Side-parts, quiffs, beards and handle-bar moustaches – men have reached peak personal grooming, embracing a diversity of features that celebrates the peculiarities of our hirsuteness. It owes much to aesthetically driven shows such as Mad Men which inspired gents en masse to search out more traditional, authentic experiences than those provided at your everyday hairdressing salons. This demand has seen a new wave of spaces open, promising old world services from cutthroat shaves to high and tight fades with the occasional pint for good measure. And so, here is our list of Melbourne’s best barbershops.
23 Balmain Street, Cremorne VIC
Bespoke isn’t often a word that you associate with a haircut but Rob Mason of Richmond-based barbers Morris Motley offers exactly that – custom haircuts tailored to the contours of your own individual features. Honing his craft for more than ten years, Mason combines traditional barbering methods with facial mapping that interprets the exact style requirements of his male clients. Consultations can be anywhere up to 20 minutes before a pair of scissors are even lifted as either Rob or his right hand man Ryan navigate your hair-scape. Mason also offers his own range of luxury men’s haircare, built on the same functional precision as his cuts such as the Morris Motley Treatment Oil Shampoo, which cleanses and conditions without stripping back your hair’s natural oils.
Captains of Industry
Level 1, 2 Somerset Place, Melbourne, VIC
Samuel J. Fordyce is the skill behind the scissors in this multi-purpose space where you can get everything from one of the city’s best breakfasts to a pair of bespoke shoes, made by cordwainers Roberts & Hassett. With more than ten years experience, Fordyce’s approach to men’s grooming is simple – keep it classic, keep it stylish. No bells. No whistles. Following in the tradition of barbers of old, Fordyce offers a complete grooming service from a simple wash, a cut-throat shave, an array of cuts whether it be a quick tidy up to more complete styling.
Pickings & Parry
126 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, VIC
Another hybrid space that combines fashion and grooming, walking in to Pickings & Parry is a step back in time. The aesthetic is straight-up Brando in The Wild One – heritage, turn of the century-inspired workwear including denim and leathers line the walls of the shop, and a vintage Triumph motorcycle dominates the window. The barbershop, manned by Jack, is located out the back and bookings are essential. Whether it’s a shave, trim or a short back-n-sides – you’ll get a no-nonsense treatment from some of the sharpest blades in the city.
119 Smith Street, Fitzroy, VIC
An offshoot of legendary salon, Prophecy, the Drunken Barber in Collingwood operates on a very basic premise – no bookings, walk-ins only. It’s a luck of the draw concept that is surprisingly liberating, doing away with the fuss of schedules and instead embracing the joy of genuine interaction between you and your barber. Simply show up, take your seat and wait your turn and in return for your patronage, you can expect a cold Boneyard Brew courtesy of Josie Bones. Services offered are equally direct, from cut throat shaves, beard trimming, flat-tops or your choice of classic styling.
Kings Domain Barbershop
1/177 Toorak Road, South Yarra, VIC
A haven dedicated to male grooming, Kings Domain first launched in South Yarra’s Toorak Road back in 2013 by Joey Scandizzo and his former apprentice Aaron Chan. The idea for the space was inspired by Chan’s travels through South America where he encountered classic barbershops. Details such as French oak timber, marble barber stations, salvaged ‘50s solid brass light fittings make for a completely masculine space that has an old world charm. Services include a quick and easy clipper all the way up to more premium services or Royal Treatment, which includes a vintage shave and superior cut.