Welcome to Ruffians Barber Shop Covent Garden
In light of the controversial announcement that men may have reached “peak beard”, I popped over to Ruffians Barbers in Covent Garden for a little bit of moustache maintenance. Walking through the door, I was greeted by a friendly face and welcomed into the bar area for a tea, coffee or something stronger.
Yes, you read correctly – Ruffians has its own bar, where customers (or guests, as the staff and surroundings make you feel) can wait between appointments. Complete with armchairs and a homely woodburner, the sitting area gives a nod to Ruffians’ Scottish roots. Originating in Edinburgh, this recently opened flagship store is a welcome addition to the heart of London.
Tucked away on Maiden Lane and out of sight from bustling tourists, Ruffians feels like a cosy, yet stylish establishment for well informed locals. Walking through the bar area, you immediately become aware that this isn't your usual side street barber shop.
As I sipped my tea and chatted with Adam, their events manager (yes they even run events here), he told me how Ruffians strives to be more than just a simple barbers. Opening it up as an events space feels very appropriate for both the location and the building’s décor. Foldaway table mirrors, exposed brick, and warm hanging light bulbs set the venue as somewhere you’d happily spend a whole evening, let alone your comfortable afternoon appointment.
After a clear and considerate consultation, Stephen, or “the Scottish guy” as he said he’s known, took plenty of care with my precious face fuzz. I’ve always thought that a key part of being a barber is listening to your customer, and the team at Ruffians certainly tick this box.
As I’m so used to taking care of my own facial hair, I was slightly apprehensive to place the responsibility in somebody else’s hands, but thanks to Stephen’s careful and professional approach, it wasn’t long before relaxation had set in and it became quite a therapeutic experience.
At the end of my appointment, I was happy to see that my beard had been given defined edges along my cheekbones, stray hairs had been tidied up below my jaw line, and best of all, I no longer felt the prickle of whiskers encroaching upon my top lip!
I didn’t have time to peruse the products available at the front of the shop, where an array of intriguing pots and tubes are decoratively stacked around the room, so I’ll be sure to take a look at them on my next visit.
What this establishment has to offer is more than just a professional service for the facially hirsute. Ruffians is somewhere you’d choose to spend time out of leisure, rather than just necessity, partly thanks to the comfortable environment that blends a traditional setting with modern branding.
There’s something else that makes a visit to Ruffians that little bit more enjoyable – the feeling of luxury treatment without any pretence or intimidation. I’ll certainly be heading back to the shop on Maiden Lane, and already have a haircut lined up for the week ahead.
Be sure to find out for yourself just how enjoyable the Ruffians experience can be, and I’m sure you’ll end up making a habit of it!
Written by Luke Fazakerley