Have you ever searched around for a good gent’s hairdressers in your local area? Well; if you happen to be in North West London and fancy a change, I think I have the answer for you. ‘GinoCarl’ hair salon for men, in Hendon Central, just about ticks all the boxes.
We all have a different outlook on getting our hair cut; to some it’s a two weekly chore that just has to be done, others like to make it a relaxing experience where they can sit down and have a chat while being smartened up a bit. Then there are those who want make it bit of a social thing. But whatever type you are, you’d probably like to find a hairdresser you enjoy going to and stick with them. It’s great to be recognised by a barber or stylist who remembers your name, knows how you want your hair cut and knows what team you support so you can discuss football for the entire duration of your hair cut - or another topic you can discuss comfortably, as you’ll be talking to someone you’ve come to know as a friend rather than a hairdresser.
So why Ginocarl? First off, it’s important to appreciate that you get what you pay for and unfortunately, there is only one Carl in the salon and he’s the best. (Sorry Paolo if you’re reading this, but you come a close second). Carl started hairdressing as an apprentice with his late father Gino at the family business ‘Bernard and Gino’ at the age of 14 when he was still at school. After school he studied at the London College of Fashion where he completed his exams with no less than a distinction. He was later asked to teach at the college, which he did for several years part time while still working with Bernard and Gino. So he’s good! But if you want to have your hair cut by Carl not only will you have to pay more, you’ll also have to book in advance! “Hold me back” I hear you say! Well, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. With Carl, you can just about guarantee a great haircut every time. He spends hours talking to his customers about football and current affairs and as a result is always kept up-to-date with the latest goings on around town.
Then there’s Paolo who I kind of see as the shop’s jester. He doesn't wear a ridiculous costume with bells on it, but he does come out with some hilarious tales at times and often bursts in to song when you're least expecting it. He's a good hairdresser who did his apprenticeship at Harrods and started working with Carl in the 90’s. A very entertaining character who gets a hard time from almost everyone who walks into GinoCarl's salon. However on his day off he is strangely missed.
Then you have Bernard. Yes, the same Bernard who used to be partner with Gino in the 70’s and 80’s. He went on to run his own hairdressers in Golders Green after the amicable split with Gino, but years later, during retirement, he decided he’d like to go back to work, part time for someone he knew. So he now works for his former apprentice.
And another person well worth a mention is Angelina. She only comes in on Saturdays and is still known as the shampoo girl even though she joined Bernard and Gino in the 80’s and now does more than just shampoo. Born in Portugal, the youngest of 9 children, she’ll entertain you with her family stories which are both funny and sad, often at the same time.
So why else would you want to go to GinoCarl’s hairdressing salon? Apart from the fact that you'll get the best hair products used on your hair, (which they sell separately and make great gifts if you don't know what to give someone who's got everything) you'll get a free friction massage if you ask for one. Yes, believe it or not it’s free. A friction massage improves blood circulation to the scalp which is thought to improve the growth of the hair. I think they’re slightly insane for not charging for it but there you go.
Would you believe the coffee at this hairdressing salon is another really good reason for going there? It’s not unusual to go to a hairdresser’s and be given a free cup of washed out coffee, but at GinoCarl you’ll get a pukka Italian style Cappuccino or Espresso, which would rival any of the cafés on the same street selling a similar drink. At GinoCarl you won’t be paying for it, and if it’s a double espresso you want, then a double espresso you will get.
You’ll be walking into an air conditioned salon; so it's warm in the winter, and more importantly, cool in the summer, and you’ll find a whole host of friends and locals who just pop in on a regular basis for a chat. I like to call them the’ usual suspects’ and will mention them again below.
Then there’s the music in the salon. While you’re having a haircut, you can request just about any type of music of your choice, (unless someone gets in there before you, although people are rarely concerned with what’s playing). There’s one particular guy who likes to have a hot towel treatment while listening to opera music. Each to their own right? Well it’s always nice to have a choice.
GinoCarl also has a TV to keep the kids entertained while they get their hair cut, which was actually originally bought in 2010 for the World Cup!
Maybe you’d like to take part in GinoCarl’s lottery syndicate. It’s for customers and staff. They’ve never won anything but there’s always a first time and if you happen to go in on Grand National day, you might want to take a crack at the sweep stake that always takes place. Again it’s for customers and staff, but you’d do well to get there early or the ‘usual suspects’ will get there first!
So if you’re looking for a gent’s hair salon in Hendon or NW London. Ginocarl is the place to go.