Looking Right, Feeling Good ~ NST, Life & Times
11/14/2012 - 10:30

Some measure of vanity is essential these days for working men, and places offering immaculate grooming are popping up in the city, writes Sushma Veera

FOR some men, a haircut is no longer just a hair cut. And an after-shave is no longer another random purchase at the pharmacy. It is common for metropolitan men to spend time and money on grooming and pampering treatments. Gone are the days when we see men dressed and ready to go out in under three minutes. In fact, many women, including myself, agree that their spouses tend to spend longer time in front of the mirror than them. Yes, men are picking up the art of vanity. This trend is evident in the city, with the rise of grooming salons exclusively for men.

In Bangsar Shopping Centre (BSC), Kuala Lumpur, the posh Truefitt & Hill — known as the finest gentlemen’s barber and perfumer in London — provides the best in grooming products and services, giving the metrosexual man the avenue to look, and feel, his best. The well-lit salon, which is hidden from the reception area, is private and exclusive, allowing men to enjoy their treatment.


Established in 1805, this is Truefitt & Hill’s first Southeast Asia outlet. The outlet, with its feel of a typical English gentlemen’s barbershop, is warm in mahogany and walnut with traditional leather barbershop chairs. There is also an outdoor lounge where one can enjoy a nice cup of tea or smoke a cigar. Its director, Joanna Broughton, says that like its home in London, the outlet in Kuala Lumpur provides the best in grooming products and services.

“We will see a rapid growth (in men’s grooming services) as men, like women, want to look good and be well presented, whether for work or leisure.”

Services not only include haircuts and shaves by experienced barbers but also manicures, pedicures, threading, waxing and colours, in addition to complimentary shoe-shining and beverage services. The outlet also boasts a full range of skincare items as well as shaving brushes and kits for purchase, offering brands like No.10, Trafalgar and Sandalwood.

Broughton adds: “The master barbers at Truefitt & Hill here have at least 10 years’ experience in the business. They are all from the Middle East and have undergone training with our experts in England. The skills as barber have been handed down from generation to generation,”

“The badger brush and cut throat shave combination gives the best shaving experience,”

Broughton adds that although the traditions are old, the younger generation do not have to worry — the barbers are familiar with the latest cuts and styles.

She says their signature service is the Ultimate Shaving Experience, which is no ordinary shaving service. It uses its very own pre-shave oil with a hot towel wrap, giving a rejuvenating experience.

“The heat and moisture help soften the beard and open the pores, enabling a cleaner shave. This is done even during preparation for the shave, to minimise irritation and razor burns.”

For an additional RM100, in addition to the services charges, one can enjoy TrueFitt & Hill services in the comfort and privacy of the Duke’s Parlour, complete with a flat screen TV.

Touching on the brand’s history, Broughton says: “Back then, William Francis Truefitt opened the first outlet, with a significant part of his business being wig making and grooming. But it didn’t take long for his reputation to grow, and soon he was the hairdresser to the British Royal Court by Royal Appointment to His Majesty, King George III.

“Over the years, the brand name became synonymous with high society. From a humble start, Truefitt & Hill has left a lasting impression on some of the world’s most illustrious clients,” says Broughton.

Among the luminaries who have had the experience are Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant and Fred Astaire.

In addition, it has had the distinction of serving as barbers and Royal Warrant holders to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and other royal family members for the past nine reigns.


Men’s Refinery in Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya, on the other hand, helps men to give their image and body a total workout. The holistic centre offers wellness treatment and fitness regimes that are designed to help men feel and look their best.

A first in the industry, Men’s Refinery is dedicated to refining the way men look and feel.

It offers a full range of results-driven services that combines fitness, wellness and grooming.

It is also a Power Plate authorised centre, making it convenient for men to work out and have their grooming sessions all under one roof.

It is founded by Flora Remeo, who wants to educate men on how to take care of themselves better — to feel good, inside and out.

Customers can come in for a facial, a detox session, a body scrub, scalp care, hair removal, torso sculpting and a high performance fitness workout, all in one male-friendly, comfortable and minimalist setting.

Remeo strongly believes that a man should brand himself based on first impressions.

“The man of today should pay more attention to his personal grooming and wellness in order to enhance their state of being, personally and professionally, at all times. Every man has a right to be noticed and leave a lasting impression.

“It is no longer just about the car he drives or the watch he wears. Material things can only take a man so far. A fit, healthy and groomed physical impression count for more and will indeed last a lifetime. Women should play an important role in encouraging their men to make use of the services in a grooming and wellness centre,” Remeo says.

“Given the hectic schedule that we all work around, this is definitely an initiative to ease the stress of travelling,” added Remeo.

Remeo, in explaining the Power Plate, says Men’s Refinery offers toning, strengthening, healing and increasing athletic performance. She says the Power Plate fitness machine has over the past two years taken the global fitness industry by storm.

“It is known to promote health benefits such as healthier bones, increased blood circulation, weight loss and accelerate the recovery process for athletes.”