The gentleman’s barber has changed dramatically over the years, with more alternative and modern barbers trying to target the growing demand for male grooming services. One of the most traditional types of barbershop is the Turkish barber, a fusion of classic luxury and modern barbering styles in one salon.
Ted’s Grooming Rooms have been making a name for themselves as one of the best places to get the full Turkish barber experience with experienced staff and customer service to match the luxurious atmosphere. I was fortunate enough to get a booking at their Holborn establishment and took myself along with high expectations.
Humble First Impressions
Upon arrival everything seemed fairly normal when compared to other barbershops. The familiar leather and steel chairs, the wall of mirrors and the assortment of busy staff were all present and accounted for. The exposed brick of the wall and white ceramic of the basins contrasted nicely and created an urban theme with a crisp, clean feel. The air was filled with citrus and menthol fragrances, whilst steam rose from one of the basins in the corner. It was pleasant and familiar, but nothing I hadn’t seen before in other grooming salons.
It was at this point that I was escorted downstairs by a member of staff to the underground “Grooming Rooms”, a quiet area with tall leather armchairs and a bar for customers. I sat and was immediately met with the barman who asked if I would like a drink, I requested a martini which was met with a smile and nod. Down here everything felt a little more calm, noise was minimal and conversation was quiet punctuated by the faint snip of scissors.
The Turkish Barber Experience
I was then approached by the barber, who showed me to my chair and began to discuss my haircut and the style I wanted. He was respectful but also clearly a master of his own art, taking care to talk about some of the cuts he’d be using and how he was going to create the look. The whole shampoo and conditioning experience was a pleasurable one, incorporating high quality products and head massaging skills.
The cut itself was an efficient yet thorough process that combined skill and attention to detail, every cut felt deliberate and a focus on good customer experience was of the utmost importance. The conversation was friendly and there was a fair amount of chat between the barbers themselves, I felt like part of the crew and, with the arrival or my martini, I found myself enjoying every second of my haircut.
With the cut over my hair was washed again and, after being dried with a towel, the barber rubbed soothing tea tree oil onto my face before wrapping it in a warm towel and reclining the chair. I was then treated to an arm, neck and shoulder massage as the oil and warm towel cleared my pores. It was incredibly relaxing and something I have never experienced before in a grooming salon. Finally, before styling my hair I was treated to the traditional method of ear hair removal, whereby the barber lights a small piece of cotton on a thin metal rod and wafts it close to your ears. This lightly singes the hairs and allows them to fall away without the need for trimming.
I came away from the experience feeling completely re-vitalised and fresh. I had gone in feeling tired and cold from a long day in work and emerged styled and sharpened. It was like nothing I had ever tried before and an experience I am definitely keen to turn into a regular occurrence.
Making The Cut
I’ve said before that the barber industry does not create monopolies but instead allows businesses to create their own character to satisfy certain groups of consumers. Ted’s Grooming Rooms are a fine example of this, offering a traditional Turkish experience with modern touches that is not commonly found in this city. I highly recommend booking an appointment if you wish to enjoy a service that will tailor to all of your grooming needs with techniques that have been finely honed over centuries.
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