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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

J&P Makes the Cut




For many Englishmen, the thought of a trip to the barber's evokes memories of a sullen man called Tony, six-month-old copies of Titbits, The Sun newspaper and a shelfful of condoms for the barber to nod toward and inquire, "If Sir would like 'something for the weekend ...'"


Jonathan and Tamara Pare? are aiming to break the mold in their new barbershop, J&P Barbers and Perfumers, which opened earlier this month in Moscow.


They look toward Ian Matthews, the guru of the English men's hairstyling world and multiple winner of the barber-of-the-year award. With his own shop in London's posh Mayfair area, Matthews is considered the top-notch expert on cutting hair in the classic English fashion - and even founded the world's first shaving school.


Barber to John Major when the latter was prime minister, Matthews has given shaving lessons in New York and London, appeared on "The Generation Game," "This Morning" and "The Clothes Show" in England and "Live With Regis and Kathie Lee" in the United States. He will come to Moscow in February and plans to visit regularly from then on to work on clients and give more training to the shop's staff.


Tamara Pare?, who previously managed Chesterfields Cafe and the Horse and Hound, said part of the inspiration for the shop was the treatment her broker husband had gotten in barbershops around Moscow.


"It's very expensive," said Pare?, "And they don't appreciate the client."


Marked by the traditional barber's pole and housed above the Beverly Hills casino, the new shop aims to attract an expat clientele - and win its loyalty. Pare? plans to cater to those who want a good, quick, efficient haircut and/or shave from four barbers personally trained by Matthews.


Her shop is a deluxe version of the standard English barbershop, with the familiar dentist chairs, a leather three-piece suite in the waiting area and a typical collection of the latest English magazines - FHM, Arena, GQ and Loaded, with hopes of having English papers as well, including, maybe, an appearance from The Sun. It also stocks a wide range of Ian Matthews hair, shaving and grooming products and intends eventually to expand its assortment to accessories, such as suspenders, cigar-cutters and cufflinks.


The traditional British haircut is marked by the short back and sides of the sergeant-major type. But despite its contemporary look, the style originated in the 17th or 18th century when, without the benefits of shampoo or conditioning rinse, gentlemen simply shaved their heads to fight off lice and nits. The back and sides were shaven especially close so that no unsightly hairs would poke out from underneath the customary wig.


"Classic always stays classic," says chief barber David Sirunyan, 32, who has 12 years' experience in Russia and abroad. "It remains forever ... [but] it doesn't mean we won't do modern."


They may do modern, but they won't do women. Although Pare? is not after a "club" atmosphere, she thinks it's easier to have only male customers.


"I find that men are shier inside, especially in private procedures like washing hair," says Pare?.


A simple dry cut costs $25 and the management guarantees a quick one - 15 minutes on average, 30 minutes at the most. The standard cut is a two-wash, style and dry that costs $30, although the shop is currently running a 10 percent discount.


J&P Barbers can also advise you on the best way to shave and how to get the most out of your hair. Don't expect miracles on your first visit though, as they say it takes time for a barber to get to know his customer's hair.


"Probably the next haircut will be the best," Tamara Pare? says. "And it's best to stick to one hairdresser."


Other tips include having a regular cut every four or so weeks and avoiding alcohol-based aftershaves - you'll find the gels are much gentler.


As of next week, besides a shave and a haircut, the shop will offer pedicures and manicures from their own chiropodist.


J&P Barbers and Perfumers, 1 Kudrinskaya Ploshchad, 252-1273, Mon. to Sat. 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Metro Barrikadnaya/Krasnopresnenskaya.