Tried and tested: Full-on grooming sessions for men
Shave, steam, snip
VISHAL BHASKARAN, SENIOR WRITER
Royal Cut, Shave and Shape, Facial Hair and Grooming @ Truefitt & Hill KLCC
Having never sat in a Truefitt & Hill chair (they're so comfortable!), my barber Amir suggested the menu for the day. A haircut, beard trim, some shaving and something else which he did not want to reveal, only insisting that I do it. Halfway through a haircut, he informed me that I’ve been parting my hair on the wrong side. I’ve been fighting against the source of my hair growth (who knew?) This man’s fade game was all-star level, working with the shape of my head to get the slope right and blending it perfectly with the start of my beard. He trimmed my beard deftly, pointing out how I can do it on my own to accentuate the length at the chin that I was trying to achieve.
After that, he disappeared into a back room and emerged gleefully with a container of hot wax. "You have never waxed your face before, have you?" I hadn't, and it wouldn't take a genius to come to this conclusion. My unibrow was like a broken bridge, patchy but you could still get across if you tried hard enough. This wax was hot, heavy and didn't require strips—it hardens and you peel it off piece by piece. The forehead and eyebrow area didn't hurt too much but the cheeks were a different story. The hair came out along with blackheads and some of my indignity in the form of tears. Just when I assumed it was time to bring out the razor to clean up my face and neck, I was wrong.
Amir began to individually remove stray hairs on my face using a tweezer (more dignity lost at this point). The razor finally appeared when he started to work on the neck area, with a hot towel first to soothe the skin after the earlier butchering. A cold towel followed the shave to close up the pores and leave a fresh feeling to the face. And then, a hair wash, which was done at the same station with the chair swivelled around to the sink—no prancing around with a towel on your head looking like a Smurf. After some wax pompadour in place, we were done.
This was the Bentley of barbershops and I had been spoiled rotten by nearly two hours of Amir's exemplary work. While this is more than what you might consider spending in one sitting, the Truefitt & Hill experience is something you can’t really put a price on.
STEVEN KHU, DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER
Haircut & Finish, Traditional Wet Shave, Prep Facials @ Gentlemen's Tonic
Upon walking into the store, the wooden furniture and laidback atmosphere radiated a rather relaxing ambience. I quite liked the three-way mirror that I was seated in front of for the entire session—it gave me a good view of how my hair looked before and after the haircut. Also, the store had a rather pleasant feel to it, mostly thanks to a rejuvenating scent by way of aromatherapeutic oils (I'm guessing) instead of chemical smells in most hair salons.
I've had pretty graphic experiences with haircuts—one barber nearly nicked off my ear with his pair of scissors. So it's safe to say that I'm not the most experimental with different hair salons or stylists. But I felt at ease with my hairstylist at Gentlemen's Tonic while was using the razor and scissors—I could tell he was careful with his gestures and I was pleased with my overall hair look and length.
I quite enjoyed the Fire and Ice massage that was included with the haircut. He first wrapped my head with a fragrant hot towel, then later massaged my scalp with peppermint oil, hence an enjoyable, "hot and cold" sensation. The facial mask was also refreshing—a great way to finish off the review.
If you are looking for spots in Klang Valley to get a haircut, shave, and more, check out our list below:
1) Truefitt & Hill
Locations: Suria KLCC, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Great Eastern Mall, JW Marriot, and the Majestic Hotel
2) Gentlemen's Tonic
Location: D5-G3-3, Publika, Solaris Dutamas
3) 52 Barbers
Location: 29, Jalan Riong, APW Bangsar
4) The Oven Cuttery
Location: 21, Jalan SS 21/34, Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya
5) Sweeney Ted
Location: Level P1 @ The School, Jaya One, 72A, Jalan Universiti, PJS 13, Petaling Jaya