meet the ruffians 9

Meet The Ruffians #9: Operations Manager, Sam

Introducing, Ruffians Operations Manager and self titled “Wolf of Wigmore Street”, Sam. Having started as a barber in Marylebone, Sam climbed the Ruffians ladder and now oversees the management of all five of our shops whilst also still cutting hair three days a week! Here’s what he had to say about his time at Ruffians.

How long have you worked for Ruffians?
For 3 years now – I started as a barber at Marylebone, then manager of Marylebone and now I’m the group operations manager of the company.  

What’s the best thing about being a Ruffians barber? 
Working in a store where every member of staff brings something different to the table from personalities to talent and I am fortunate enough to call many of them friends

Describe Ruffians in three words
Passionate, Meticulous, Exciting 

Tell us about your most memorable day at Ruffians 
I always love the Friday before everyone leaves for Christmas – we have a full team, everyone’s firing out Christmas specials, the customers have the ultimate Friday feeling, the shops fizzing and I get to work with everyone!

What inspired you to get into barbering?
I’ll be honest, I went into hairdressing originally because it was a room full of girls, I was 15 years old so that was my main focus. I realised soon after that I actually quite liked cutting hair luckily but preferred the technicalities of men’s hair, I wanted to cut all my friends hair. I also have a strong case of verbal diarrhea so can’t stop myself talking all day so I definitely needed a career that this could work for. I wanted to go to work with a smile and leave with one! Couldn’t have gone better to be honest – I’m a firm believer in the idea that, if you don’t like your job, don’t do it. 

Who is your all time hair icon? 
All of the rolling stones. They’ve had it all and even at their ripe ages they’ve got some serious pelt. 

If you could get your work featured in any magazine, which would it be? 
GQ – I grew up reading it, taking advice and trying to look cool. I know it’s a place many people go to for all their questions and info on all things men’s fashion! 

If you could cut any celebrity’s hair, who would it be? 
I’d like to give Boris Johnson a good trim. The guy needs some serious help and maybe I could chill him out abit. 

How do you stay inspired to be the best barber you can be? 
The people around me! I also like to go on at least one course a year which doesn’t have to be men’s hair. I’ve learnt some amazing techniques from hairdressing courses too. I also am fortunate enough to know my clients really well, I want to deliver the best cut every time. 

What’s your idea of the perfect day off? 
Wake up – bacon and sausage sarnie, then I’d walk down to the pub have a pint in the sun and probably stroke someone’s doggo. At this point I’d be pretty snoozy, so, head back –  have a nap probably after watching some Border force Australia. In the evening, meet some friends for dinner, something BBQ related. Inevitably give myself meat sweats and head home. I’d wake up the next day hangover free – obviously. 

Do you have any tattoos? Which is your favourite and why? 
I’ve got quite a few – I don’t really have favourites but if I had to pick it’d be the tiger on my knee  – it does have 3 eyes for some reason which I became aware of after the fact, but it works – although I certainly won’t be getting the other knee done for a while.

Getting a haircut is a great way of taking some time for self-care. How do you like to treat yourself to some ‘me time’? 
I like to take a long walk, I like to look around me, clear my head and listen to music. I love walking through London. 

What’s your favourite song of all time and why? 
Lucky Man by The Verve. It reminds me of a lot of great memories and great people – I also like to think that I’m incredibly lucky, right place right time kind of guy.

To book in with Sam or any of the talented barbers across our five shops, click here

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The Ruffians Guide to Self Care

Life in the city can be hectic and fast moving. We rarely get a minute to even think, let alone about ourselves. So, between cramming yourself onto the central line at rush hour or making sure you’re fully prepped for that big meeting at work. It’s important to take time for yourself every once in a while and that’s why we’ve put together a few ways for you to show yourself some love.

  • Visit the barbershop

We may be biased, but we’re firm believers in the idea that looking good can sometimes equal feeling good. A trip to see your barber can give you an hour or so away from busy schedules to just sit and have a good chat – if you’re feeling really indulgent you could also treat yourself to a Ruffians Facial! You’ll leave feeling like a new man.

  • Treat yourself to a coffee

It’s the small things in life that matter, right? So why not take 10 minutes of your day to stop for a coffee and watch the world go by. London is scattered with great coffee shops that serve even greater coffee. Give Origin Coffee Roasters near our Shoreditch shop on Rivington Street a try!

  • Go for a stroll

Fresh air does wonders for the soul – or so they say! Living in London is great for so many things, but up there on that list are the many beautiful parks scattered across the city. Especially, now that we’re approaching Springtime and warmer weather (fingers crossed), you can spend a day off having a wander – maybe even take a picnic?

  • Get a good nights sleep

Sleep is for the weak? We think not. Getting enough sleep is vital to looking after yourself and making sure you’re on top form each day. It’s recommended that you get at least between 7 and 9 hours sleep in order to feel fully rested and to prevent those pesky dark circles.

  • Catch up with friends and family

Making time for the people you love can be something that is easily forgotten but vital to keeping yourself happy and healthy. Even if it’s just a quick phone call or catch up drink after work, making time for your most important people will do wonders for your well-being!

To treat yourself to a pamper sesh – book in with any of our talented stylists in one of our five shops by clicking here

Meet the Ruffians #6: Lee-Ann from Ruffians Edinburgh

Lee-Ann from our Edinburgh shop is up next in the hot seat. We found out what it’s like working in the original Ruffians shop.

What do you think makes Ruffians special?

With Ruffians it’s definitely prestige plus a relaxed and friendly atmosphere that makes it special. It’s somewhere gents can come and have an epic salon experience with highly trained barbers, that’s what makes us stand out amongst the others!

What’s the Ruffians hair product you can’t live without?

I really couldn’t live without the styling paste! It’s my go to product and my clients love it!

You work in Ruffians Edinburgh. Where’s your favorite place to eat/ drink nearby?

That’s a tough one as there are so many great places in the West End but I’d have to say KYLO Steakhouse. It’s so close to work and I do love a good steak and it’s reasonably priced too!

Tell us a bit about how you got into barbering?

I originally trained as a hairdresser but fancied crossing over into barbering as I found the environment to be more fun and relaxing, also because it was vastly becoming more and more trendy. I was living in Glasgow at the time and passed a barbershop with a sign in the window, so I popped in for a chat and the rest is history! I absolutely love the industry and working for Ruffians really is just so much fun. Every day is a an adventure!

If you could cut the hair of a celebrity who would it be?

 That’s an easy one! Jason Momoa, he has incredibly beautiful hair, but have the first aid kit at the ready because I’d probably cut my finger off or pass out from the excitement!

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

 Social media is the obvious one as there is just so much content from all around the world but I also find inspiration from my colleagues. They all have different styles and techniques so it keeps me on my toes. Everyone is willing to advise and help each other so it’s easy to pick up hints and tips to constantly develop myself.

 If I was to give you £1000 to spend in one shop which one would you choose and why?

 It has to be Harvey Nichols! Arm candy is my weakness, so I would invest it in a beautiful handbag. A good bag lasts a lifetime so it’s more like an investment!

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

 Gordon Ramsey – he can cook the dinner.

Rebel Wilson – she’s hilarious and would keep the chat going.

Jason Mamoa – the eye candy.

 Getting a haircut is a great way of taking some time for self-care. How do you like to treat yourself to some ‘me time’?

I love the simple things, so I would:

Get a nice haircut and colour

Get a really good massage to fix the knots from cutting all that hair.

Go to the gym (especially making sure I use the sauna and jacuzzi) and then finish off with a tanning session!

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Lee-Ann and the Edinburgh girls

To book in with Lee-Ann or any of the Ruffians Edinburgh team, click here.

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Ruffians guide to growing out your hair

Growing your hair may seem like a straightforward process but most of the time, it isn’t as simple as just leaving it alone and letting it grow as long as possible. The journey to having long luscious locks is a long one that takes work and a lot of patience to achieve the results that you want, so that’s why barber Robyn from our Edinburgh shop is here to give you the tricks of the trade and to make your hair growth journey as pain free as possible. 

Regular trims are a must

One of the most important things to remember when growing out your hair is that having regular trims is the key to maintaining a healthy mane. These regular cuts prevent breakage and split ends, therefore keeping hair looking fuller and healthier – promoting strength and growth. At the start of your hair growing process I recommend coming in for a tidy up every 6-8 weeks to keep your hair style manageable and healthy. Once your hair is well on it’s way to growing out you can reduce your visits to once every three or four months. 

Patience is key

As much as we’d love it to – our hair doesn’t grow overnight. it’s a long process and at some point or another you’ll probably find yourself in that weird in-between phase. Your hair isn’t quite long but it isn’t quite short so you feel yourself looking scruffy and in need of a groom. Instead of reaching for those clippers and giving up completely, a good thing to do is to ask your barber to recommend some products to help give your hair some style. I always go for something light that won’t weigh hair down – a sea salt spray or texturising dust. Just to see you through to your desired length and to make you feel a little more in control of your locks.

Don’t over wash

Another key trick is to stop washing your hair every morning with shampoo, this strips the hair of it’s natural oils and can lead to dry and brittle ends. Instead, try using shampoo every second or third day this therefore is much gentler on your hair and allows for the natural oils to lock in moisture and prevent damage.

In order to achieve your perfect haircut – it is important that you look at images of medium length styles to help you on your journey as well as having the end goal image in your head. That way, you can work with your barber to stay on track and  set yourself short term achievable goals. So, every time you leave the barbershop you feel like you’re well on your way – this tip makes growing hair so much easier and more fun.

End game

Although it’s important to keep an open mind about your aims, it’s a good idea to at least have a little bit of an idea about what you’re aiming for long term and the ultimate goal can also be great for the barber advising you on your mid-term shape ups. That way you both stay on the same track.

When you finally arrive at where you want to be, ensure you give your mane some real TLC. A good shampoo will do the trick – we recommend using a hydrating shampoo that will keep the ends of your hair soft and silky. Without the proper care, your hair may end up rebelling, forcing you to chop it all off anyway and undoing all your hard work. And let’s face it, no one wants to have to start from the beginning again.

If you’re looking to start your hair growth journey click here to book an appointment with Robyn in Edinburgh, or any of our barbers across our five shops.

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Meet the Ruffians #5: Creative Director Denis Robinson

For the fifth instalment in our Meet the Ruffians series we had a chat to Creative Director and Ruffians Liberty team member, Denis Robinson. With over 35 years experience in cutting hair and an eye for up and coming men’s fashion, he’s the go to man for all your grooming needs.

What’s the difference between a £15 and £55 haircut?

Attention to detail, and a desire to do the best possible job for the person in the chair. When doing a £15 haircut the focus is on doing as many as possible to increase your commission rather than ensuring that your client leaves your chair completely satisfied.

Tell us about your most memorable day at Ruffians so far.

Most memorable and scary was the day I was promoted to Creative Director, the position has really taken me out of my comfort zone and I have definitely had to learn on the job, the role is all about growing the visibility of the brand and creating opportunities for the team. The CD role is traditionally held by the person whose name is above the door so it’s quite a big responsibility to do this job.

Where do you think Ruffians should open its next shop and why?

London Bridge, as an area it really does have it all, commerce, residents, social activities and has truly turned into a go to destination.

What’s going to be the next big thing in men’s hair/ grooming?

I keep getting guys asking me to help grow their hair longer, I love it, coming from a hairdresser background it helps me keep my scissor work on point. The precision of fading is wonderful but sometimes its nice to build a more relaxed silhouette

If you could cut any celebrity’s hair, who would it be?

Jake Gyllenhaal (I don’t need to explain why)

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

I always think that my clients deserve the best. Whether I’ve cut their hair for years or it’s their first time in the chair. I need to stay fresh, so consultations every time are what matter the most to me. You have to be open to change.

Whose personal style do you most admire?

Too many to narrow down to just one, but any guy who is brave enough to express themselves in the way that they want to rather than wearing what is ‘on trend’ just for the sake of fitting in.

Do you like to cook?

Yes when I have guests to prepare food for.

What’s your signature dish?

Slow cooked Vodka Chilli, the vodka gives it a real kick, just be careful not to spike your best friend who happens to be in recovery. (the heat thank god burns the alcohol off) and if you do spike him don’t tell him.

You’re marooned on a beautiful desert island. You’re allowed to wish for three items from home – what would they be?

My camera so I could record the adventure, my kindle with all the books I said that I would go back to when I had the peace and quiet to concentrate on them to do them justice. And third wouldn’t be from my home but the spiked best friend’s (see previous question) dog, Gadget, as I would need some company and he for sure is the best company ever.

To book in with Denis or any of the team at Ruffians Liberty click here and to read about when Denis and the team took Ruffians state-side click here.

Ruffians Education programme for barbers and hairdressers begins with Advanced Fade Training

We’re incredibly excited to announce the launch of the Ruffians Education programme – a series of one-day training courses delivered by our top men’s stylists – designed to help barbers and hairdressers advance their cutting and shaving skills.

The Ruffians Education team has long been delivering world-class training internally to Ruffians’ new recruits and we’re always being asked if we offer training courses to barbers and hairdressers externally. So, we decided to make it happen and we couldn’t be more excited to get started!

Over the next couple of months our team of educators will roll out the first three one day courses – including a cut-throat razor shaving masterclass and a course especially designed to help hairdressers make the move in to barbering. But first up is the Advanced Fade course, led by Ruffians’ educator and all-round barbering superstar, Richard Tucker.

On Sunday March 17th we will host our very first Advanced Fade Course at Ruffians Marylebone, in the heart of central London. So, if you are a barber or hairdresser looking to up your fade game and want to learn from one of the best faders in the business, check out the flier below with all the information about the day.

We’ll be announcing details about the next two courses in the coming weeks – so watch this space!

If you’re interested in joining the Advanced Fade Course or would like to be the first to hear about upcoming Ruffians Education courses including the From Hairdresser to Barber training and Advanced Shave Masterclass get in touch with us at courses@ruffians.co.uk. Don’t see what you like? Then get in touch to tell us what training programs you’d like to see developed by Ruffians next! We’re always open to suggestions!

View and download a copy of the Advanced Fade Course flier.
Ready to book your place? You can pay for it here on the Ruffians store.