With Father’s Day just around the corner, there’s no better time to give your dad the gift of reinvention with a cut and shave at one of Hong Kong’s many transportive barber shops.
From a pomade-strengthened ‘do at a rockabilly man cave, to a suave shave at one of Hong Kong’s last remaining alleyway barbers, take a look at our pick of the best places to get the perfect fade right now.
1. Selvedge Barbers
What was formerly known as Era Barbers with its eye-catching red exterior has been quietly transformed into the more subdued, industrial chic Pottinger Street storefront of Selvedge Barbers in the past year. As the first location of Selvedge Grooming’s foray into barber shops, this stripped-back space is dominated by century-old brick walls and brushed concrete, reflecting the neutral haircut styles on offer by head barber Hamish Glianos and his team. Give your pops a haircut for $450 or a wet shave for $350, while you sit back with a complementary beer or glass of whisky.
36 Pottinger St, Central; tel 2577 3080
2. Kiu Kwun Barber Shop
Kiu Kwun Barber Shop has been a fixture of the colourful North Point neighbourhood for the past 38 years, serving serious Wong Kar-wai cinematic vibes along with traditional Shanghainese cuts to successive generations of customers. As one of the last surviving outposts of the Shanghainese barber tradition that dates back to the mid-century, none of Kiu Kwun’s white-clothed barbers are younger than 60 yet their skills remain sharp as ever. Many of the store’s fixtures are preserved in their original state – most impressive are the sturdily-built Japanese barber chairs upholstered in red leather, each costing as much as a small car back in the day. A haircut and wash starts at $110.
74 Java Rd, North Point; tel 2563 1266
3. Handsome Factory
With three branches spread across Tsim Sha Tsui, Causeway Bay and Central (you might’ve peeked into their conveniently located branch while taking the Mid-Levels escalator), Handsome Factory has been serving slick trims since 2015 when it was founded by prominent skateboarder J. Brian Siswojo. Bedecked with a classic checkerboard floor and white-tiled walls, the interior is as part and parcel of the concept as its moustachioed, tattooed barbers who wield their blades with aplomb. Haircuts and wet shaves both go for $380 each.
27 Haven St, Causeway Bay; tel 2320 9976
1/F, Central Corner, 9-11 Cochrane St, Central; tel 2353 0001
Shop C, G/F, Minden House, Minden Ave, Tsim Sha Tsui; tel 3590 2037
4. Oi Kwan Barber Shop
It might take multiple passes before you notice the narrow yet brightly-painted Spring Garden Lane entrance of Oi Kwan Barbers, yet you would be forgiven. After all, it has inhabited an alleyway for the past 55 years, harking back to a time when barbers plied their trade anywhere they could set up a chair and their tools. Today, it is run by second-generation barber Mark Lau, 28, who – after inheriting the business from his father just four months before he passed away – has revitalised his customer base by catering to a younger crowd through social media.
While the success of Oi Kwan has been borne out by the opening of a standalone store just a short distance away in the Comix Home Base (top image), the original alleyway location is facing the threat of eviction due to a government order, so make a booking quickly before this piece of Hong Kong’s heritage disappears too. A Guangdong-style haircut starts at $400 and wet shaves at $700; make sure to book ahead to reserve a time slot.
20 Spring Garden Lane, Wan Chai
G/F, 11 Mallory St, Wan Chai; tel 2303 1733
5. Hair House by Adam Chan
With 16 years of haircutting experience, Adam Chan’s Hair House barber shop has been changing the conversation around men’s grooming since it opened back in 2013. While influenced by a childhood of patronising Shanghainese barbers, Adam also brings distinctly Western influences into his business with a menu of wet shaves, beard trimming and killer fades. A second branch opened in Wan Chai’s sleepy Sau Wa Fong neighbourhood last year, and offers an eclectic antiques and curio-filled interior to have your hair shaped in. Haircuts start at $320 and wet shaves from $240.
2/F, 20 D’Aguilar St, Central; tel 5598 9965
G/F, 31 Sau Wa Fong, Admiralty; tel 5702 6352