Cutting and styling men’s hair might seem simple. But the reality is that skilled barbers have thousands of hours of training and experience under their belts.
They’re familiar with the latest trends and classic cuts. They’ve memorised exactly how to cut and style the hair of their regular clientele. And they ask the right questions to ensure every client leaves looking and feeling great (remember that descriptions such as “short back and sides” can mean very different things to different people).
Whether you’re fed up with having bad-hair days, or are new to Canberra and in need of a barber, we’re here to help.
In this article, we’ll share our top picks for barbers in the Canberra region. Let’s get started.
What makes a great barber?
Not all barbers or barber shops are created equal. To find a barber who you’ll want to visit again and again, keep the following in mind:
- Experience and confidence. A good barber has the experience to cut and style your hair how you want it. A great barber has the confidence to tell you if your requested style might not work for your face and features, and will attempt to guide you towards something more flattering. If your barber looks and acts confident when you meet them for the first time, take it as a positive sign.
- Convenience. While in-demand barbers can be busy, it shouldn’t be impossible to get an appointment. Some barbers even let you book online for maximum convenience.
- Personal style and grooming. The best barbers care about their personal appearance – after all, they’re a walking advertisement for their own business. Look for a barber who is well groomed and well presented. Attention to detail in personal appearance often translates to attention to detail in cutting and styling hair.
- Clean and tidy. A clean and tidy barber shop isn’t just good for hygiene. It’s also a sign that the business cares about presentation. If the floors are covered in hair, and the shop is a mess, it’s reasonable to wonder whether that lack of care will also apply to your haircut.
- Reasonably priced. Some barbers charge an arm and a leg for the full haircutting and styling experience. Make sure you find a barber who is within your budget.
The best barbers in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and maintained a minimum average of 4/5 stars on both Google and Facebook reviews.
The Locker Room Barbershop is redefining the barbershop experience by building deeper relationships between client and barber. The barbershop is a warm and inviting environment dedicated to men's mental health and breaking the stigma that surrounds it.
The Locker Room Barbershop—as its name implies—is about free conversation; the kind that frequently occurs in a locker room and offers a safe space for men to be themselves. Their mantra, "men who talk heal", is an example of the safe space they provide making it feel like a second home.
To avoid a production line mentality, the Locker Room is an appointment-based barbershop, giving barbers allocated time to focus on clients. They don't make clients feel rushed, instead listening to their needs before the service starts to ensure both parties are on the same page.
Main services include classic men's styles, fades, re-styles (long to short hair) and beard trims. The Locker Room Barbershop prides itself on being one of the best children barbers in Canberra, and offers a father-and-son package.
The Locker Room Barbershop has won ‘Uppercut Deluxe Barber of the Month’.
On Google, Oliver Morris wrote, “Really good haircuts with a great atmosphere and good conversation.”
If you're a discerning gentleman looking for the royal barbershop treatment, it's hard to go past Truefitt & Hill in the CBD. As the world's oldest barbershop (it was established in London in 1805 and now has stores all over the world), its clientele has included Great Britain's monarchs, as well as other royalty, politicians and dignitaries.
At Truefitt & Hill, you can enjoy a haircut and shave by an experienced barber, plus a range of skincare treatments, in a luxurious, comfortable and private atmosphere. Leather chairs and wooden cabinetry lend a warm sophistication to each cut and shave.
Truefitt & Hill Canberra stocks a retail range of carefully crafted hair and skincare products, colognes, shaving and leather accessories. With over 200 years of research and customer feedback contributing to ongoing product development, Truefitt & Hill knows sophistication and practicality better than anyone.
Truefitt & Hill welcomes phone and walk-in appointments.
As David Sheard writes on Google, "Without doubt the best place for a men's haircut. Nothing is rushed and the service is outstanding. The excellent scotch I get presented with each haircut is just the added bonus. If you want to ensure you get a great haircut and a great experience in the process then you can't go past Truefitt & Hill Canberra."
The Cock and Crown is a premium barber shop. Professional services include haircuts, beard trims, shaves and crews, backed by great experience. At The Cock and Crown, blokes can banter while enjoying a beer, cider or softie. The Cock and Crown does everything possible to accommodate walk-ins, but bookings are ideal.
Rohan Watson wrote on Google, “Tim has been cutting my hair for the past 3 years. My wife says I’ve never looked better. Happy wife happy life ...”
With a vision to fuse hair, culture and good vibes, The Barbershop Canberra offers quality services. Now with two locations–city and Braddon–The Barbershop Canberra’s team of barbers love their craft. Hair services include cut and style, buzz cut, re-style, skin fade, and short hair perm. Other services include beard trims and shapes. Booking is easy online.
Nick Borg wrote on Google, "This lot are perfectionists who take pride in their work, but don't charge the earth for a high quality cut. Friendly and welcoming atmosphere whilst remaining professional. Would recommend every day of the week."
If you’re looking for more information or hair styling, why not check out our article on the best hair salons in Canberra.
Your experience with barbers in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes a barber shave different to shaving myself at home?
A barber shave is considered by many to be a milestone experience for a man. Barbers have honed their skills to give this experience with trained hands and can often share their expertise on a shaving routine to suit your personal needs. Plus, nothing beats the camaraderie and the chance to kick back and relax at a barber shop as someone gives you a relaxing shave.
What is a fade?
Varying from the classic “short back and sides”, a fade is a hairstyle whereby the hair on the sides is cut in graduated lengths from top to bottom. This gives the appearance that the hair “fades” away to skin moving towards the nape of the neck.
Are barber shops for men only?
Barbers are trained to create hairstyles traditionally regarded as “men’s haircuts''. This means barber shops generally offer styles for men and facial hair shaving. Other services such as hair colouring tend to be limited or not offered at all.
How much does a barber haircut cost?
Barbers can charge as little as $10 for a buzz cut or $100-plus for a full style haircut and experience. The price you pay for your service reflects not just the type of service you are receiving but also the experience of your barber and the shop's reputation. Some barbers may even provide service add-ons such as a complimentary beer or whisky.
Should I wash my hair before visiting a barber?
It is generally recommended that you wash your hair between 12 and 24 hours before your cut. Barbers do prefer you arrive with clean hair as it makes it easier to style and cut.