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The Barbery London

The Barbery

As a businessman with a passion for the finer things in life, south-east London based Charl Ackerman and his friends found themselves venturing to Shoreditch and Covent Garden in search of high-end barbering and grooming experiences, so he set about changing the situation. After doing his research and finding that all the luxury barbers and men’s hair salons were ’north of the river’, he set about bringing a new and different concept to his local area. The result – The Barbery, London.

“Men wanted a haven of calm”

“Most barbers in my area were stereotypically masculine, boisterous and noisy with loud music and alcohol on demand,” says Charl. “That genre of barbershop appeals to a lot of people, which is fine, but there was no alternative. My friends and I wanted something more sophisticated; a haven of calm and tranquility where we could unwind, relax and ebb away the pressures of every day life. Like a barbers built on high-end hairdressing values. The more I researched, the more I found that other men wanted that too, so I set about bringing a Shoreditch/Covent Garden-style experience to Waterloo.”

A new vision for barbering

Teaming up with a consultant to map out his vision for The Barbery, a year was spent visiting as many barbershops as possible to see how his vision could bring a completely different aspect to barbering and men’s grooming, which also incorporated men’s beauty treatments, such as facials. Taking everything he saw and experienced into account, he instinctively knew what The Barbery would look and feel like, and what it would offer to clients.

Charl: “Apart from looking at the physical salon, its location and interior design, and how it would feel, we also spoke to local people to understand what they needed and wanted, as well as talking to barbering and grooming professionals to define what they wanted their place of work to be like. We looked at every detail – even how and where AC units would be positioned, to create a men’s salon that delivered escapism and calm, and that delivered the highest quality services and eco-first products. I even decided that coffee would not be on offer – first because caffeine is not good for us and also because I wanted to bring the client’s heart rate down at The Barbery.”

What’s in a name?

Armed with research and intelligence from an in-depth study of every detail that would contribute to this new grooming experience, intense brainstorming sessions led to the name being coined. “‘The Barbery’ wasn’t something that just popped into our heads,” Charl says. “The beauty of its simplicity came about by looking for a name that would embody who we are, what we do and the skills we have. We also wanted it to be scalable for other potential locations, have green/eco connotations and allude to cleanliness and freshness. I believe The Barbery captures all of that in a simple, memorable name.”        

So, with the name in the bag, a vision for the interior design and a customer-first philosophy driving him forward, Charl started to address the detail. The tag line ‘Barbering, but not as you know it’, suggested something different. 

Then came assembling the team. Focussing on personality, interviews consisted of get-to-know walks rather than a formal sit down interview. Charl: “Of course the people we saw were barbers or men’s hairdressers, but I felt that while we could train, teach and hone skills to perfection, you can’t teach someone to be somebody else. The personality, manner and attitude of our team was key to delivering the customer experience we were aiming for. I found that hairdressing training majors on the consultation whereas barbering doesn’t, so I wanted that element in our customer service too.”

“I considered how the chair would look in photos and videos”

When the location and design were in full motion, Charl turned to Takara Belmont for equipment, settling on the classic Apollo 2 barber chair. Not a barber himself, he relied on the opinions of his team but: “When I saw the Apollo 2 I just loved the aesthetic. They’re so beautiful and I considered how they would look in photos and video. Then when I got to understand the brand, how reliable they were and what great service Takara Belmont provides, there was no alternative but to have these chairs.”

When it came to chair colour, Charl knew it was important to keep on-brand and balance the masculinity of the Apollo 2 by opting for a gentle and understated light grey. “I knew this would probably be harder to keep clean but perfect coordination is worth all the effort!”

As the final pieces of the jigsaw fell into place, and in line with their eco values, Charl’s research extended into products to bring an organic product experience to clients, and address a taboo issue head on. With many friends and Charl himself suffering from scalp problems, his products were selected to focus on scalp care as much as hair care. “I know many men who suffer from scalp issues and conditions such as dandruff and psoriasis, but they’re too embarrassed to speak about it. We’re opening up and getting them to open up about it, so we can tackle the issue and achieve hair and scalp health together.”

As part of a complete eco strategy including organic products, such as fully recyclable OWAY and artisan brand Haeckels – from coffee cups to laundry detergent to water filtering – The Barbery is every inch a luxury men’s hair salon with quality, luxury and conscience all contributing to a truly unique men’s grooming experience.

Discover The Barbery HERE | Discover the Apollo 2 barber chair HERE | Discover Takara Belmont HERE

For more news from Takara Belmont, click HERE.

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