Creating space for a whiskey, a chat and a close shave

Lottie Twyford15 May 2021
Barber cutting man's hair at Truefitt & Hill

Truefitt & Hill turns an ordinary haircut into a memorable experience. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

“I just want a haircut, no fuss, no bother – straight in and straight out,” say many men.

Or do they?

There are plenty of people who say going to the barber is about more than walking out with a clean shave and fresh cut.

Truefitt & Hill regional manager John Murphy says they pride themselves on creating an atmosphere where gents feel relaxed enough to stay for longer, and bond with friends, their dad, or even the guy cutting their hair.

“We know it’s harder for men to open up than it should be,” he says.

In fact, the multiple occasions when John has seen clients moved to tears stick with him.

“Blokes tend to share things with their barbers they otherwise would be inclined to keep private from people they have been close with for a long time,” he says.

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“Sometimes it’s easier to let your guard down in a neutral setting when you’ve decided to let yourself have some ‘me-time’.”

It’s also no secret the Brumbies treat themselves to Truefitt & Hill’s royal experience, picking it as their preferred barber.

It’s not easy, of course, for all blokes to get into this level of pampering, as well as justifying the higher price point.

Truefitt & Hill’s managing director, Khushwant Dhanoa – better known as KD – openly admits he was a sceptic at first, saying it was his wife who first bought him a gift voucher for the barber back in Malaysia.

Man behind counter at Truefitt & Hill

It’s like stepping back in time when you walk through the door at Truefitt & Hill. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

“At the time, a haircut for me was just a necessity, and I just went along to the local equivalent of Just Cuts until my wife finally encouraged me to treat myself,” he says.

That initial experience stuck with him, and he later brought the franchise to Australia, opening the first store in Canberra’s CBD in 2018.

The store is proud to continue the tradition of a barbershop being not only a place to come and get your hair cut, or a close shave, but a meeting space to create connections between fathers and sons, brothers or friends.

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One experience KD remembers well is a man who had booked himself and his brother in for an hour session, and after inquiring as to what the occasion was, it transpired they hadn’t seen each other in quite some time due to military deployment.

It’s Truefitt & Hill’s ability to provide an environment for this kind of unique experience that is getting it recognised within the barber industry.

Khushwant Dhanoa and John Murphy at Truefitt & Hill

Khushwant Dhanoa and John Murphy of Truefitt & Hill are proud of their royal service. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

In fact, Truefitt & Hill was named best hairdresser at the 2020 Canberra Region Local Business Awards.

“We want to provide something you can’t get anywhere else around town,” says John.

One thing that really sets the barber apart is when you book an appointment, you’re invited to remain until the end of your slot, no matter how much or how little hair you’ve got.

And while you get your hair done, you’ll be offered a single malt whiskey to enjoy.

Truefitt & Hill is located at Shop 4b, 21 Genge Street in Canberra’s CBD.

Original Article published by Lottie Twyford on The RiotACT.

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