Whether you believe in British exceptionalism or not, no one can deny that the UK’s barbering institutions excel at wet shaving. Take a stroll around Mayfair or St. James’ in London, and you’ll stumble upon a handful of shaving emporiums that are over 200 years old, and by no accident, a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace.
What makes our shaving brands so great? They are rooted in a grooming ritual that offers a unique combination of tradition, heritage, attention to detail, quality ingredients, craftsmanship, the stamp of Royal approval, and in this anonymous online age, welcome personal service. You can’t beat a trip to the original boutiques to savour the service and the atmosphere, but there’s always online shopping to keep the cabinet stocked from afar.
Whether you shave every day, or prefer to cultivate a more generous beard in between, you won’t regret investing in your shaving ritual with these best of British shaving brands.
Truefitt & Hill
Truefitt & Hill has been around since 1805, so they must be doing something right. This iconic British brand still holds the title as the world’s oldest barbershop, according to the Guinness Book of Records, and like the former British Empire, its tentacles span the globe.
King George III gave the brand its first Royal Warrant, while HRH Duke of Edinburgh gave his approval more recently. It’s also slathered the famous chops of Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne and Charles Dickens.
Makers of high-quality shaving creams, razors, strops, brushes and timeless cologne, the wood-panelled barbershop offers superlative grooming experiences, as well as full hair services, facials, nail grooming and shaving lessons with a master barber to pass on the craft.
Green Shaving Mug: An old-school shaving mug to lather up.
Small Razor Strop: A razor strop to keep your straight/open-cut razor from blunting.
Sample Pack: Use this awesome sample pack to hone in on your favourite shaving creams, aftershaves and colognes.
Established in 1730, family-run Floris London is the oldest perfumery in Britain, and still operates from its original location at 89 Jermyn Street in St. James’. The first Royal Warrant was awarded in 1820 as comb makers to King George IV.
Having created bespoke scents for notable figures throughout history, such as Florence Nightingale, Winston Churchill, Ian Fleming, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana and HRH Queen Elizabeth II, the famous collection of fragrances can also be found across Floris’ range of aftershaves, shaving soaps in wooden bowls, shaving preparations and balms.
Elite Aftershave: A green, woody-scented post-shave splash with natural astringent, witch hazel, and glycerine to moisturise the skin.
No. 89 Aftershave Balm: Scented with classic cologne of orange, bergamot, lavender and neroli.
No. 89 Shaving Soap Bowl: A handsome, triple-milled shaving soap made with shea butter served in a sustainably sourced wooden bowl.
D. R. Harris & C0
Established in 1790, D.R. Harris is a distinguished British shaving company with a rich heritage spanning over two centuries and a smattering of Royal Warrants to prove it. The brand operates a historic barbershop in St. James’ with a newer store around the corner in Burlington Arcade.
D.R. Harris believes in a head-to-toe grooming approach and carries gentleman’s essentials for the whole body – from nail clippers, combs and hot water bottles to Grether’s Pastilles and Pine Bath Essence.
It has a house brand made up of 11 colognes, six aftershaves and six ancillary ranges covering soaps and skincare. It’s impossible to leave the store without coming up like roses – sandalwood, lavender or vetiver & lemon.
Arlington Shaving Stick: A shaving stick for on-the-go, speedy wet shaving.
Windsor Aftershave Milk: A soothing aftershave milk to take the sting out of a wet shave.
D. R. Harris x Dovo Shavette: An entry-level shavette that won’t break the bank.
Geo F. Trumper
Geo F. Trumper is a storied London barber and grooming brand that dates back to 1875. Renowned for its impeccable craftsmanship and distinguished clientele, the Mayfair stalwart holds several Royal Warrants and is a symbol of luxury and traditional grooming.
The Curzon Street store in Mayfair is the ultimate gentleman’s outfitters. Stuffed like a museum, each mahogany cabinet is crammed with shaving paraphernalia and goods ranging from cufflinks, nail sets, pocket squares and perfume bottles to umbrellas with carved handles, hip flasks, magnifying mirrors and leather wash bags (dopp kits).
The back of the shop meanwhile is divided into cosy private cubicles with red leather barber chairs, marble sinks and velvet curtains that can be drawn across for privacy.
Services include full wet shave with hot towels, moustache trimming and curling, hair cuts, facials, massages, nail grooming, threading and shaving lessons for both open and cartridge razors.
The Eucris Hard Shaving Soap: Laced with the same, classic floral woody musk fragrance that launched in 1912, this classic shaving soap comes in an elegant black bowl.
GFT Shaving Cream: A soft shaving cream scented with the brand’s more recent signature, GFT.
Synthetic Fibre Shaving Brush: No elephants or badgers were harmed in the making of this faux ivory, synthetic shaving brush.
A distinguished name in shaving, Edwin Jagger is a relative newcomer, having been established as recently as 1988. Renowned for its wide choice of safety razors, Edwin Jagger blends traditional craftsmanship with an innovative approach to razor design, creating exceptional grooming products that cater to both experienced and newbie wet shavers, with options for all budgets.
It also offers a wide selection of traditional accessories like stands, bowls and brushes, high-quality shaving soaps, creams and preparations, plus loyalty discounts.
4-Piece Set: No animals were harmed in the making of this smart Imitation Horn and Chrome DE 4-piece set. The perfect starter kit for any wet shaver.
Travel Shaving Brush: Take your closest shaves on tour, whether for work or pleasure.
Antiseptic Alum Block: Instant first aid for nicks, cuts and grazes.
Taylor Of Old Bond Street
Taylor of Old Bond Street is a classic British grooming brand with a legacy that extends back to 1854. Located on Jermyn Street, the store is a time machine of old-school personal care accessories including toothbrushes, natural sponges, clothes brushes, shoe horns, scissors, vanity mirrors and more.
Purveyors of razors, stands, brushes, bowls, preparations and kits, shaving creams, soaps, sticks and aftershave, all are scented with eight distinguished fragrances: Mr Taylor, Sandalwood, Jermyn Street, Platinum, Eton College, St James, Royal Forest and Tobacco Leaf.
Organic Shaving Cream Bowl: Moving with the times, Taylor of Old Bond Street offers an Organic Shaving Cream that’s preservative-free, fragrance-free and kind to sensitive skin.
Imitation Tortoiseshell Brush Stand: No tortoises were harmed in the making of this elegant shaving brush stand.
Pre-Shave Aromatherapy Oil: Give it some glide with this holistic pre-shave solution.