I’m Natalie and I’m going to review Glasgow’s House Martin Barbers even though I’m not a man and I did not get my hair cut there, I sent my boyfriend instead!
When Conor needed a haircut I knew we were going to end up in House Martin.
I’ve banged on and on about their interior and their promise of a unique experience for months after seeing them featured on Defacto Salons listing website. Spoiler alert: House Martin definitely delivers on their promises.
Conor has really thick, stubborn, ginger hair that always gets handled and forced into a slick back when he attends his usual hairdresser so he was ready for a change and I’m really nosey so I wanted to come along and review it in one of the Defacto blogs.
We went at 6pm on a Wednesday night so it was nice and quiet for me to prowl around and stick my nose in things, a common hobby of mine. We were greeted by Jamie, he was really welcoming and made my boyfriends day by getting him a beer and made my day by getting me a lot of water, because it just so happened to be the warmest day of the year.
Shop owner Stephen Martin would be cutting Conor’s hair. Before owning House Martin Barbers Stephen was head barber at Murdock London, which is one of the most prestigious barbers in the country. He spoke about naming the shop and getting his hair cut himself:
“I met a girl in London who done our graphic design and I had to come up with a name and my family are barbers, I wanted something fairly short but fairly classic and my surname is Martin so that’s how we got it”
“I’ve not had my hair cut in 4 weeks, you’d think working in a barber shop it’d be easy but… [he laughs]”
The shop itself is tucked under a waxing salon on Bath Street, but you can’t miss the classy black and gold sign, it’s a hint at the interior that you’re about to experience. The inside of the shop has clearly been well thought of. It’s very much a gentleman’s club. It boasts old leather barber chairs and borderline hunting lodge decoration. Faux taxidermy, leather armchairs and a little burner in the far left as you walk in. Jamie gave me a tour while Conor was getting his consultation. Not only do they have gorgeous interior and a whiskey bar, they even have a secret poker room inside a bank vault! You couldn’t get much more niche really and I loved it.
Jamie is evidently very happy to be at House Martin, saying:
“My job is focusing on hospitality so coffees, whisky and gin, beer as well. I think what House Martin has above other barbers is hospitality and aesthetics it’s beautiful in here.”
The barbers in the shop have individual work stations and you can see that in the fact that they have all their tools set up ready to work with in their own way. Tuning into Conor’s consultation I was made aware of the fact that he was going ahead with his original haircut idea. Game of Thrones fans tune in…
Now, Conor wanted to go for a textured look, and what I mean by that is that he mentioned that he wanted textured hair as many times in the one sentence as he could. He decided to take a photo of Ramsay Bolton as his hair inspo… Yes really. To be fair he has lovely hair.
Obviously this spurred a full on Game of Thrones chat, in which I got Stephen to reveal his favourite characters:
“Tyrion, although it comes and goes, it used to be Arya but I don’t like her most recent story line. I used to like Stannis and Tywin because I thought they were more captivating, they’re really good actors. Brienne is great and I like Bronn. I’ve cut Sam’s (Natalie Note: the actor, John Bradley, who plays Samwell Tarley in the show) beard before! That’s what he’s like in real life I promise you! That was about 2 years ago.”
He washed Conor’s hair and began scissor cutting, when I asked if they worked primarily with scissors he said:
“We like to have a good consultation at the start and we will do our best to get the client exactly what they want. Whether that’s clipper work or scissor work, we use what will be best for the cut they want.”
It’s clear they do focus entirely on what the client will want, during the consultation time. Stephen fully explained what they could and couldn’t do, due to Conor’s hair, and went on to explain how he would do it. Right down to the product application. The attention to detail and the hospitality in House Martin is truly outstanding. He showed Conor how to maintain the look; he made sure he knew how to dry his hair, how to style it and what kinds of products to use. Multiple different clipper heads were used to make sure that the back of Conor’s head had the exact fading and attention was paid to every minute detail. He also used a little hoover on his head to remove all the excess hair and I was truly quite jealous, looked really relaxing.
Stephen styled Conor’s hair and even gave him a spritz of aftershave for the road! It was at this point I noticed that they all wear small pins on their clothes, of the bird featured on the House Martin logo. Stephen confirmed that these were their uniforms and that’s a really unique way to tie you staff together in my opinion. We were also given a little tour of a secret room they found once that was filled with old bank documents, haircuts and history!
Now obviously I loved the whole atmosphere but I didn’t my hair done. Conor got the exact textured look that he was looking for and since going he’s been continually chuffed with it every morning. He looks at it in the mirror a lot. Here’s what he had to say about his time at House Martin:
“I was gonna give up hope on getting a haircut that actually felt like mine. I was treated like an individual; it was cut differently than any other time. The conversation flowed, the place is gorgeous, you’re made to feel so at home that I didn’t want to leave. What a smashin’ place I’m 100% going back!”
So there you have it! The place looks amazing, the staff are fantastic and their haircuts are even better. If you’re looking for a totally unique experience then you should seriously give House Martin a try!
Contact them HERE
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