Discover more of Bristol’s best Barbershops
Barbering has been around for thousands of years and was first recorded around 5000 BC when Egyptian nobles had their hair cut using sharpened flint or oyster shells. As time went on, records show that barbers were often the most important men in their tribes, also serving as the priests and medicine men. This is thought to have started as a result of the superstitions that many tribes had about spirits entering and leaving the body through the hair. Because of this, barbers needed to have a solid understanding of how to rid the body of evil spirits, which could only be done by cutting the hair.
Throughout history, hair and barbers have continued to play an important role in society. For a long time, haircuts were a symbol of status with barbers only working for royalty and other nobles. Around the start of the Roman Empire, beards were what distinguished slaves and free men from one another. This was also when the barbershop became a place to go to socialise and meet up with people in addition to having your hair cut. By the middle ages, barbers in the UK were some of the most respected individuals in society. In addition to cutting hair, barbers were also the doctors and dentists for their communities. They performed all kinds of procedures like tooth extractions, enemas, surgeries, and bloodletting. Bloodletting, or therapeutic phlebotomy, was the process of removing blood from a patient’s body to treat conditions like the plague, smallpox, and even epilepsy. A barber could do this by cutting the patient’s vein or using leeches. The patient then bled until they passed out. The whole idea was that by removing the bad blood from the body, there was now room for good, healthy blood to form. Barbers then used the bowl of blood from their last patient or a blood-soaked rag outside their home to advertise their services. This continued until the mid-1700s when barbers who cut hair were no longer allowed to perform surgeries. Finally, in 1800, the College of Surgery’s founding in England signified the official split of barbering and surgery.
While none of the barbers on our list will be performing any of those procedures on you, it’s still important to find a good barber. Bristol is home to a number of barbershops offering a variety of services. This can make it difficult and overwhelming to find a barber who you can trust and whose services don’t cost an arm and a leg. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of our ten favourite barbers in Bristol.
With three locations around the city, the British Barber Company is one of the most well-known barbers in Bristol. Their Clifton Village location has been open for more than 25 years, consistently providing some of the highest quality male grooming services in Bristol. Each of the shops features unique old school décor, reminding customers of the charm of a classic old-timey barbershop.
In addition to the usual services like a cut or fade, the British Barber Company offers a full gentleman’s shave, which takes about 30 minutes. A very thorough process including two full lather shaves, an extra close shave, a face massage, and a shot of Famous Grouse whiskey, you’re sure to feel like a true gentleman when you leave the British Barber Company.
Franco’s Barbering Lounge Creative Director Franco Lombardi has more than 30 years of barbering experience, and today his shop is considered a local institution. Recently they moved into a newer and bigger location on Gloucester Road to accommodate the growing business. The new shop has a clean and relaxed feel while also featuring a number of classic barbershop touches.
Franco and his staff offer all of the classic barber services you’d expect in a barbershop as well as a number of modern services like creative cuts. Another unique offering at Franco’s is their Late Night Hairdressing and Barbering Breakfast Club. Every Thursday night, Franco’s is open until 8 pm, and they open at 7:30 am on Fridays so that men can fit their haircuts in around their work schedule. Additionally, anyone at the Breakfast Club gets a free Italian coffee and croissant.
Karwan’s Barber Shop on Park Street is a family run business offering a range of traditional barber services. The friendly and hospitable barbers provide high-quality haircuts, fades, traditional hot towel shaves, head shaves, and beard shaping for all hair types. In addition to great service, their prices can’t be beaten. Haircuts start at only £9, with a wash and cut being £12. Their customers repeatedly note how much the barbers at Karwan’s genuinely care about their customers and go above and beyond to make sure all their needs are met.