More Than A Cut: Rapscallions Barbers
Walk into Rapscallions Barbers, the newest addition to the gent’s hairdressing scene in Sheffield, and you’ll be guaranteed a warm welcome from amiable owners Paul Stone and Matthew Varley to instantly place you at ease. Throw in a comfy settee and subsequent offers of refreshment, coffee, beer, and you’re made to feel right at home amongst the quirky surroundings.
Despite the early hour at which Exposed is calling – and a Monday morning, to boot – both barbers have their hands full and are deep in conversation with respective clients. Getting to know the customer, I’m later told, is key to their ethos.
‘It’s important to treat every customer as an individual. We take our time, make each person feel comfortable and ensure they enjoy the experience,’ says local lad Paul, who has 16 years of experience in cutting hair, 12 of which was spent working on Ecclesall Road where he’s picked up a number of dedicated clients who’ve since followed him on to his new venture.
Matt, whose fade cuts are said to be amongst the finest in the city, plied his trade back in his native home of Birmingham before moving to Sheffield four years ago. The pair worked together for the best part of three years, and following an initial personality clash (they argued about who was funniest – and still disagree on the matter) both saw that they could do things slightly differently and set out to put their own stamp on the local barbering scene.
Situated just a stone’s throw from Hunter’s Bar, the surprisingly spacious unit – previously a vintage clothes shop – blends the contemporary with a classic, rustic feel and has been laid out in a way which encourages interaction between barbers and clients. Rather than lining the walls of the room, the stations face each other as the owners strive to create a sociable atmosphere to reflect their own outgoing, approachable personalities.
It all works like a charm and the store hums with the sound of animated chatter and frequent bursts of laughter. The duo are at pains to disassociate themselves from the ‘conveyor belt’ style of some gents hairdressers, preferring to treat each customer as an individual, and each job as ‘more than just a cut’ – a phrase which they’ve adopted as something of an unofficial company slogan. They even have a shop mascot, a miniature schnauzer called Gordon, who adds tenfold to the homely atmosphere in the store.
Great barbers don’t just enjoy cutting hair; they enjoy meeting people too. Horrified at the notion that the service they provide could ever be seen as a soulless transaction between customer and stylist, Matt and Paul speak proudly of clients often popping in just for a drink and a chat, and plans for backyard BBQs and socials once the weather improves are already in progress. It also isn’t surprising to hear that Raspscallions will soon become the only hairdressers in the city serving draught beer, with a pump courtesy of the Brew Foundation soon to be installed.
Specialising in a range of styles, from long hair to zero fades, Matt tells us that at a time when fashion moves quickly, the ability to cater to a variety of needs is vital for a high quality, personal service. ‘We’re here for everyone. Being a good barber involves giving the customer exactly what they want – and we like to get to know them a bit while we’re at it.’
Cut and finish – £19.95
Student – £17.65
Head shave – £7
Beard trim – £5
619 Ecclesall Road, S11 8BT
0114 266 0800