It’s Saturday afternoon and two ‘blokes’ are having a ‘chin-wag’ about the ‘match’ currently being covered on the retro radio. A couple of others are waiting patiently, beer in hand and occasionally joining in the conversation. The barbers themselves are joining in too, though without veering from their main focus, the client; because the heart of Anthony Laban Barbers is ‘all about our guests’.
Inspired by the traditional urban, cool barbers he’d seen in New York, hairdresser Anthony Laban opened his barbershop amongst the boutiques, coffee shops and antique emporiums of the achingly hip Northcote Road in Clapham, in South London.
The premises aren’t just small, they are tiny; just two positions but, per chair, they make more than most ‘big salons’. The barbers’ was opened as an extension to Laban’s boutique hair salon, ‘Home’, with the same philosophy for success: providing an all-inclusive excellent service and ensuring the business is part of the local community. Especially when it comes to his male clientele Anthony feels the atmosphere should be warm and inviting.
“Guys are often intimidated,” he says. “One of our clients said he didn’t want to be in the midst of ‘a load of women in tin foil’ or to go to the kind of barbers where everyone gets the same haircut. We ensure our guys are treated as they want and get a great haircut!”
“Our clients don't want to go to the kind of barbers where everyone gets the same haircut. We ensure our guys are treated as they want."
The salon itself is stripped back and super clean. Every inch of the space has been used to effect; even the till is hidden in a drawer. And, since the opening, word has got around the men of South London and, increasingly, Anthony Laban’s guests have been happy to indulge themselves with the ‘full service’ (a traditional wet shave) for the first time.
Anthony’s small and compact barbershop proves you don’t need a big space to make a big impact.
Anthony Laban Barbers is at 113E Northcote Rd, London SW11 6PW, UK.