bertie Cigars – one of Hong Kong’s leading suppliers of sumptuous ‘smokes’ – giving aptlyminded customers the facility to indulge in a delightful Habanos cigar or two before or after their appointments. Maybe during.
Providing a cosy grooming space for its discerning clients, the Beau team specialises in a diligent and unhurried style of barbering, one that puts considerable emphasise on lengthy pre-cut consultation, a consideration that is all too frequently overlooked in contemporary grooming circles.
South Coast Barber
A more recent addition to the high-end Hong Kong chap’s hair-cutting community, South Coast Barber is not the easiest establishment to find. Tucked away in a bijou nook just off Gage Street, somewhere between Sheung Wan and Central, its relative newness is reflected both in its slightly more down-toearth pricing structure and ready availability of appointments.
Eschewing the more formal and clubby overtones of some of its competitors, this soon-to-be-famous salon is notable for its younger, more fun vibe, attributes clearly evident among its relatively fresh-faced, but recognisably experienced, team of high-end hair cutters. While many come for a cut or a wet/ dry shave, others just seem to come and hang out, enjoying the clearly cool and laidback vibe of this aspirant gentlemen’s bespoke barbering emporium.
On normal days, these barbershops are open from 9 am to 9 pm. Each client is alloted an hour or two for barbering, and if they are feeling s little bit extra, an hour for a Mani and Pedi. They provide an experience where they can come in and just relax.
(Text: Joseff Musa)