Ruffians – Razors and Drambuie!

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Last week Edinburgh Whisky Blog recieved an interesting invitation from another Edinburgh based company. We were invited to come and check out Ruffians, a stylish barber looking “to redefine male grooming and create an experience that respects the barber tradition yet enhances it with modern atmosphere and confidence”. As well as funky hair styles and relaxing hot shaves, they also offer Drambuie 15yo during your visit and are looking to join the Edinburgh community by hosting a few events! Whisky, style and relaxation…sounds a lot like us boys from Edinburgh whisky blog! So me and Jason the bear rocked up to see what they could do with our natural beauty and hopefully become the latest style icons to hit the streets of Edinburgh (NB: On a scale of stylish guys from Edinburgh whisky blog, me and Jason probably occupy spots 4 and 5… a tough task for Ruffians).

A quick bit of history about Ruffians to begin. Ruffians is a new brand of male grooming parlours and products that was conceived by founder Andrew Cannon. The first parlour opened a few months ago, situated in the West End of Edinburgh on Queensferry Street. Andrew wanted to create a place that catered to men that wanted a premium, no nonsense, honest service that was both relaxing and high quality. The idea is to open up a selection of Ruffians parlours around the country and to release their very own range of grooming products. Ruffians products include facial scrubs, shampoos, conditioners, moisturiser and styling gels amongst others, and the idea is to build up a reputation for the products around the parlours.

When I first walked in I could tell it was definitly going to be different to my usual 5 minute hair destruction and 30 second beard tidy. The place is a modern den of fun that still manages to keep that traditional barber feel. The waiting area benches are lined with shiny ipads to browse while you wait for the stylist to come and see to you. A host takes your jacket and hangs it in a cage like locker structure in the middle of the room, displaying both the Ruffians products and a glimpse of the action on the other side. Me and Turbo are both unsure what we should get done, before realising that I have no hair and he has an abundance of it, so I opt for a shave and he goes for the haircut. We are guided over to a massive wooden table, taking up the lower level space, and set in our own stations. A Drambuie 15 is offered to us both (A cracking wee dram, not as sweet as the original with a bit more spice and depth), I take ice and Jason takes it neat. I promptly steal some of Jasons to “remind myself” what it tastes like straight.

We are then split up as he gets to peruse an ipad to look for style ideas and I get taken to a reclining seat on the upper level. The upper level is all tiles and metal lights, a combination of modern style and sterile dentist! What happened next was one of the most relaxing 45 minutes of my life. I was seated, made comfy and then told what was going to happen. Before the shaving even happened I had a hot towel over the face (so relaxing!), facial scrub applied, a face massage, and a second hot towel (pretty much asleep by now!). By this time I was so relaxed that when the Bear Neccessities came on over the speakers I was too peaceful to even shout out to Turbo that his national anthem was on…and for me that is saying something! Shaving gel was applied with a soft brush and then the close razor shaving began. The first pass is to remove the bulk and the second pass is to create an amazing smoothness around the face, they are seperated by another hot towel (zzzzz…). Finally I am moisturised before a refreshing cold towel is placed on the face, apparently to close the pores but I reckon it is to make it physically possible to make the customer wake up and move around again. Safe to say I was thoroughly relaxed by the process and my face was as smooth as Hobans butt (or so I imagine). Jason was also done and his usual scruffy mop was replaced with a tidy, sideswept look that made him look like a pretty bear rather than a scruffy one! Styled and relaxed to the max all whilst enjoying a cheeky Drambuie 15.

The whole experience is definitly worth while checking out! A nice change from the awkward, cramped barbers that I am used to anyway. If you fancy it you can check them out at http://ruffians.co.uk and keep your eyes peeled on us for any events with Edinburgh Whisky Blog that we can conjour up!

Graeme Gardiner

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