In Style + Design

Quality Cuts: The Best Of Melbourne’s Barbershops

There is no shortage of barbershops in Melbourne.

With a smattering of boutique salons and deluxe grooming options, it can be difficult to navigate the city in order to find the cream of the crop. Popular as fabulous beards and groomed ‘burns have become; you need not wander too far to find an excellent stylist.

Here are some of our top picks for Melbourne’s best barbershops.

Men + Co, CBD

Men + Co is a classy spot for a shave. Starting seven years ago as a conversation between owners Gary McKenzie and Chris Dunkley, this supreme CBD location is an extension of previous successes. Already owning a shop in South Yarra, the two gentlemen wished to create a high-end CBD barber that was far more a grooming experience than just your typical 15-minute shave.

The CBD space is a little hidden from street view, but inside you will find a luxury refuge to keep on coming back to. And that’s just the idea.  Offering excellent shaves and haircuts, customers can also upgrade to a deluxe treatment, including the classic hot-towel shave, a VIP membership, or even a shoeshine and a glass of whiskey. Dunkley calls it “a vast space that calls for gentlemen to be looked after with style, skill and class”. We have to agree.

Stage IV, CBD

Stage IV is a relatively new luxury barber in downtown Melbourne city. Technically classed as part of Docklands, lower Collins Street is starting to host some very luxe shops for the 9-5’ers. This barbershop — including shampoo, hot towel and neck detail services — is no exception. Elegance and simplicity is their style, and excellent service is their game.

Having just celebrated their second birthday, Stage IV is passionate about customers experiencing both luxury and a relaxed environment. Catering to their corporate surroundings they accommodate high-end detail with an added flourish of vibe and soul. This is serious service with personal care and attention, from a hand-selected team of professionals.

Use the simple online booking service or merely walk in and enjoy an aperitif while waiting for your hair, beard or skin treatment. All we can say is — enjoy.

The Bearded Man, Prahran

The effervescent Bearded Man got its chops on Melbourne’s south side, earning a reputation for excellent hair — and excellent coffee.  TBM Director Josh Mihan began the Chapel Street venue five years ago when returning home from travelling, and a second salon now exists on Rose St, in the trendy depths of Fitzroy.

A Men’s Hairdresser of the Year finalist in both 2014 and 2016, the BM salons are about high-quality cuts and high-quality enjoyment. With an in-house DJ and a barista, this is style that doesn’t discriminate. All genders are welcome and all stylists deliver service par excellence.

Adhering to old school ethics in customer service, Mihan aims for traditional high-quality service with a smile. “I travel the world teaching the craft,” he says. “You do this job to see that smile on someone’s face at the end of a haircut.” 

Razor Smiths, CBD

Here we have your vintage dream of what a barbershop should be. Their shop vibe reads: “Cuts, shaves, pinball and whiskey”, and Razor Smiths certainly pays heed to the barbershop trend. With drinks on offer and a hot towel finish, they are a salon that knows it’s the little things that count.

With a shop in Collingwood and one on the city’s popular Albert Coates Lane, Razor Smiths are doing what they do best: great hair. Offering an array of designer trims and shave services, Razor Smiths ensure that the customer is taking time out from their day to relax and enjoy. “What’s not to love?” says founder Tom Donato. “Going to the barber should be one of life’s little pleasures.”

Henry-Lee, Collingwood

Henry-Lee is an inner north delight. Based In Collingwood, CEO Lily Peddle began this barbershop in 2016 with high-quality cuts, inclusivity and community in mind. After living in London, Lily took her near-20-year experience and created a haven in Melbourne’s ever-popular Collingwood arena.

A sign stands in the shop: “hot shaves / cold beer”, and local brewery Bodriggy Brewing co. supply a decent drop to enjoy while being groomed. With a small range of top-quality products and personalised customer care, Henry-Lee is a barber that will understand your needs.
Whether they are named after the forensic scientist or the Nick Cave song, we can’t be sure.

We do know, however, that this is your go-to summer hotspot for a service. The streets of Collingwood are a haven for community and boutique shopping — if you’re lucky you might even catch one of Henry-Lee’s shop parties.

(Lead image: Men + Co / supplied) 

Published 21 November, 2019