I had never reviewed a men’s salon and it was about time. And the first name that came to my head for a review was Truefitt and Hill. A Google search revealed this brand which is about luxurious grooming for men, was British. So, a male friend (Gaurav) and I arrived with placards, protesting loudly for Simon to go back outside their Khar outlet. Several minutes later, the bewildered and exasperated staff told us there was no one called Simon there to sent back and that most of them were Indian. Suitably placated, we headed upstairs for a hair service review. I needed a male friend because Truefitt and Hill serves only male clientele and also because I would look silly protesting alone.
The Khar outlet of Truefitt and Hill feels like you stepped back in time. The space is done up in dark wood and features interesting décor elements like a vintage phone, a typewriter (that I got very excited by and started tapping and they had to lead me away) and more. It’s like a treasure trove of pretty things. All this is bathed in flattering yellow light. The reception area has all their products on display. The service area features 4 massive salon chairs, each with its own basin and range of products. The nail and other service areas are tucked away in corners. There’s a lounge where you can read magazines and extras (read me) can spend time without being a nuisance to everyone else.
The services on offer at Truefitt and Hill for a haircut are limited to a Classic Haircut (shampoo and cut) and The Royal Haircut (shampoo, mini head massage and shave). The same stylist does both the cuts but the difference in price is 800 rupees.
Once seated, Gaurav is asked what he would like done to his hair. As Gaurav and I discuss options, the stylist (Maqsud) waits for us to finish. He offers no suggestions of his own. Two minutes later, Gaurav asks him to give him a pompadour. Maqsud goes to get an Ipad and shows Gaurav some hairstyles. The search term is ‘short hairstyles for men’. At this point, Gaurav pulls out his phone, logs on to pinterest and shows the stylist the cut he wants and asks him to emulate it. Then, Gaurav and I are given a menu featuring a variety of fresh juices to choose from. Gaurav picks one, I settle for water. A cape with a transparent patch around the crotch area is put on Gaurav. Gaurav thinks this is done to ensure people are upto nothing too sexy while getting haircuts. I have no idea where he gets this idea.
20 minutes later, his hair is snipped and his chair, once facing the mirror is now turned around. His head is lowered into the basin and given a good wash. His hair is dried and a styling paste is applied to his hair. It is then styled to perfection and looks fabulous.
The idea of Truefitt and Hill is to create an aura of royal pampering. Which means the stylists look sharp in their outfits. However, the overall experience doesn’t exactly scream indulgence. First off, when asked what will look good on Gaurav, the stylist had no suggestions of his own to offer. The stylist himself seemed unsure of the funky hairstyle Gaurav wanted, repeatedly asking Gaurav to show him the reference picture. Gaurav, who observed this keenly, told me that Maqsud held his hair and snipped parallel to where he held the hair. His stylist at JCB would hold his hair and cut it perpendicular to where he held it. This makes a difference to how edgy or interesting the cut looks once the hair starts to grow out. The one with the perpendicular cut looks much sharper and younger later. There was also an attempt to sell shampoo, conditioner and styling products to Gaurav, which is politely declined but the pitch at any salon is very annoying.
PS: The transparent bit in the cape is for using your phone while getting a haircut without having to get hair all over your hands and not to deter suspicious activity as previously imagined by Gaurav.
In a jiffy
Salon: Truefitt and Hill, Khar ( They have several other outlets)
Service availed: The Classic Haircut
The wallet is lighter by : Rs.1200 inclusive of taxes
Get in touch: Plot No. 711, 1st floor, Bharat Bhavan Building, Next to Anita Dongre Showroom, Linking Road, Khar West, Mumbai – 400052. Call: 022 26484594 / 022 26484597 / +91 8879119937
Brands used: Salon’s own
Hygiene of salon and professional: Sparkling clean and even the cuffs of the stylists were clean, so full marks for this.
Destress Quotient: 2.5 AAHs
Verdict: Truefitt and Hill is the kind of salon you should go to if you want a classic haircut, you are better off with a BBlunt or other brand if you want something edgy. Rs.1200 for a haircut is steep, I believe.