Men-only barbers takes Manchester by storm

barber barber vintage manchester mens hair

Attention men of Manchester!

Are you fed up getting your hair cut at one of the many stupidly trendy ‘hair salons’? Do you hark back for a traditional gentleman’s barbers with the smell of mahogany permeating the air?

I have good news, chaps, for there is a new hair establishment in town, Barber Barber. So good, they named it twice.

Specialising in rockabilly and traditional cuts for £24 as well as cut-throat shaves priced at £25, I was beside myself with excitement when I discovered that Barber Barber was to open its rather impressive looking doors.

barber barber vintage manchester mens hair


The man to thank for bringing this wonderful new enterprise to Manchester is Johnny Shanahan, or Johnny The BaBa as is he more affectionately known.

Quite the big deal in the Emerald Isle, Mr. BaBa with a successful barbers in Limerick, he has replicated the formula and set up shop right in the heart of Manchester. Or Barton Arcade in Deansgate to be precise.

Upon entering the premises, I was warmly greeted like a long-lost friend.

Vintage hair care

Dedicating themselves to making Manchester men look rather smashing are four scissor-wielding chaps. Working alongside the aforementioned Johnny is Inky Steve and Ben who both hail from our fair city. Then there’s Mav who has had the good sense to move to Manchester especially to learn from Johnny, the master of the ten point straight razor shave.

Cut throat razor shave

Johnny is a colourful character, with a thick streak of roguish dandyism there for all to see. Boasting as many tattoos as he does waistcoats, his passion for traditional barbering is intoxicating. To steal a famous line from The Shining, “Here’s Johnny!”

Unfortunately, Mav wasn’t in when I visited but I had a good chinwag with Steve and Ben covering topics including facial hair and pomade. Not quite the stereotypical hairdressing chitchat about holidays.

In desperate need for a trim of the old barnet, I was soon seated on the kind of barber’s chair that you always dream of sitting in (now admit it, everybody dreams about chairs). Imported all the way from Italy, they truly are a wonder to sit one’s bottom on.

Traditional Barber Chairs

As Steve expertly transformed my long overdue side-part, I couldn’t help being mesmerised by the handsome new surroundings. Harking back to what I’d imagine to be the golden age of barbering, there was so much to take in. With comfortable seating across the length of the shop and a bar at the far side, complete with a beer pump, I must confess to finding it all rather agreeable.

Barbers in Barton ArcadeJohnny operates a strictly ‘men only’ policy, which I witnessed first-hand when a lady attempted to cross the threshold.

There is now a new establishment in the city centre where men can turn to find solace, complete with a bar and super cuts and shaves from a skilled bunch of barbers. Did I mention the bar?

Keen to keep abreast with the latest goings-on from BarberBarber? Follow them on the Twittering Device, @BarberBarberuk

All four barbers are also on Twitter – @JohnnytheBaBa, @ScoundralMav, @inkysteve and @Benjamin_Kenobi

No appointment is necessary but a visit is vital.

With thanks to Norton of Morton for visiting as our gentleman correspondent – where us ladies fear to tread.

Published by

Susan Earlam

Writer of fiction, lifestyle and home interiors


  1. Strictly men only policy? I’m so sick of dealing with sexist bullshit and it’s cropping up in more and more unlikely places. Went there with my husband and they don’t even let women wait and read a magazine or whatever. I hope they go under.


    1. Get over yourself – for goodness sake we men need to be able to be alone sometimes to be without women. There is NOTHING wrong with this. If feminist B.S. continues I will attempt to join the W.I. or sit in a beauty parlour watching facial hair removal – what would you think then?


    2. Oh my GAWD!
      Chill girl!

      Why not let the guys have their own place!

      Us girls have plenty of freedom to choose where we go and spend our time and money!

      I for one dont care if I cant sit and wait..yawn yawn..why would I want to!

      Cant you let your bloke have a bit of freedom to spend in an all male environment, I dont want him hanging around when I go to my hair salon!!!!

      Would rather have my guy looking good with a sharp shave and hair cut, while I go and shop or have a coffee in one of the many places around!

      What a nasty bit of stuff you are…you hope they go under!?



      1. The fact that your ‘bloke’ CAN sit in a hair salon and wait for you is great freedom. The fact that women CAN’T sit in this barbers is a complete violation of human rights. It’s 2014!!!

        I don’t hope they go under…I predict it.
        Nice try, trying to find a niche market of the bigoted, misogynist kind in Manchester. As a Mancunian I’m insulted.

        Also they’re clearly trying to appeal to the ‘hipster’ type (not that I appreciate such labels) liberal, open minded. I doubt they’d join allegiance with such small minded, regressive, chauvinists.

        Next they’ll be saying no Blacks allowed!
        Replace the word women with Blacks. You see what happens?
        Welcome to America’s 1930s.

        I think any slightly well-read, intelligent person will see fault in this.


  2. Shop looks great ,obviously has some backing.don’t agree with the attitude of no woman,no bullshit.the hair cut was fine .nothing special. I think it’s a guy who has a massive ego ,the cuts should do the talking.have u read some of the abuse he rambles on twitter.cut out the tough guy image,don’t live in the dark ages be happy ,live and let live.and let the woman have a seat


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