Murdock London Covent Garden

Murdock London – expert barbers for modern, style-conscious men

For over a decade, Murdock London’s barbershops, located on iconic streets, have offered the finest, contemporary take on the traditional men’s barbershop experience. Built on the mutual trust between a man and his barber, Murdock London is a haven for men to kick back, relax with a drink, and leave ready to conquer the world. Their expert barbers have created a carefully curated range of performance products to take the Murdock London Barbershop experience home. Their brand heritage respectfully nods to the finest barbershops of Victorian London and an English way of doing things: meticulous attention to detail, inherent good manners and artisanal values they share with tailors of Savile Row. Mr Hudson speaks to Sam Hickey, Head Barber, about his passion for barbering, the Murdock London brand and some of his favourite places.

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Tell us about yourself

Hi, I’m Sam Hickey, Head Barber at Murdock London. I’m 27 years old, I’m originally from Essex but have worked in London for the last nine years across a variety of our barbershop locations as well as the USA.

What made you decide to become a barber?

Funnily enough, I actually wanted to become a history teacher! However, I didn’t enjoy further education as much as I thought, so I explored other avenues that encompassed my passions of music, fashion and creativity. It’s not something I’d ever thought about doing until my barber at the time was looking for an apprentice and offered me the chance to come and work in his shop under his tutelage. I took the plunge and never looked back.

What is it you enjoy most about your job?

I don’t see barbering as a job. I enjoy turning up at the store every day, seeing my colleagues (who I’d also call my friends) and catching up with the many different clients who take a seat in my chair whether it be for a haircut, beard trim or wet shave.

Sam Hickey of Murdock London

Sam Hickey

Murdock London

What does the Murdock London brand stand for?

What we stand for is a place where any gentleman can come in for a service, feel relaxed and at ease while we as barbers perform our ‘magic’. We want to create a haven for guys to take away any stresses from day-to-day life and to ensure this is a constant place of relaxation for everyone. We use all of our own products, which are designed specifically for men, created by us barbers and all made in the UK. No fuss, just handsome!

“We as barbers naturally build authentic relationships with our clients in the chair, talking about all sorts of subjects from sports to fashion to daily life and wellbeing”

What makes Murdock London special?

Everything. I genuinely believe that from the moment you walk through the door of one of our barbershops, greeted with a drink of choice and take a seat in the waiting area you’re instantly part of the Murdock London family. We as barbers naturally build authentic relationships with our clients in the chair, talking about all sorts of subjects from sports to fashion to daily life and wellbeing. That is what makes Murdock London special.

What product do customers keep coming back for?

We get a lot of repeat custom for a fair few of our products. Our award-winning Beard Moisturiser, our key hair product Sea Salt Spray and our signature Black Tea cologne are the most sought-after products. All of our products are also entirely paraben & sulphate-free, which is a massive plus for a lot of guys who are into keeping their grooming regime Clean Label.

Black Tea Cologne Murdock London

Murdock London

How has the male grooming market evolved over the last decade?

It’s evolved massively. Due to men nowadays owning more openness to spending disposable income on grooming, the market has boomed. There are new and innovative products being released constantly, different formulas being used to make products more eco-friendly and more beneficial for a gentleman’s skin, hair, beard and overall grooming regime. It’s clear to see that it’s expanded as certain companies spent over $1billion in advertising last year just on razors due to the change from men being clean-shaven to now embracing the beard.

“The barbershop is a sanctuary where men can get a great haircut, have some good conversation, stock up on their grooming products & leave with a smile on their face”

What are some current trends in male grooming?

The beard is very much still ‘in’ which is clear to see walking down any high street. Men are also very much – in terms of hair – going for a slightly longer look and moving away from the standard’ short back and sides’. Another huge trend in the male grooming market is that men are now starting to look after their skin better than ever. The use of facial scrubs, moisturisers and eye serums has doubled over the past few years. This means we see a lot of gents coming into the barbershop and adding one of our signature services – ‘The Facial’ onto their appointment, so they feel additionally revitalised and rehydrated after a trim.

How do you keep up with changing customer expectations?

We continuously ask our customers and clients for their honest opinions on what is working for them and how we can improve our services and products to tailor to the genuine needs of men. We also ask people about anything we don’t stock or produce, which might be beneficial to aiding a grooming regime. This sometimes allows us to find a gap in the market in terms of products.

Murdock London

Why is Murdock London so popular with the gay community?

At Murdock London, we strive to offer exceptional service both in and out of the chair. We have always been an inclusive brand and welcome everyone into our stores. The barbershop is a sanctuary where men can get a great haircut, have some good conversation, stock up on their grooming products & leave with a smile on their face. We have a varied clientele with different needs from a barber and the barbershop and we are able to fulfil each of these with ease.

What makes London such a great destination?

London is a melting pot of everything you can imagine or want a great city to be. The sights of London cannot be rivalled, and the culture is phenomenal! Whether it’s a brisk walk along the Thames, a dinner date in the heart of Soho or a night exploring the bars in Shoreditch, London has something for everyone. It truly is a fantastic city and one I’m proud to call home.

What are some of your favourite places in London that people need to know about?

Where do I start, there’s way too many to choose! I’m a massive fan of Lina Stores restaurant down on Greek Street as their pasta dishes are to die for and it has a great atmosphere. I’m partial to a good pint so when I’m in town, you can often find me at either The Duke of Argyll on Brewer Street (just down from the shop) or The Blue Posts on Rupert Street. Sunday is my favourite day of the week, so you can typically spot me wandering around Columbia Road flower market then onwards to Broadway Market for some lunch at The Dove. I’d also recommend heading to The Golden Heart in Spitalfields for a cold pint of Guinness before dinner at The English Restaurant on Brushfield Street. All of these places offer something different and for me make London what it is.

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