Aside from the fairly recent addition of electric clippers, you’d probably think the barbering trade hasn’t changed much since it first made an appearance in Ancient Egypt. But you’d be wrong. From the Middle Ages until the 17th century, your friendly local barber probably offered dentistry and minor surgical procedures in addition to the more obvious services – pop in for a haircut, stick around for the tooth extraction and bloodletting. Leeches and scalpels are no longer part of the traditional barber’s toolkit (not ours, anyway), but there are a few elements of the past we think are worth preserving. From the 19th century up until WWII, traditional barbers London shops were welcoming and lively centres of news, camaraderie and gossip for men of all ages – in some cases, even more so than the local pub. We should know, because we were there. Our first shop on Whitcomb Street, known then as the Pall Mall Toilet Saloon, opened its doors in 1896 and is now one of the oldest traditional barbers London has left.

As one of the top traditional barbers London has to offer, the fixtures and fittings of each Pall Mall Barbers branch across the city have been carefully selected to evoke the feel of the “Golden Age of British Barbering” – from the oak panelling, to the retro fittings and front wash sinks. We’ll even serve you a glass of whiskey upon arrival to complete the full gentleman’s club experience of the fin de siècle man about town.

But more importantly, our barbers are rigorously trained to provide the kind of personalised service you’d expect from a trusted advisor. Each cut, beard shaping or shave starts with a consultation to ensure that you leave with a style that suits your face shape, lifestyle and desired look. You’ll also get advice on the best products to help you maintain a sharp look every day – whether it’s from our award-winning range, or if your loyalties lie elsewhere (we won’t take offense).

Thankfully, dentistry has moved on a bit in the last century – as have fashion, hairstyles and gentleman’s grooming. We like to think we’ve moved with the times as well, but the most important thing we’ve learned in the past one hundred years is that a good relationship with a trusted barber will never go out of style.

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