Ruffians began with one concept, which was simply to think of everything from the customer’s point of view. That meant making sure that the quality of our service and our experience was always thoughtfully done, and to the best possible standard. Back in 2012, a trip to a barbers often meant hair in your tea and feeling a bit intimidated – not knowing what to ask for or being properly listened to. Never seeing the same stylist twice. We were determined to do better, and when I found a retail unit in a sunlit corner of Edinburgh’s West End, the adventure that became Ruffians began.
We started with one employee – to whom I am forever grateful – who took a leap of faith in my vision while the shop was still a building site, and my wife and I learnt how to shampoo and give head massages at weekends. Now we have a team of sixty fantastically skilled barbers, we’ve cut over half a million heads of hair and we’ve just won Best UK Barber Shop for the second year running.
I often think that the level of skill in barbering goes unrecognised. Done well, it demands both real talent and hard graft. We put a big emphasis on our education, training new recruits and bringing their knowledge up to our standard, equipping them with the techniques they need. But as an industry it can be horribly under-valued, and I am hugely proud of our team for leading the revolution in modern barbering.
Exceptional skill. Bottled.
It was only a matter of time before we started wanting the same quality from the products we were using. The men’s grooming product market is booming, but as with the barbering industry of old, we feel like nobody is properly considering it from the customer’s perspective. We wanted a range that paid close attention to different hair types, lengths and styles. We wanted assurance that the stuff in the bottle really worked, that its source and journey there was the best it could be – honest, high quality and simple.
Most of all, we realised we had an amazing resource right at our fingertips – our award-winning, super-skilled team of barbers, who run their hands through this stuff on a daily basis.
So we’ve taken our time, perfecting formulas, devising scents, testing and involving our creative team along the way.
And slowly, slowly, we have five products that we are extremely proud of, and we will gradually bring more to the table. They work, they look good, they are good – there’s nothing in them that harms either you or the planet. And they should make you feel pretty good too. It’s always been about delivering that sense of confidence when you walk in, and now you can take it home.
I hope you enjoy using them as much as we enjoyed creating them.
Ruffians has beaten off fierce competition to be named Best British Barber Shop – for the second year in a row!
Ruffians won the prestigious national competition, run by Wahl Professional, and the team was presented with the trophyat Salon International, the annual marquee event of the global professional hairdressing industry, held at London’s Excel Centre.
Despite being up against some of the biggest names in the industry, Ruffians managed to take home the trophy. Wahl Professional’s Chris Barleycorn, said ‘The Wahl Barbershop of the Year is a hugely coveted award, as the calibre of shops that are entered every year is so high. The judges consider every aspect of the business: quality of hairdressing, customer experience, interior and branding’.
Wahl’s Global Artistic Director, Simon Shaw, who presented the award to Ruffians on the Wahl Professional stage at Salon International added: ‘I was delighted to hand the Wahl Barbershop of the Year trophy to Ruffians for the second time. The quality and integrity shown by Ruffians should be an inspiration to other shops on how to run their business.’
To win once felt good, to win again the very next year feels absolutely amazing! Our shop teams work so hard and this is such a great reward for their tireless efforts. Would I be pushing my luck if I said I wanted to make it a hat-trick next year?!
Andrew Cannon, Co- founder and MD, Ruffians
Want to see what all the fuss is about? Book yourself an appointment with our award-winning team at Ruffians Marylebone online, in person or over the phone on 020 7935 2020.
Edinburgh born and bred, Robyn has been working the scissors for ten years, developing her experience working in some of Edinburgh’s best known salons (but now at the best, of course!). She has a black belt in tae kwon do (don’t mess). And she used to play football so she actually knows what she is talking about if you want to discuss the sport. Ideally for Robyn, Ruffians would be a beachfront barbershop, but Queensferry Street comes a close second. We picked six questions out of our… let’s call it a hat… at random for Robyn to answer to help you get to know her.
What’s the best thing about being a Ruffians barber?
The best thing about being a Ruffians barber is the diverse team, working alongside very different people make you look and think about things in different ways you usually wouldn’t.
Who is your favourite Ruffians colleague and why?
If I had to pick one I’d have to go with Mr Ian Fallon, I’ve now had the pleasure of working alongside him twice in my 11 years barbering and I’ve always admired and looked up to him (sorry to the rest of the team! I love them all of course!)
What’s your favourite hairstyle/ type of hair to cut?
My favourite hairstyle would have to be a long textured messy look because I love to get creative and cut with my razor.
If you could cut any celebrity’s hair, who would it be?
If I could cut any celebrity’s hair it would be without a doubt David Beckham because just LOOK AT HIM!
What’s your favourite film of all time and why?
Trainspotting – I love it as it is set in my home town and portrays a gritty antithetical side of Edinburgh that many tourists and visitors are completely unaware exists.
If I was going to give you a thousand pounds to spend in one shop, which one would you choose?
If I got given £1000 I’d be straight into the travel agents to book a holiday , the beach is my happy place!
To book an appointment with Robyn or any of our talented Edinburgh barbers, click here.
We’re delighted to introduce the latest recruit at Ruffians Marylebone – barber Ryan Hirst. In Ryan’s own words, he’s a bit late bloomer when it comes to barbering, having previously spent 8 years working as a recruitment consultant before deciding to take the plunge and follow his passion for men’s hairdressing. Ryan has been a qualified barber for just over two years and hasn’t looked back since:
“I’ve been working within a popular chain of barbers based in the north. Their integrity and commitment to what they do was really inspiring and that’s something I’ve tried to emulate throughout my career. I think that’s why Ruffians is such a good fit for me.”
Ryan says that he wanted to be a barber for as long as he can remember, and has always been fascinated by what the right cut or style can do for a person, not just their aesthetics but their confidence and for them as a person.
One of his favourite aspects of barbering is the relationship with his clients: providing them with a quality service and a great cut but creating a safe space to open up, have a chat and a good laugh.
“I would say my accent is a solid mix of Mel B and Jon Snow (the Game of Thrones one, not the news presenter!)”
Ryan is originally from Leeds, but lived in York for the last 12 years before moving down to for the job with Ruffians and to move in with his partner. And he is excited to see what London life has in store…
In his spare time, Ryan is a big music fan and spends a lot of time going to gigs and shows – “although arguably my music taste is completely questionable! I’m a sucker for anything 80s/90s and early 00’s”.
Welcome to Ruffians, Ryan!
Ryan is available to book at Ruffians Marylebone every day except Wednesdays and Sundays. Book an appointment at Ruffians Marylebone online, in person or over the phone on 020 7935 2020.
New Barbers wanted!
We’re always on the lookout for the brightest and best hairdressing talent and we are actively looking for new barbers for our Edinburgh, Covent Garden, Soho-Liberty and Shoreditch shops . If you think you’ve got what it takes to be a Ruffians barber, check out recruitment page and get in touch!
If you couldn’t tell by now, the people who make up our Ruffians team come from all different backgrounds and walks of life. We like to think this is what makes us so special. Up next in our Meet the Ruffians series is Michele from our Covent Garden shop. When he’s not barbering you’ll find him riding his skateboard and listening to punk rock. When at work? He’s the go to man for classic cuts and taper fades.
How long have you worked for Ruffians?
I have worked at Ruffians since the 1st of September 2017 – so all in all, that makes it 1 year, 7 months and 10 days
Tell us about your most memorable day at Ruffians
The Christmas party was a grand ol’ time, was great to see all the shops together, mingling and having fun. The awards ceremony was great, seeing everyone support each other, in victory and defeat.
When did you decide you wanted to cut men’s hair?
I got into barbering through my girlfriend, she’s a hairdresser and she used to cut my hair. I used to sit and think “This looks fun! I can do this!”, so I did!
If you could cut any celebrity’s hair, who would it be?
What’s the last song you played on Spotify/ iTunes
Concubine by Converge
Do you have any tattoos? Which is your favourite and why?
I have many tattoos all over. My personal favourite is the sunset dude on my bicep. It reminds me of being home
Here’s a video of Michele doing his thing:
To book in with Michele or any of the other talented barbers at Ruffians Covent Garden, click here.
Next up in the Meet the Ruffians series is barber Hayden Cassidy who cuts hair a few days a week in our Covent Garden shop. The rest of the time, she is jetting all over the world educating up-and-coming barbers, cutting hair on stage and generally being an all-round barber superstar (honestly, if you don’t believe us check out her Instagram!). When she’s not cutting hair at Ruffians, Hayden barely stands still for five minutes so we were lucky to grab her for a quick chat to find out what makes her tick.
You’ve been with us for a few months now and fast become an integral part of the team, how would you describe Ruffians in three words?
Easy going, vibrant and family.
What’s the difference between a £18 and £58 haircut?
I think there is a big difference between haircuts priced at £18 vs £58, and a lot of factors play part to that. The consultation, the service, the knowledge you receive about your hair, the timing which allows your barber to execute the technicalities of your hair cut, meaning your hair should grow out much better and your haircut lasts a lot longer, and also the details in finishing your cut. It’s an investment. I ensure that when I cut hair, the shape of the haircut will last 4-6 weeks. £58 for 4-6 weeks of something you wear every day is actually not that much.
Tell us about your proudest moment as a barber so far?
I have a lot of proud moments! I count every day and every journey in this industry a proud moment. I’ve visited over 15 countries in the last year and 4 already in 2019 so I think my travels make me proud. I never would’ve imagined I would visit some of the places I have, and barbering has given me that opportunity. I cherish meeting new people and having new experiences and this is the perfect job for that.
What inspired you to get into barbering?
Actually, a friend inspired me. He began his career and I became fascinated by his haircuts and his journey. Before I had even started training I was already following a lot of barbers and hair stylists on social media and I found myself hooked on the whole industry. I started, as most barbers do, cutting hair in my kitchen with a pair of £10 clippers, and from then everything just spiralled.
Who is your all-time hair icon?
I have many icons, but if there was one man it would have to be Vidal Sassoon. He paved the way for modern cutting and most of our influences all stem from him.
Describe your personal style
Personal as in dress? I’ve been compared to a 12 year old skater before – haha – but I’m not sure how to describe it – I’d say quite street, but I can dress up when the occasion calls. My girlfriend is a fashion stylist so she’s constantly keeping me on trend – but I think fashion plays a massive role in our job. You have to be up-to-date with trends and I think that goes in self appearance too.
What’s your idea of the perfect day off?
I don’t really do days off. I’m a very hyper person, I get bored quite easily and I get a lot more enjoyment from creating something or enjoying new experiences, rather than sitting on my couch watching Netflix. I think my perfect day off would most likely be exploring some part of London I’ve never been to. I really enjoy trying new restaurants too, so either a big brunch or a nice dinner would be included in my day.
Who is the coolest person you’ve ever met?
I would probably have to say my girlfriend, she inspires me massively every day – and is the reason I find the energy to keep pushing myself. She is definitely one of the coolest people I know.
If you’d like to catch Hayden for an appointment at Ruffians Covent Garden, book online now.