Though they have a loyal following on Instagram and now TikTok (with a handful of celebrities sliding into their DMs), when Nick and Sean started out in the industry aged 15 and 18 respectively, they weren't even sure they wanted to cut hair. "Neither of us knew we'd be hairdressers," Nick told R29. "We were interested in business at first but cutting hair soon became an obsession for both of us and, while learning our craft, we realised that we were always slightly more obsessed with hair than anyone else."
The infatuation is obvious. Nick and Sean refer to themselves as the "new kids on the block" but you only have to scroll through their social media feed for a couple of seconds to realise that they are industry legends in the making. From chic, Italian-inspired bobs to '70s-esque curtain bangs and flattering, face-framing layers, every single one of their creations is guaranteed to convince you to book in for a chop.
It's difficult not to get sucked in by the countless hair trends currently filtering through salons (the wolf cut, the shag, the mullet...). The Hair Bros can do all of those but they champion one in particular: simply, The Cut. The Cut is a style that is totally unique to you as an individual. Doing away with the cookie-cutter styles typical of many London salons, Nick and Sean want you to do one small thing before your appointment: wash your hair that morning or even the night before and let it air-dry. Why? They want to make the most of your natural texture.
"The concept behind The Cut was seeing people's hair every day when they just wake up," said Nick. "It's tailored to your specific needs and to your routine," and that, they say, is the key to a beautiful haircut. Believe it or not, The Cut actually came about by accident. "A lot of our best ideas happen this way," said Sean with an admirable nonchalance. In previous salons, most clients didn't have enough time for a style at the end of their cut (though you're never rushed at The Hair Bros) but Nick and Sean much preferred the accidentally perfect look and feel that air-drying gave to everyone's lengths, regardless of texture.
Instead of cutting wet hair, The Hair Bros use a plant mister (yes, really) to dampen lengths ever so slightly before getting to work. "Everyone's hair looks the same when it's wet," said Nick. "Sometimes you go into a salon, have your hair washed straightaway and the stylist hasn't even seen it. We start from a dry perspective and always at the front so the client can see what we're doing. That way, we both know exactly how it's going to look." Of course, you have a say in the style you're after but Nick and Sean are so excellent at their job that most clients leave them to it entirely. "We think about longevity and how it can become a great haircut," said Nick. "You could have amazing textured hair but it's only as good as the haircut and it's crazy that some people might never know what their hair is capable of. You don't want a carbon copy of someone else's haircut."
As a beauty editor, I'm lucky enough to have had my hair cut at some brilliant London salons but I've never wanted to book into any space more than The Hair Bros on Chelsea's Sydney Street. Their retro bobs (inspired by the coolest French and Italian influencers of yesteryear) and chic, Farrah Fawcett-esque fringes are bang on trend for winter 2021. My lacklustre tresses couldn't be further from those dreamy, vintage styles. All one length (and totally frazzled from both bleach and dye), my hair has been in dire need of attention for a while now. But I'm indecisive. Do I get a sleek bob like Kourtney Kardashian or curtain bangs like Phoebe Dynevor? Do I want to go short? Do I want layers? The Cut was obviously my best bet at achieving a look that suits me perfectly.
In the chair, Nick asked me what I like about my hair. "We always open the consultation in this way," said Sean, as it allows the stylist to emphasise these aspects for a cut you love. When it's not humid, I like my hair's natural wave and volume but I mindlessly straighten it away every single morning. Cue split ends and limp tresses. Though Nick and Sean could create your perfect style with their eyes closed, they encourage picture references, too, so I pointed to this amazing bob on their Instagram page. "You can take elements of that style and what you love about it and implement it on your own hair," said Sean.
Before Nick started cutting, he used his hands to fashion a faux curtain fringe. Like magic, my hair looked better instantly. Nick used a combination of sharp scissors and a hair razor (an old school cutting technique that's making a huge comeback thanks to Instagram) to create some much-needed texture and movement. In just under an hour, my nothingy lengths were transformed into the textured bob of my dreams. I can wear it so many ways, too: in the centre (where the curtain bangs frame my face) or – my favourite style – flipped over to one side where the layered lengths fall beautifully without me even having to try.
It's no wonder The Hair Bros are booked and busy. Thanks to the pandemic, hairstyling and heated tools have taken a backseat for many of us. Now, it's all about emphasising what we've got without the fuss. "We'll show you how to love your natural hair," said Sean, and that's certainly true for me. "Embrace it two or three times a week and by all means have a blow-dry the other days, because that's also going to look amazing on a signature cut. We don't want to get rid of that but we want you to think, I don't need to do anything to my hair today because it still looks really good."
I asked Nick and Sean if they have any tips and tricks for those who are a little scared of their natural texture. "Even little things like not brushing your hair when it's dry really help," said Sean. "We've seen so many women who haven't left the house with air-dried hair before and they realise it's actually so nice on them. Sometimes, just doing nothing is effective." Sean added: "Simply comb when wet, put in a bit of styling cream [they recommend Kiehl's and Hair Story], tuck your hair behind your ears and it'll give it that nice framing effect around the face. Commit to not touching it throughout the day." Nick also used a cloth hairdryer diffuser, which very cleverly controls the heat from the hairdryer, preventing frizz and flyaways. I'll be investing in one ASAP. Nick used his hands to scrunch my misted hair into shape.
Unlike plenty of top London salons, Nick and Sean are well versed in a wealth of hair types and textures, from afro hair and curls to waves, very thick lengths and more. The shop space is as impressive as Nick and Sean's credentials and harks back to a time when getting your hair cut was truly an experience. "We looked at the old school hairdressers and how everyone carried themselves," said Sean. "Leonard of Mayfair and Vidal Sassoon, for example. Everyone was smartly dressed and the salons were the places to go. We just thought, Why is the industry not like that anymore?" And so the Sydney Street salon was born (soon to be expanded to meet growing demand). The retro chic feel mirrors the nostalgic cuts. "We always wanted an old-fashioned shop front," said Nick. "The street hasn't changed one bit, which we love. It always feels like a treat coming to this area with the park and King's Road, which has so much history and nostalgia."
I think 'treat' is definitely the right word to describe an appointment with The Hair Bros. I left the salon feeling cool for the first time ever, and knowing my new cut is going to make my life so much easier (goodbye, straighteners) is a weight off. Head to thehairbros.com to make an appointment enquiry. I promise you won't be disappointed.
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