The Gentleman Barbers – Birmingham
The Gentleman Barbers seeks to return visitors to Brindley Place in Birmingham to the days where going to the barber was an event rather than a chore. My visit was of necessity, but the Gentlemen Barber’s modern twist on a half-remembered childhood memory was both pleasurable and a reminder that provision of good male grooming is becoming more accessible – if you know where to look. Finding myself in Birmingham where I was attending a meeting at which I needed to look my best, I asked Theresa and her team on reception at my favourite Birmingham Marriott Hotel for a recommendation. The winner was The Gentleman Barber at 9 Brindley Place, just off Broad Street.
With our busy lives, it is often easy to de-prioritise things deemed less important like keeping hair trimmed and smart, until necessity intrudes – not to the point where hair gets in your eyes, for me it is the slight curling of sideburn hairs that is the first indicator that a haircut is overdue. Tucked away in Brindley Place, you may be forgiven for mistaking the Gentleman Barbers for a retail shop, as they also prominently display a wide range of quality grooming products for men, which of course may be a reason to visit in itself. However, once you step through the glass panelled doors, the main business at hand is clear. Set down the right hand side wall are a number of classic leather barbers chairs whose colour is complimented by the relaxing duck-egg blue of the walls. It speaks of an attention to detail that is often missing in men’s hairdressers, and this continued as I took my seat – everything had a place, from several pairs of professional scissors laid out on the shelf before me, to the oil used to smooth my skin before trimming the short hairs at the back of my neck with a cutthroat razor.
The least one can normally say about a haircut is that it matches the description of what we want that we provide once seated. In this case the cut itself was carried out with professional care and an attention to detail that allowed me to relax and enjoy it, including the cutthroat trimming of my neck hairs. After an electric razor cut of the sides, I was then invited to have my hair washed before the scissors trim, this was a nice touch and much better than the liberal spray of water from a plastic bottle that seems to be the norm. Other nice touches were the offer of a drink before we began and the hot towel that was offered to me as I paid (apparently, they are kept warm in a heated box underneath the counter). For those waiting there are also comfortable couches, papers and a phone charging point. The Gentleman Barber are open 8-8 weekdays, so there is no excuse really.
The result, I realised as I walked away from the shop was of feeling relaxed and also knowing that I now looked the part. I am already planning on returning and trying a Turkish Shave – with Hair Singeing, an experience I will describe in a later post. For now I am off to my meeting, energised by the experience of a proper, modern haircut from a gentleman barber.
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