Truefitt & Hill – Serenity within the city
I must admit, slightly bleary eyed and bushy haired I crossed the threshold of Truefitt & Hill at 71 St James’s Street, and am immediately taken back by the quiet serenity of London’s luxury barbers. The silence is an escape from the capital’s bustling morning outside. Gone are the sounds and smell of the busy rush hour traffic, welcome to serenity.
Within, stained, timber-clad walls are married with leather studded armchairs against a backdrop of walls adorned with artwork (I was told all are originals) showcasing some of Truefitt & Hill’s select, past clientele.
A Brief History
Truefitt & Hill are the barbers of Royalty and many more famous faces to boot. They received their first Royal Warrant from George III and have been firm favourites of the British Monarchy ever since. Truefitt was also a favourite of Sir Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra and Charles Dickens to name but a few. The current list of famous faces choosing Truefitt & Hill is kept on “the down-low” but spans a range of celebrities from across stage, screen, politics and sport. It’s safe to say, you’re in good company here.
Cliché as it sounds the barbers doesn’t just have history, it is history. As I’m greeted by my barber Michael, he informs me that they are the oldest barbershop in the world, which is certified by Guinness World Records. An experience counts when searching for the perfect haircut and shave experience. I get an immediate sense when Michael and I begin discussing what I am looking for – his knowledge is, let’s say, extensive.
Attention to Detail
The attention to detail is exquisite, not only in the quality of the haircut but also the surroundings. Where I am sat is remarkably spotless; clipper guards all neatly in a line, a selection of scissors, brushes, combs and bottles all aligned. This is a far cry from the edgy barber shops of nearby Soho. There are no elaborate styles, pumping music or fluorescent lighting anywhere to be seen. It is and always will be a retreat for gentlemen, never pretending to be anything different.
Michael explains the process to me and we discuss what sort of style and length I feel suit best. He makes polite suggestions to changes I may consider, and I agree. Intricately gliding with his clippers, he constantly checks progress and then makes fine adjustments with his scissors. It almost felt like overkill but I was far too relaxed and enjoying my surroundings to be overly concerned.
The session moves on from my hair, which is now a far cry from the shaggy mess that I arrived with, to a beard and facial treatment. The sight of a cut-throat razor usually fills me with dread but after the time I’ve spent at Truefitt & Hill already, I feel confident. My beard is trimmed down and reshaped around my neck to better suit the shape of my face. And once my beard has been tamed a hot towel is applied to my face to open up any stubborn pores, before a facial treatment begins. I’d like to say that I can recall the process step by step but to be totally honest, from the second the barber’s chair was tilted back and the warm cotton pads placed over my eyes I practically drifted off.
It really is a wonderful escape from the London life. You can see why it’s a favoured haunt of the high-flying West End business set.
After I awakened from my stupor, Michael informed me that the facial treatment consisted of mixed hot and cold towels between a range of Truefitt & Hill’s own cleansers, facial masks and serums. A heady recipe for magnificently glowing skin, ready to face the day ahead.
A truly exceptional barbering service worthy of any King, Prime Minister or Gentleman looking for absolute perfection in male grooming. And best of all, every product used during my treatments are available to buy in the shop or online. I couldn’t resist departing without some Euchrisma Clay (£22), which delivers exceptional body and hold to my hair without it looking too obvious or greasy.
If you need a truly expert haircut, or better yet can spare yourself a few hours one morning or afternoon (Monday through Saturday), and want a truly luxurious grooming experience, then Truefitt & Hill is the place to be.