Wowcher Reviews Ted’s Grooming Room

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Wowcher-Blogger-ID-Josh-Glenn

Getting my hair cut is something I try to avoid at all costs. Spending way above the odds to make forced conversation with someone as they misunderstand what you asked for and butcher your ‘do is a necessary evil, but it’s one that I dread all the same. If only there were a place filled not with barbers but with artists, a place where people are dedicated to painstakingly crafting your appearance and sending you out into the world with a spring in your step and a damn fine new look to boot. Alas, such a magical place can’t exist… right?

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As I walk through the doors of Ted Baker’s Shoreditch-based Grooming Room, though, I can tell that this isn’t going to be like any barbershop I’ve been to before. Enthusiastically greeted by my soon-to-be stylist, I am welcomed inside and placed in one of the charmingly old-school hairdressing chairs. He asks what I would like doing, before eagerly awaiting my instructions and hanging on my every word. Once I have finished explaining – basically, I just want the general mess that is my mop to be tidied up – he gets right to it, wasting no time in kicking my Full ‘Ted’ Service into gear and showing that, when it comes to male pampering, the only way is Turkish.

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In a flash, my hair has been washed, the trimmer selected and my locks carefully snipped. After what seems like each cut, he takes a step back and surveys his work to ensure that it’s up to his usual standards. In this moment, I am less a Wowcher writer testing out an experience and more a mini-David being sculpted by a Michelangelo. Once he’s finished, he washes my hair again and shows off his work. It’s one of the best cuts I’ve ever had.

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Following a fleeting break involving a sensational cup of Turkish coffee, we’re right back at work. He trims my eyebrows (which isn’t something I was even aware of as being a thing) and asks me whether I’d like my ears ‘doing’. Unsure of what exactly this entails, I decide to throw caution to the wind and say yes. Out of nowhere he produces a cotton bud – which he proceeds to light on fire – and begins swatting my ear-hole like he’s taking care of a fly at a picnic. It’s not something I would have thought to ask for of my own accord, but I have to admit that it was a cleansing experience.

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This is where things start to get really interesting. I’m of a generation of men to whom a beard is a fierce source of identity, so I think long and hard when I’m asked whether or not I want a shave. Out of my duty to the Wowcher users, though, I decide that I must commit to going the full ‘Ted’ and tell him that, yes, I would.

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Just like that, he wraps a hot towel around my face, gently massaging my jawline and opening my pores in a way that they’ve never been opened before. He lathers me up in shaving foam from ear to ear and starts priming his Sweeny Todd razor with the focus of a master sculptor. Once he’s circled me and surveyed his task from every angle, he jumps right in. I’m not going to lie: this is the first time an exposed blade has been that close to my throat, and it’s something of a startling experience, to say the least. But not once did my trust in my shaver waver, his steady hand, firm gaze and dedication to doing the best job he could seeing me through. The end result is a closer shave than I’ve ever had before, showing me parts of my face that I didn’t even know existed.

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I look at my smooth visage – which now resembles that of a 12-year-old – for a brief moment, before being plunged back beneath a very welcome hot towel. But that isn’t all: without warning, he begins rubbing my shoulders, then my arms, and then my hands. He moves on to the back of my neck and, finally, my head, massaging me with a firm hand but, nonetheless, easing me into a state of zen-like bliss that is unlike anything I’ve encountered before. It could have lasted for twenty seconds or twenty years – in my sleep-like haze, I lost track of time.

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Unfortunately, the clock tells me that my session is rapidly approaching its end, and so things start getting wrapped up. Aftershave is slapped on my face and my hair is painstakingly styled to within an inch of its life, before the mirror is brought out one more time so that I can double, triple and quadruple-check that I’m definitely happy with my new style. Needless to say, I certainly am.

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I’ve been washed, trimmed, clipped, caffeinated, singed, doused, shaved, massaged and preened, getting the kind of barbershop treatment that I’d previously only dreamed of. There really is nothing quite like a Turkish grooming session, from the perfect hospitality, the endless perfectionism and the feeling of freshness I had as I left the salon. For the first time in my life, I’m actually looking forward to going back. Next time you need taking care of, make sure you go full Ted. You won’t look back.

For your own Turkish pampering experience at Ted’s Grooming Room, head over to our indulgent deal here. If you’d prefer a simple cut, head to our deal over here. Don’t forget to keep an eye on Wowcher.co.uk for more unique male grooming experiences!