Founded by super-stylists Jonathan Long and Ben Cooke in 2005, Lockonego’s exclusive session styling has been featured everywhere from the catwalk and the fashion pages to the world of A-list celebrity, with David (and Victoria) Beckham and Leona Lewis just some of their recent collaborations. Now Lockonego is fast becoming one of the go-to places in London for male grooming. Ape to Gentleman caught up with co-founder Jonathan Long to find out why.
EA: You’ve had a more than successful career as a hairdresser with a more than impressive clientele of A-list celebrities. What made you decide to start doing male grooming at Lockonego?
JL: Men are becoming increasingly more interested in grooming, possibly due to the fact that competition at work is probably at its highest right now and people are generally taking care of themselves more than ever. With that in mind, I have no doubt that there is an element of wanting to meet social demands to look good but as long as there have been beards and barnets men have wanted to tame them both!
EA: Being the hairstylist for the Channel 4 show, Extreme Male Beauty, you must have come across male grooming in its element. Are you finding that it is mainly men with jobs in the media spotlight that visit your salon, or mainly ‘normal’ guys?
JL: We get and have always had lots of men in the salon, successful business types, TV personalities (we had Rory Bremner in yesterday) and to be honest everyone’s different. Lockonego really is a non-pretentious salon for everyone and we are all warm and welcoming and all our clients, celebrities or not, get the same top notch treatment. I think these days people are talking about male grooming more but we men have always done it just that now there is more access to it and we don’t have to borrow our other half’s products anymore!
EA: What is your opinion of the current the relationship between Men’s Fashion and Male Grooming?
JL: I think that grooming should not necessarily coordinate with men’s fashion but compliment it. When guys were all wearing great old-man tweed last season I don’t think we needed the beards and sideburns to go with it. There is such a thing as over-doing a look. Think the same goes from grooming and fashion – men just need to be comfortable in their own skin and go with what suits them.
EA: Do you have a grooming routine?
JL:Kyoku for men is great, I recently tried the SPF 15 moisturiser which was good but A’Kin PureMan is my day to day favourite. I tend to use the dual action Face Wash & Scrub and the 24hr moisturiser. Sebastian Craft Clay is an absolute must, it’s a clay base so doesn’t leave that greasy-looking shine on the hair.
EA: Are there any other male grooming brands you have come across that you really respect?
JL: I loved the men’s salon on New Bond Street called WholeMan but unfortunately it closed down after a year or two in business. There are some truly great men’s brands out there but for me, a close shave and a clever, easy to maintain haircut is all you really need. Maybe a bit of moisturiser too.
EA: A man must always have a great fragrance in his armoury, which fragrance would you say is currently top of your list?
JL: Tom Ford fragrance is great for real attention-grabbing Winter scents but now that the weather is turning around I like men’s Vera Wang.
EA: So what does the Future hold for Lockonego?
JL: Lockonego is celebrating its 5th year and we are all really chuffed with the success we have experienced to date. We are looking into growing the business so watch this space. What you can bank on is that we will never let our service slip and I guess that is why we have so many loyal clients that have been with us since the start.
EA: And finally Jon, if you had one piece of advice you could give to anyone, what would it be?
JL: A good haircut and a an IWC can get you a very long way in life! I LOVE the special edition IWC Ingenieur Automatic Mission Earth watch which was made especially for a client of mine, David de Rothschild. David is doing the ‘Plastiki mission’ to help encourage the recycling of plastic bottles by sailing from San Francisco to Sydney, Australia in a boat made up of 12,000 plastic bottles called the Plastiki (www.theplastiki.com).
Jonathan Long co-founder of Chelsea hair salon Lockonego on Kings’ Road
0207 795 1798