A Cut Above the Rest: Hong Kong’s Best Barbers



(Note: This article originally appeared on Localiiz.com)

Do you look like total crap? It’s okay. Looking good in Hong Kong can be an uphill battle – Heathcliff was never a sweaty mess, and Patrick Bateman had that weird eye-mask thing that doesn’t work in real life (I tried). Whether you need a total transformation or just a bit of routine upkeep, our fair city has become a hub for the barbershop renaissance. Every budget is catered for, with a consistent level of quality when it comes to the base services, and any extra cost going towards bells and whistles. So, if you want to go from a mess to your sexy best, then read on.



Crow’s Nest Barbershop

Something of a cultural icon in its native Canada, Crow’s Nest chose Hong Kong as the place to set up its only branch outside its native home, and man are we glad they did. Like a lot of contemporary barbers, Crow’s Nest is very much on board with the whole punk-rock, looking-smart-while-having-a-hula-girl-tattooed-on-my-face paradigm. Except here, there’s a slight twist to the formula, as Crow’s Nest HK actually serves as both barber and concept store for Japanese watch brand Edwin. On the face of it, it might not seem like the most intuitive of business partnerships, but it actually makes a lot of sense – you can get a spiffy timepiece to go with your spiffy new face. See? It works.

Crow’s Nest Barbershop, 27 Haven Street, Causeway Bay, (+852) 2320 9976





Fox and the Barber

It’s no secret that the old-school barber is historically a male-dominated industry, but much like how the image, pretense and experience of visiting one is changing, so are the people that are re-invigorating the industry. Namely, Sarah McGlynn, the owner of Fox and the Barber in Central, who is pushing the envelope on the British model of high-end male grooming. You definitely get what you pay for here, with a wet shave setting you back a cool $440, but the devil’s in the details, and Fox and the Barber is the absolute top of the shelf in terms of quality grooming.

Fox and the Barber, 41-43, Graham St, Central, (+852) 2405 6880





ERA Barbers

It’s all in the name for ERA Barbers – the era being very much the 1950s, and the specific look that goes along with it. Think rockabilly – full wet shaves (starting at $300) with hot towels, faded back-and-sides, and other era-appropriate looks (haircuts start at $550). Fashionable looks are circular – and looking like an extra in Grease is very much ‘in’ with the cool kids these days. You’re a cool kid aren’t you? Well go here.

ERA Barbers, 36 Pottinger Street, Central, (+852) 2577 3080





The Duke’s

An unabashed shrine to everything that encompasses man – whisky, tobacco, sports, and face maintenance of the gentlemanly sort. The Duke’s is a huge, three-story complex of sorts where you can imbibe a rare spirit or two, puff a cigar, play some darts, or just watch the game. Oh, you can also get a shave and your hair cut. And they do a damn fine job with everything from hot towel shaves ($350), a sneaky trim ($300), and a litany of other services.

The Duke’s, 6-8/F, 60 Wellington Street, Central, (+852) 2801 6755





Hair House

Although many of the new-wave barber shops in Hong Kong encompass a Western-centric aesthetic, Hair House pays homage to the extensive history of Eastern barbers – namely, the long-established tradition of Shanghai barbers in the city who were once the style dictators and arbiters of ‘cool’ in the city. After spending years working as a hairdresser, Adam Chan decided he wanted to change his focus solely to the noble art of shaves, trims, and fades. It’s the decidedly more economical option without compromising on quality, with a wet shave costing $240 and a trim coming in at $350.

Hair House, 2/F, 20 D’Aguilar Street, Central, (+852) 5598 9965





The Strand

This hidden gem is more an amalgamation of barber and salon with dedicated floors for ladies as well as men (most of the venues on our list cater to the boys only I’m afraid). As well as offering the standards, there’s a plethora of other services on offer such as head shaves, beard trims, hair colouring, wet shaves, hair and scalp treatments, mani and pedis, facials, massages, waxing, and spray tans. Basically, you can get the transformational works here, with haircuts starting at $500 (with a senior stylist). For your money though, The Strand gives you the very best in cuts and after-care.

The Strand, 1-5/F, 18 Cochrane Street, Central, (+852) 2850 7686





Ambassador Barber Parlour

Our list thus far has been full of high-end, concept-driven barbers – amazing at what they do and what they bring to the table, but often esoteric by nature. If you just want a no-nonsense, decidedly frill-less, old-school barber (that’s actually old-school because it’s been around for over 50 years), then look no further. With a standard full cut and shave starting at $146, it’s pretty easy on the wallet, and being the resident barbershop in Causeway Bay for half a century, they work a pretty mean trim into the bargain.

Ambassador Barber, Parlour, 23 Lang Fong Road, Causeway Bay, (+852) 2895 5930





The Mandarin Barber

Considered to be the original and best in the city, The Mandarin Barber has retained much of the same staff for decades now, giving it a feeling of humble authenticity in a city where permanence in business is rarely a given. It’s maintained a flawless reputation for the VIP treatment of its guests – it’s hard not to feel like you’ve kind of made it as you drink in the venues exclusive-feeling surrounds with its original, decadent 1960s furnishing perfectly maintained. This, along with the VIP treatment rooms if you fancy getting a shave, trim, facial, wax, or massage treatment in private, add to the joyously excessive opulence on offer. The prices are surprisingly reasonable (considering the grandiosity on display) with haircuts starting at $440, shaves at $380, and moustache/beard trims at $210.

The Mandarin Barber, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road, Central, (+852 2825 4088)





Gentlemen’s Tonic

A favourite of London’s affluent Mayfair district, Gentlemen’s Tonic has been a welcome export to Hong Kong since opening almost six years ago. It’s the urban gent’s mecca with it’s masculine colour scheme and treatments named after some really brilliant blokes (namely Shackleton, Edison, and Hemingway – top lads). They run the whole gamut of men’s grooming from a basic wet shave (starting at $375), beard trimming and styling, haircuts ($550), all the way to more expensive package deals ($910 – $2,100) which include massages with fancy oils and such.

Gentlemen’s Tonic, 43-49 Wellington Street, Central, (+852) 2525 2455



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