From tea and biscuits to hand-drawn wall art, Blue-Collar Barbering might just be your new favourite hairdressers…
Look alive people, Leeds’ oldest street has a brand new opening. Blue-Collar Barbering is the latest addition to Kirkgate. It’s slotted in neatly beside Doghouse and Wapentake. Dishing out the finest haircuts in Leeds, the shop houses eight of the city’s finest barbers, coming from all walks of life to form a “dysfunctional family” under one roof. This motley crew aren’t afraid of hard graft and never say no a natter, so you’re sure to find a barber here that you can get along with. But what brought them together?
In their own words, potential. “We feel that Kirkgate is going to become the place to be for independent and creative spaces in Leeds over the next few years”, Paul told us. “Being the oldest street in Leeds, we feel very proud to become a part of its history and look forward to being part of its bright future.” The street has had serious restoration work across the past few years, with £105,133 alone going toward renovating Blue-Collar’s building with a grant from the Townscape Heritage Initiative. Add in a £2 million restoration of nearby First White Cloth Hall, as well as more shop openings on the horizon, and it’s no surprise that Kirkgate is in vogue for new Leeds independents.
When it comes to the service, Blue-Collar Barbering has an old-school vibe, so you’re not limited to a time slot or rushed out the door. There are no airs and graces here. Instead, you’re welcome to hang around for a chat and a brew downstairs, or relax in the waiting area upstairs, which has a dart board, cards and dominos to keep you occupied. This is one place where you’re more likely to see strangers having a chit-chat with a biscuit than gazing at their phone. Plus, keep an eye out for Peggy the Blue-Collar puppy, who can often be found in her doggy bed just waiting to be scratched behind the ears.
Talking is something that’s central to the shop’s ethos, as they’re strong advocates for speaking up about men’s mental health, and they have plans in place to raise awareness. In particular, they’re going to be working with Andy’s Man Club, the Yorkshire-based charity behind viral suicide-prevention campaign ‘It’s OK To Talk’. As Paul puts it, “We’re more than a barbers. We’re a social hub for Leeds’ weird and wonderful people, so come in, relax and take your mind off things for a while.”
The barber’s decor takes on a little of that weird and wonderful theme too, with dark blue walls, hanging plants and framed pencil sketches decorating the walls. Everything in Blue-Collar Barbering is custom made, using only local independent tradesmen. The interiors were crafted from steel and reclaimed timber by Leeds’ very own Curiosity Allotment, while the signage was painted by local tattoo artist Jake Hicks.
But of course, Blue-Collar Barbering deliver on the most important part too – the trims. Whether you want a fade, a crop or a short back and sides, they’re confident you’ll walk out of the shop feeling a million dollars. The barbers here have been working in some of Leeds’ best salons, including King Koby, Toni & Guy and Tracks, so you can rest assured you’re in good hands. The prices aren’t extortionate either. A gent’s cut & finish will cost you £25, or £10 if you’re happy to let a student barber do it. Meanwhile, a beard trim is a tenner, a grade 1-4 buzz cut is £15 and a short back & sides is £25.
If you’re looking for a friendly and relaxed hairdressers with a keen sense of style, Blue-Collar Barbering is the place to go. So why not pop in and see what they can do for your hair?
Blue-Collar Barbering, 90 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DJ. It’s open from 10am to 6pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10am to 8pm on Thursdays, 9am to 5pm on Saturdays.