New boys in town offer a First Class cut and shave

While there is plenty of choice for women who use hair and beauty services in Oundle, now men have a new destination for traditional men’s grooming.

First Class Turkish Barbers is a new family-run barbers in the Market Place, offering a full service menu.

The shop is staffed by two brothers and their cousin who have all been cutting hair since they were teenagers. Customer care is their first concern. “We always worry about how we can make our customers feel comfortable,” the manager Hilmi Kutlubay said.


Lots of barbers can provide a good cut, but they provide more than a haircut. First Class pampers customers with the services of a traditional Turkish barber. Customers are welcomed with a hot drink, and are treated to massages and hot towels. In addition to trendy cuts such as the popular skin fade cut, they offer wet shaves, beard styling, eyebrow threading and nose and ear waxing.

“It’s different to the traditional English way,” he explained.

Originally from Turkey, they set up their first shop in Market Harborough. The services of Turkish barbers have a proven demand across the country, and the family have found there is a market to expand their own business. The brothers visited Oundle for a day and thought it was a lovely town. Despite the competition of other barbers, they thought they could offer something different.

Some might question the introduction of a new salon to what seems a crowded market place, but in the United Kingdom, barbershops are the fastest growing retail business. In the United States, the National Association of Barber Boards estimates that the industry will be worth $26 billion by 2020.

The world of men’s grooming is growing, and people are more innovative and creative about ways to improve haircare for men. It has become part of a general movement for men to be more aware of their self-care and wellness, promoted by famous role models such as David Beckham who features in advertising for grooming products on a global scale.

Men are increasingly taking more pride in looking after themselves. Brazilian blow-dries for men are up by two-hundred percent, waxing up by eight-five percent. According to the app Treatwell, which is an online booking platform for beauty and hair in Europe, twenty-five percent of men have regular manicure appointments.

First Class offers a great barber experience, one which comes highly recommended by young and old, and early reviews have been entirely positive. “Cracking bunch of guys, really good cut and shave, would recommend,” wrote Alex James on Facebook.

Ben Clayden
December 5, 2019