It was nice to finally go to a barber shop in Taipei and not feel the fear of needing a tetanus shot afterwards. I say that because last year I was living on $50 NTD a day at one stage and grooming was not a priority for a while.
Thankfully, hungry Mossy is not here anymore and I decided to treat myself to the best haircut and beard trim I have ever had; all the while looking like a fatter Conor McGregor for a little while.
To treat myself, I went to Craftsmanship Barber Shop (英倫紳士髮廊) near Liuzhangli MRT station in Taipei. I had been recommended this specific barber for a few months and I decided that with my Friday night being off kilter because my plans fell through, I should go ahead and grab a nice barber experience.
After walking through the door, I was asked what I wanted to drink. A good start no doubt considering it was a Friday evening. I went for a scotch and made my way to my seat. The Scotch was a tasty as they come and Steve was such a gent that he let me take sips throughout my haircut. The glass was a lot fuller before I drank it.
The barber I had was called Steve and he did a magnificent job. He took his time and didn’t just cut my hair, he quit honestly was crafting it. I am so use to going to barbers that put little attention to detail and it is more about the quantity of customers and not the quality of the cut that matters.
Don’t get me wrong, if that is your business, that is your business, but it was nice to have a haircut that didn’t feel rushed. There are times in Taipei that I walk into a barber shop and I am immediately greeted with just reluctance.
The haircut in the Craftsmanship was a great experience and it was nice to have a barber that was chatty. Even though my Mandarin is quite limited, Steve still chatted away to me and the staff all speak English anyway.
Again, the best haircut I’ve probably ever had and Steve even talked me into getting a line; something I normally never get, but Steve knew what he was doing.
The Beard Trim
As Elvis once sang, you can burn my house, steal my car, drink my liquor, but honey lay of my shoes. Well, in my case, lay my beard. I attach a lot of importance to my beard. I have had one for a long time and I do my best to keep it neat and sharp. I usually make an absolute mess of it though and many local barbers don’t understand how to trim or shape a beard and rightly so, there aren’t many men in Taiwan — besides some expats and local hipsters — who have beards/facial hair.
When I walked into the Craftsmanship, my beard was a mess. The ends of my mustache were not even, my beard was growing at different lengths all over and the shape was like something you would see in a messed up Picasso painting.
Steve thankfully put my beard in order by shaping it and trimming it back to a state of normality that I haven’t had in a long time.
Not only were the barbers nice enough to take some photos for me, they were also nice enough to answer some questions I had about the establishment.
From what I had gathered talking to Steve after the service, the barber shop has been in Taipei since January 2017, but their first barber was opened in Hualien. The barber shop in Hualien is called: Cutting Edge Barber Shop (英倫紳士髮廊). Daniel from the barber shop was nice enough to answer some question.
Q1. Why did you start an English Barber in Taiwan?: I first started a barbershop in Taiwan because I needed haircuts and could not find a store that provided the service I was use to at home (UK).
Q2. What type of service do you want to offer your clientele?: We want offer our clientele a service that we would expect to receive ourselves, nothing but the best.
Q3. What experience do you offer that nobody else can?: Our barbershop is a place where men can get all there needs attended too, hair, beard and even the eyebrow, ears and nose hairs. We deal with everything, so you don’t have to at home. We can offer a unique shop environment that a customer would have to travel 10,000 miles to the UK to otherwise experience. We bring the British charm to Taiwan.
Q4. What are the trends you see in Taiwan when it comes to men’s fashion?: Taiwanese like to keep their hair long, but the hot weather makes this uncomfortable. The latest trends have allowed the men to keep the hair long on top so there is hair to style, but having the side nice and short to keep himself cool and fresh.
Q5. Do you have any tips for men and beards?: I recommend all men who would like to grow their beards for the winter to regularly trim and shape the beard in the barbershop every time they get their haircut. Then at home use a beard oil to help the beard hair to grow and to keep in a healthy and controlled condition.