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.
It is officially the season of goodwill, socializing and festivities demands a trendy but easy to wear hairstyle. Enter the popular men’s hair trend, the textured crop.
Reason It’s Trending
This super-low maintenance crop is not only easy on the eye, it’s easy on time and takes little to no effort to make it look amazing. It’s absolutely everywhere right now, with everyone from David Beckham to Jake Gyllenhaal sporting this super chic style.
What To Ask The Barber For
For the Ryan Reynolds version you want a scissor-over-comb crop on the sides with a point-cut rounded layer on top; scissor-over-comb gives a softer more natural finish than clippers.
Alternatively, if you’re addicted to super short on the back and sides, ask your barber for the usual fade around the back. Get them to texturise the top by cutting super short, following the shape of the head using a point cutting technique. Ask them to avoid thinning scissors as it will make the hair too fluffy.
As mentioned, it’s pretty low maintenance but also holds its shape as it grows out. At its shortest there’s no need for products. This is good for the hair, giving it a break and allowing it and the scalp to breathe.
When it begins to get longer and therefore fluffier, products will certainly help you define the look. Wash the hair with Ruffians Original Shampoo. Towel dry the hair until 80% dry and spray a generous amount of Ruffians Marine Spray over the entirety of the hair. Blow dry, using your fingers to add texture and break up the hair. When the hair is thoroughly dry, take a pea size amount of our all rounder, Ruffians Matt Clay. Rub vigorously between the palm of your hand to warm and then rub evenly throughout the hair. Pat the hair gently to flatten and shape, or pinch with your fingers for more definition.
For a really natural look, wash with Ruffians Original Shampoo and leave to dry naturally. If you want more volume use Ruffians Hair Powder. Rather than sprinkling into the hair, tap a little amount into the palm of your hands. Rub together and then rub over the surface of the hair, this will disturb the texture and enhance the haircut.
Our new Ruffians product range is available to purchase from all five of our shops, or can be bought from our online store. Want to let the experts sort your hair and give you the lowdown on the best products for styling it? Book an appointment now.
The wait is finally over for the launch of our new and improved family of Ruffians styling and grooming products – we are so excited to be delivering a completely new fresh take on our existing popular product line. Bringing back old favourites (with some key enhancements) and introducing some fantastic new members to the family, including Ruffians Marine Spray and Ruffians Hair Powder.
Why the changes?
We knew our original products were good, but we weren’t satisfied with just good – at Ruffians we strive for excellence! Our carefully chosen team of esteemed Ruffians’ barbers have hand picked the finest ingredients, qualities and functions to create a product range that delivers on every front. We’ve carefully replaced any nasties from our older products with natural ingredients (vegan and organic wherever possible) which will benefit both the hair and scalp.
We want our customers to take home the confidence we give in our shops.
A brand new look!
Our new design balances a simple and stylish aesthetic with absolute practicality. A soft, grey card outer with debossed logo, and barber pole sticker in the Ruffians distinctive yellow and blue, opens to reveal a glossy, waterproof inner container, ideal for longevity in the bathroom.
Best of all – all our packaging is now recyclable!
So, what’s coming?
Hair Styling products
Ruffians Styling Paste– The all time great – now even greater! The ever popular Ruffians Styling Paste provides familiar flexibility, texture and natural shine.Ingredients such as lanolin, will lock moisture in for a natural, healthy-looking style and antioxidant rich herbal hops act to condition the hair, adding natural shine and promote healthy hair.
Ruffians Hair Cream – A product like no other! Ruffians Hair Cream is designed to enhance body, suppleness and sheen. This dream product is not only going to enhance the look of your hair when styling but also improves the texture of damaged hair, reduces greasiness and is ideal for sensitive skin.
Ruffians Hair Powder – A matt product that improves density and gives hold! Ruffians Hair Powder is ideal for giving a matt hold, which looks natural. It provides volume and density to the hair. Ingredients such as natural origin silica support weightless styling and absorb excess oils and moisture.
Ruffians Matt Clay– It’s back and even better! Ruffians Matt Clay has been enhanced and given a face lift providing structure and strong hold. Kaolin clay bind to hair for long-lasting hold without flaking, while natural candelilla and olive waxes nourish, thicken and condition the hair.
Ruffians Original Shampoo – A shampoo for all hair types! This shampoo is packed with the finest ingredients, including amino acids and mineral-rich organic seaweed, to look after both your hair and scalp.
Ruffians Original Conditioner – A conditioner that moisturises and soothes! This conditioner, like our shampoo, is filled with a blend of incredible ingredients, including Alba seed oil which naturally moisturises and soothes the hair and scalp.
Ruffians Argan Beard Oil – A crowd pleaser – and beard pleaser! Ruffians Argan Beard Oil has gone untouched but now looks even better in new packaging! Antioxidant-rich argan oil locks in moisture while protecting against sun damage and toxins. The fresh smelling tea tree and citrus extracts naturally cleanse the beard and energise the skin beneath.
Rivington Street been home to Ruffians Shoreditch shop for three glorious years. And in that time our team, led by Manager Tommy Cunliffe, has gotten to know all the top spots in the area for shopping, eating, drinking and well… just about everything. Here, barber Natalie Angold shares some of her top tips of what to do nearby.
Best spot for a caffeine hit
Fix 126 – great place for people-watching and celebrity-spotting
Best place to buy a cool new outfit
Goodhood – coolest designer garms and pretty sick home wear too!
Best café to get breakfast/ brunch
FRANCOS! Louis the owner is a don and a Shoreditch old timer.
Best place for a slap-up dinner
Gloria for fancy dates (try the carbonara – instagrammers dream)
MEATmission for mates/ dirty dates. WE ARE ADDICTED TO HIPPY FRISE! Also beware the unlabelled green liquor – many a Ruffian has been ruined by this at Christmas parties!
Best place to get a sweat on (do exercise!)
Frame – great selection of classes, from dance to spin – loads of fun and lovely mix of people.
Chroma Yoga – take some me time and stretch out your stresses in a beautiful studio that utilises light to enhance your experience.
Best spot to chill out
The Curtain rooftop – the understated members club – cocktails and sunshine a plenty.
Want more? Book an appointment online with Natalie or any of the Ruffians Shoreditch team for a fresh trim and advice of where else to check out in the area!
We’re delighted to introduce the newest member of the Ruffians family, Shoreditch barber Maxwell Oakley, who started this week!
Kentish born Maxwell has over 9 years experience in men’s hairdressing and is a master of both classic and modern barbering styles.
”I am passionate about hairdressing and in particular the freedom it allows us to create, working with the customer to find the perfect haircut and style for them.”
When Maxwell’s not concentrating on making clients feel and look their best, he spends most of his time on his drum kit, either playing live shows or in the studio – it’s possible you may have seen him perform at Glastonbury or listened to his band on Radio One!
Maxwell is available from 11-8 every day except Sundays and Wednesdays. Book an appointment at Ruffians Shoreditch online, in person or over the phone on 020 7613 2000
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 Covent Garden and Marylebone shops. If you think you’ve got what it takes, check out recruitment page and get in touch!
We’re incredibly excited to announce a very special partnership for July. Thanks to our good friends at Dunnet Bay Distillers we will be serving multi-award-winning and, frankly, delicious Rock Rose gin in all five Ruffians shops throughout July (until stocks last!).
Perfectly paired with Fever Tree Premium tonic water and your choice of garnish (rosemary or orange peel – both are great!), Rock Rose gin is flavourful and fresh, zesty yet berry-ful with a long smooth finish.
Rock Rose gin gets its wonderful flavour from a carefully selected and put together creation of traditional botanicals and a few that are local and unique to Caithness, the beautiful part of the Scottish Highlands where Dunnet Bay Distillers hail from. Each one has been meticulously chosen for their flavour properties to create the perfect taste and include juniper, sea buckthorn and Rowan berries. We can’t wait for you to try it!
The distillery was founded by husband and wife team Martin and Claire Murray in 2011, with Martin having studied brewing and distilling at university. The gin is distilled in-house using the vapour infusion method in a traditional copper pot. The 18 botanicals are placed in a steam basket in the neck of the still after which the gin gets its name. Every bottle is waxed-sealed by hand, numbered and signed. And let us tell you, it works!
So, what do you have to do to get your hands on this exquisite tipple? Simply book an appointment at any branch of Ruffians in July and we’ll do the rest.
‘I have always leaned towards more creative pursuits, be it graphic design, editing films or writing comics, but underpinning it all is a need for precision and quality. This is what led me to Ruffians. Personally, I carry the title of nerd proudly, loving any chance to show off my movie trivia or sketching some pop art characters‘ says Matt about himself. So what else does Matt have to say? Read our Q&A to learn more!
Ruffians: What’s the difference between a £28 and £58 haircut?
Matthew Heckel: For me, paying a higher price is a guarantee for quality. It acts as another incentive to provide the best service I can. Clients willing to pay this show they take their hair seriously so you want to create something that is worthy of their expectations and worthy of the price tag. It also allows us to do something that is more than just a haircut, we invest time to create an atmosphere that is both comfortable and luxurious, we offer a seamless experience including our front of house that keeps things running professionally and efficiently.
R: What do you look for in a good barber?
MH: I believe the most important quality is enthusiasm. You can’t teach it, and when you find someone that is truly passionate about what they do then it’s contagious and fuels an exciting and creative environment for us and our customers. I find that people will go the extra mile to help you reach your goals if their passion is present. Enthusiasm will carry you through the hard times and as a trainer this energy is key for creating a learning atmosphere. When the enthusiasm has gone, it’s time for a change.
R: How do you stay inspired to be the best barber you can be?
MH: This one is easy, it’s my colleagues. The people I work with inspire and challenge me to consistently bring my best. Whether someone has been in the industry for 5 minutes or 5 years, they will always have something that will make you look at your own work in a different way, which I find so exciting. The people I work opposite produce work that makes me think “I want to do that next time”, and that is always inspiring to me.
R: Tell us your best joke.
MH: I love a pun and am the king of the dad joke, but my current fave is this:
Did you hear the one about the Spanish magician? He climbed up on stage waved his wand and shouted “uno, dos ..”, and in a puff of smoke he’s gone without a tres!
R: What’s your idea of the perfect day off?
Spending so much time in London’s exhilarating busyness I find it very centring to spend my down time in the calm countryside I call home. So, after a leisurely breakfast I’d pack a lunch and we would set out to explore. Stopping off in one of the nearby villages to buy some coffee and a pastry we would aim for the river and follow that until we find somewhere to sit and enjoy the view. I would stay alert for any photo opportunity I should come across, or somewhere to pause and sketch. Slowly retracing my steps home we would stop off at our local for a couple of drinks before arriving at our little cottage for a movie and dinner, top choice being my partner’s lasagne – bliss!
To book an appointment with Matthew or any of our talented Soho-Liberty barbers, click here.
Creative Head Magazine’s The It List shines a spotlight on the brightest, most ambitious and creative new British and Irish hairdressing talents aged 30 and under. Callum McDonald from Ruffians’ Shoreditch shop has proved he has a brilliant future in the industry, having earned a much sought-after place on the 2019 shortlist. And we couldn’t be more delighted for him!
Callum is one of five finalists in THE RISING STAR category, and will be joining a star-studded, 700-strong guest list at The It List Grand Final in September to discover if he will take home the title. Taking place at London’s Printworks – the atmospheric space that once delivered the Metro and Evening Standard newspapers to London – and hosted by actor and comedian Aisling Bea, the It List Grand Final is considered the coolest event in the hairdressing industry calendar.
After learning about his inclusion on the shortlist, Callum said: ‘I can’t actually believe that I have been judged by the industry best. They have picked me and four others as one to watch in the hair game under 30.., to me that makes me feel that I have achieved my goal regardless if I win on the night or not. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Ruffians family – particularly Creative Director Denis Robinson and my manager, Tommy Cunliffe. I can’t thank them enough for their support.’
Ruffians Shoreditch is no stranger to the IT List – shop manager and all-round Ruffians legend Tommy Cunliffe was nominated for and won the Rising Star award back in 2015. A move that he says changed his life – speaking after the news was released yesterday, Tommy said: ‘Creative Head have put an awful lot of smiles on an awful lot of faces in the shop today! We couldn’t be more delighted for Callum to get this nomination – it’s very well deserved’.
Just 18 months ago Callum was working in a high-flying sales career but couldn’t escape the feeling that something was missing. So he left the security of his job and risked it all to train as a barber. After graduating from the London School of Barbering he wrote a letter to Tommy at Ruffians Shoreditch explaining how much working for Ruffians would mean to him – Tommy loved it and gave Cal a job and the rest is history. Cal has honed his craft brilliantly – trained by Tommy and mentor Richard Tucker – and after a lot of hard work and dedication has now been named one of the most exciting ‘ones to watch’ in the industry. We couldn’t be more proud of him… watch this space to find out he gets on in September!
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
As we get older, the cells responsible for the pigment in our hair follicles, called melanin, begin to die, the melanin in our hair is produced less and so, hair loses it’s colour and turns grey.
Contrary to what many think, you can go grey at any age and for a few different reasons. Grey hair is an inherited trait, so chances are, if one of your parents went grey at an early age, you might too. Your diet and hormone levels can also affect the rate at which your hair greys, as well as stress, but ultimately – the predisposition to going grey later in life is genetic and more often than not, unavoidable.
How Do I Combat It?
We caught TJ from our Shoreditch shop in between haircuts for a quick chat and to ask him about the best ways to embrace, combat and style your grey locks. He’s very much of the belief that men should embrace it when they start going grey, “don’t get caught in the vicious cycle of dying your hair every six weeks!” he says “once you start you can’t really stop, if it works for George Clooney it can work for you!”
TJ also filled us in on the best haircuts and ways to style grey hair: “usually, when men start going grey, it begins where your hair meets your beard, on your sideburns and around your ears, so if you want this to be a little less noticeable, the shorter you have your hair, the better. Keeping your hair tight to your head will disguise that salt and pepper colour – keeping you looking and feeling young.”
“If you’ve gone grey all over and are still wanting it to be less noticeable, you can use a sea salt spray, some hair powder or dust to give your barnet a bit of texture on top” he notes “make sure to stay away from any wet look products or ones with a shiny finish, these will bring the colour out and highlight the grey hair instead”. We recommend using the Ruffians Rough Matt Clay to give you a nice matt finish.
On the other hand, we think grey hair, when styled right, can look refined and smart. (See Philip Schofield). So, why hide away from your natural look? Besides, some people pay lots of money to have their hair dyed silver, white and grey. Consider yourself lucky that you’ve got it naturally!
Still stuck on ideas? Why not book an appointment with Tj or any of our talented barbers across our five shops for the best haircuts, advice and conversation in the industry!
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.
Despite the recent gale-force winds, Spring/Summer 2019 is fast approaching. With that comes a change in (hopefully) weather, fashion, trends, and that all important, ever – changing, permanent accessory, your hair. Not sure what to go for? Don’t panic, we’ve got you covered, Betty from our Liberty shop is here with 5 key looks we’ve predicted will be big for S/S this year!
Ever tried growing your hair but been caught in the dreaded in between phase? Well fear not gentlemen, modern gent Matthew McConaughey is leading the way. This mid length, shaggy chic style is a definite contender for the hottest hair look this S/S. Ask for a swept back, shattered shape, something that encourages the natural wave. Don’t panic if your hair lacks in the natural wave department, simply style with a curl enhancer or sea salt spray and let your locks flow. For that just out of pool look, simply tuck a strand behind the ear!
The Classic Cut
Worn by Rami Malek at the Oscars and Richard Madden at the Golden Globes, this ‘few weeks grown out’ classic cut is far from boring, and is a sure trend for S/S 2019. With a soft perimeter but structured shape, it’s a perfect, effortless companion to your tailored suit. Alternatively, scrap the side part and rock that gym chic look. Versatility is this cut’s strong point. Ask your barber for a short(ish) scissor cut, with a natural nape and versatile parting. Style with a dry texture spray and ditch the pomade for this one!
The Textured (Footballer’s) Fade
It doesn’t matter how many trendy, luscious-lock-owning celebs, influencers and damn right cool gents sport the longer styles, David Beckham proves the textured fade isn’t going anywhere for 2019. Maybe he’s been influenced by old school barbering since launching his House 99 range, or maybe he just can’t let go of that classic footballer look. Whatever it is, it works, and it’s hot. Ask for a mid-high fade, with a strong side parting, and a little length left on top; you’re going to need at least a bit of hair to put that matt wax in after all!
The clue is in the name, introducing the beautifully simplistic one length cut. In contrast to fellow footballer David Beckham, Hector Ballerin shows us that it’s not all about being a macho-fade wearing man this S/S. Its androgynous and its amazing. If you’re lucky enough to have the length, simply ask for a trim, keeping strength through ends (wispy won’t cut it for this one) if not, stock up on your vitamins and maybe rock our in-between look in the mean time! All that hair is going to need more TLC than your standard short back and sides – invest in a nourishing hair mask and embrace that luxurious long hair.
The Barely a Buzz Cut
Buzz cuts rose to popularity in the late 19th century, with the advent of manual hair clippers. Now, don’t think this gives you an excuse to skip the barbers and start buzzing away at your own head, this Spring/Summer buzz cut requires skill. We saw music legend Alex Turner pave the way for buzz cuts last year, but this is 2019 people, things have changed. Now being worn in a more structured, sophisticated and stylish way, as proven by Creed II star, Michael B Jordan. Ask your barber for an all-over clipper cut, with a high and tight fade through the sides. Fear not if your hairline (or lack of) isn’t where it once was, the buzz cut is also the perfect option for thinning hair, reducing the contrast between your forehead and your hairline – proven all too well by Fashion Director Marc Goehring
So, if in true British style the sun fails to make an appearance this Spring and Summer season, brighten up your day with a trip to the barber shop. It’s a myth that barbers don’t like when you show us photos – it can help us! Go prepared with one of these five looks and rock the best Barnet in the pub garden. You’ll thank us later!
To book in with Betty at Liberty or any of the other barbers across our 5 shops, click here