Meet the Ruffians #2: Tommy the manager of our Shoreditch shop


No one is cooler than Ruffians Shoreditch manager, Tommy Cunliffe. He’s the go to man for fresh trims and great chat. So, we caught up with Tommy to learn more about his experience working at Ruffians and to find out a little bit more about Shoreditch’s very own golden boy.

How long have you worked for Ruffians?

4 years, but it feels like 4 months. The magic thing with this company is that you never feel like you’re doing the same thing day in day out. The clients and my team make the job for me, I love coming to work and making the most of the people around me.

Who is your favourite Ruffians colleague and why?

My assistant manager, Richard. I don’t know if I’m allowed to have favourites though. Don’t tell anyone. But in all honesty, Richard has taught me so much and for that I am forever indebted to him. He’s such a talented barber and getting to work alongside him is one of the best parts of the job. That extends to my life outside barbering as well, in more ways than one, I am a better man because of my friendship with Richard.

 Tell us about your best day at Ruffians

My best day at Ruffians was the day I won Creative Head magazine’s 2015 Rising Star award.  I was so proud of getting it and to have been able to share it with the Ruffians gang made it all the more special. It was such a sick day!

 And your worst day at Ruffians?

My worst day at Ruffians was the day after I won Creative Head magazine’s 2015 Rising Star award. I’ll say no more.

Which hair trend from the last few years makes you cringe?

Topknot. No contest. I had one as well.

What do you look for in a good barber?

Being manager of the store, I have to look for more than just technique and ability. I look for someone who is going to be able to connect with their clients along with the rest of the team. The most important things for me are personality and confidence. It’s all about the good vibes.

Who is your all time hair icon?

The go to is Becks but is that a bit too predictable? – He became known for his range of different hairstyles, and it really does takes confidence to pull off some of those early 2000s looks, doesn’t it? Then on the other end of the spectrum is Lenny Kravitz, he’s got that one hairstyle that’s just so essential to his overall look. He knows what works and he sticks with it.

How do you stay inspired to be the best barber you can be?

As much as I love looking at the trends in editorials or at fashion week to become a better barber my greatest inspiration are the people around me. The barbers on my team inspire me all the time. Not only that, but working in such an upbeat and trendy area like Shoreditch where I’m around so many different styles and characters always helps to keep me inspired.

Describe your personal style

Black. White. Grey.

What’s the last song you played on Spotify/ iTunes?

I’m So Into You by Aaliyah – I’ve always been an RnB boy at heart. Can’t beat it.

You can invite 3 celebrities (dead or alive) to a dinner party. Who would you choose?

Rihanna, hairdressing legend Vidal Sassoon and Watford football captain Troy Deeney. Right, I’ve got this whole dinner planned out. So, in my head we’re in Tobago. For starters we’re having prawn cocktail, but not just prawn cocktail, I want the fanciest mixed seafood prawn cocktail starter you can think of. Main, that’s easy, fried chicken. For desert, I’ll be honest with you I’m not a big sweets person but I reckon we’d have a big-share Dairy Milk oreo bar for the table. Imagine that. Rihanna Sassoon, Deeney and I all munching on a dairy milk big-share.

What’s your idea of the perfect day off?

Right, ripple it on from my ideal celebrity dinner party the night before. Rihanna would make me a full English breakfast but then she would have to leave to go to the studio so I’d have the rest of the day to myself. So, we’re still in Tobago, I’d leave my room and I would then walk no more than 5 paces to sit on Pirate’s bay. (The most beautiful beach I went to a few years ago). I’d want 2 hours of complete and utter chill, just time to myself. I reckon then, at the 2 hour point (2 hours is enough time with my own thoughts) the barbecue gets fired up and all the people that I love and all the people that love them would be there. The tunes and the food would be banging.

Who is the coolest person you’ve ever met?

Good question – My brother Miles. He is the coolest person for sure.

Describe Ruffians in three words

Personality. Care. Love

Book an appointment with Tommy or the team at Shoreditch

Our Barbers

Meet the Ruffians #13: Robyn

Edinburgh born and bred, Robyn has been working the scissors…

Meet the Ruffians #12: Derek

Meet Derek Shortall. Barber at our Covent Garden shop. Derek…

Meet the Ruffians #11: Ian Fallon

Meet Ian Fallon, frustrated actor and Ruffians Edinburgh’s resident photographer,…