Ruffians’ Guide to Rivington Street in Shoreditch

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
126 Curtain Rd

Fix 126 – great place for people-watching and celebrity-spotting 

Best place to buy a cool new outfit

151 Curtain Rd

Goodhood – coolest designer garms and pretty sick home wear too! 

Best café to get breakfast/ brunch

67 Rivington Street

FRANCOS! Louis the owner is a don and a Shoreditch old timer.

Best place for a slap-up dinner 

54-56 Great Eastern St

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!

15 Hoxton Market


Best place to get a sweat on (do exercise!)

29 New Inn Yard,

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.

Chroma Yoga
45-46 Charlotte Rd

Best spot to chill out

The Curtain rooftop – the understated members club – cocktails and sunshine a plenty.

The Curtain
45 Curtain Rd

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!

Introducing the latest Ruffians recruit – new Shoreditch Barber Maxwell Oakley

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.”

Maxwell Oakley

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 at work at Ruffians Shoreditch.

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!

Ruffians Shoreditch barber Callum McDonald has been shortlisted for Creative Head Magazine's IT LIST rising star award.

Ruffians Shoreditch barber Callum McDonald shortlisted for Creative Head’s It List Rising Star award!

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.’

Cal works his magic on a guest at the launch of the Wahl Aquablade, hosted by Ruffians in Shoreditch
Cal works his magic on a guest at the launch of the Wahl AquaBlade clippers, hosted by Ruffians Shoreditch last year

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’.

Callum and Tommy celebrate another Ruffians award success - winning the Wahl Barbershop of the Year trophy in 2018
Callum and Tommy celebrate another Ruffians award success – winning the Wahl Barbershop of the Year trophy in 2018

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!

Meet the Ruffians: Hayden Cassidy from our Shoreditch shop

Meet the Ruffians #4: Barber Hayden Cassidy from our Covent Garden shop

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. 

Hayden Cassidy cutting hair on stage at Barber Society 2018 in Amsterdam
Hayden Cassidy cutting hair on stage at Barber Society 2018 in Amsterdam

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.


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