It’s Saturday morning, and it’s the last Saturday that Thy Barber is doing walk-in haircuts, – they’ve been doing walk-ins only on a Saturday. I like appointments for hairdressers and normally I’d book an appointment, but I was in need of a clip.
This is one such. I’ve found hairdressers (plural!) who cut hair well, and do exactly what I want. It’s taken me a while – and I’ve sat in so many barber/salon watching the hairdresser at work, judging them intently as they finish off the odds-and-sods of the back and sides, and brush down the current customer. Usually it’s with a creeping sense of dread at what I’m going to get.
“You having trouble with your name? Want some help?” Frank cheekily asks a hesitant customer, pointing to a thin blackboard where customers have added their names by order. The list isn’t very long, so the wait won’t be more than 30 minutes. Neil has been on the list at the top, but he seems to have wandered off. The customer writes his name and waits.
Frank continues shaving his present customer. Pauly is just getting started on the sides of my head. When my hair grows out, there’s something weirdly satisfying about seeing it fall to the floor.
Being in Shoreditch you’d imagine it would be quirky. It’s a nicely decked out salon, but because it’s tucked in an alcove of sorts, between a restaurant and a biker-wear shop it is quite odd. They do make the most of the space and, most important, Pauly and Frank are great fellas too. When I have an appointment after work, they always offer me a beer and a comfy seat if I have to wait. I’ve been a few times now, and the haircuts are bloody good.
It’s pretty much a win-win all round, I love the booking system, which doesn’t even involve calling up and speaking to an actually human being. And you can get a text/e-mail reminder the day before your hair too.
At 26 quid for a haircut, it’s at the top end of the scale for what I’m prepared to pay – but I know that I can wait a couple of weeks longer than I’d normally and my hair will still look pretty damn good – that’s the sign of a bloody good haircut. The chat is good, and the the music ain’t bad either. The first time I went in there they were playing this, which is all right by me.
My only complaint is that they don’t wash your hair – there’s no basins (given the space constraints?), so that’s a minus, but I’d rather go home and wash my own hair knowing that I have a good haircut, rather than have it done for me and by someone does a mediocre job, so for some as fussy – about haircuts – for me its no big thing.
It might seem expensive, but they know what they’re doing and I’ve come away a very happy customer every time. Worth every penny.
Thy Barber – The Bike Shed, 384 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT