A Royal Treatment With Truefitt & Hill
Joanna Broughton tells how Truefitt & Hill has been grooming gentlemen in the same impeccable manner as it has done for over two centuries.
For more than 200 years, Truefitt & Hill has been professionally grooming and pampering royalty, titans, superstars and legendary icons. Today, this extraordinary barbershop continues to provide superior grooming experiences for men with exceptional taste for only the finest. Known as the world’s oldest barbershop, Truefitt & Hill has left lasting impressions on some of the world’s most renowned names such as Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, and Alfred Hitchcock. In addition, Truefitt & Hill has had the distinction of serving as barbers and Royal Warrant holders to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and other members of The Royal Family for the past nine reigns.
“I think men have been yearning for the concept of being groomed in an atmosphere that is masculine, quiet and sophisticated. Currently there are not that many options open for gentlemen, other than going to a woman’s salon where he will get his haircut next to a woman who is also getting her nails done! Men would want a place they can go to where they can get their classic cuts and also have other pampering services done in an unmistakably masculine manner. But in Truefitt & Hill, it is not only about cuts, it is also about relaxation and comfort – it’s about a gentleman coming in here, and leaving looking absolutely perfectly groomed and pampered. Therefore we also offer other services such as facials and nose waxing,” states Joanna Broughton, director of Truefitt & Hill, as she explains the main reason why a men’s grooming salon like Truefitt & Hill is needed.
Having worked at Truefitt & Hill for over 25 years, Joanna has witnessed firsthand how loyal their customers tend to be, and some even have all four generations – great-grandfather, grandfather, father and grandson – get their cuts from the very same barbershop. “The passing on of knowledge is very valuable. Our senior barber, who is still with us today, was taught the traditional skills by our barber before him, who has gained his skills from our other barbers before him,” shares Joanna. “The traditional skills of using the razor is passed on, but Truefitt & Hill’s styles are more modern. Our young barbers are up to date on what is contemporary and what is popular at that current time.”
In order to ensure the same high standards of quality as they have in London to be provided in other parts of the world such as the one here in Malaysia, they had their master barber from England train the barbers here to ensure they operate at the same level as their English barbers. “They are trained for at least a month, but keep in mind that they are all qualified barbers with no less than 10 years of experience,” explains Joanna.
Opened in 1805 by William Francis Truefitt, as the first gentleman’s salon at 2 Cross Lane, Long Acre, London, a substantial part of his business came from wig making and grooming, in tune with the fashion of the day. It wasn’t long before he was appointed as the ‘Court Hair Cutter’, ‘Court Hair Dresser’ and ‘Court Wigmaker’ by Royal Appointment to His Majesty, King George III. Year after year, gentleman after gentleman, the Truefitt name became synonymous with the elite. Even when artefacts from the RMS Titanic were recovered, among them was a H.P. Truefitt ceramic pomade pot.
Joanna foresees that Truefitt & Hill in Bangsar Shopping Centre and The Majestic KL will do very well in Malaysia, the reason being that after they opened for just a few months, they already had clients who came back regularly. Another reason is due to the growing popularity of men’s grooming in Malaysia and their desire to look presentable, which calls for the establishment of centres like Truefitt & Hill.
This article appeared in the January 2013 issue of Malaysia Tatler.