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How to Become a Barber in London

So you want to become a barber in London?

If you haven’t noticed, the male grooming industry is pretty much booming at the moment. Social media is erupting with tutorial videos and there have never been so many products available to help the everyday London gentleman maintain his look. Gone are the days of the short back and sides, and in come the consultations, skin fades, styling techniques, beard sculpting and the more.

For those of you who do not know, we have a barber training facility located in the basement here at Strap and Scraper London. We’ve been getting a lot of enquiries in for our barber training courses recently, so thought it would be best to break down our frequently asked questions and provide some answers to those looking to become a barber in London.

1) Do I need any prior qualifications/experience to become a barber?

No, not at all. Everyone has to start from somewhere! We cannot teach experience as it is something that comes over time, but what we can do is lay the foundations to help you grow and progress.

2) What accreditation should I look for to become a barber?

The minimum requirement for becoming a qualified barber is to achieve anything equal to a level 2 National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in Barbering, accredited by VTCT. Once you have got the basics out of the way with the NVQ Level 2, you can then potentially start to look at level 3 and more.

3) Where is the best place to study to become a barber?

When searching for barber courses, there are a few key points you should be looking for:

  • How large are the training groups? The smaller the training groups the better as this tends to results in more one on one training
  • Do I want to learn in a college or academy? Whilst college may seem like the most natural option, training can take up to a year. Training to become a barber with an academy on the other hand, allows for a more intensive training process over a shorter time frame.
  • Will I get enough practical experience? In our case, yes. We like to integrate our barber shop space with our academy students by getting them to cut models’ hair upstairs on our shop floor, to allow them to really grasp the environment of a working barber shop.

4) How long will it take to get qualified as a barber?

Our NVQ Level 2 barber courses run from Mon-Fri for 10 weeks, but as stated, some college courses can take up to a year. Ten weeks is plenty of time to gain your NVQ qualification and feel confident doing any haircut. We also have a large database of models to keep you busy and trial your newly acquired skills!

5) How easy is it to find a job as a barber? 

Landing your first job as a barber is not easy, and we will do all that we can to help by providing references, tips, advice. However ultimately, it is down to the individual. Someone walking from shop-to-shop introducing themselves and explaining their situation, is more likely to find work over someone who is sitting indoors sending the odd email here and there. So, our answer is that it all depends on YOU and your work ethic.

6) What kind of money can a newly qualified barber expect to earn?

It can completely vary. Some barber shops offer an hourly rate, some offer commission per cut, some will rent a chair out to you, and some do a mixture of all three,  so you will need to decide what works for you. Our advice once you have completed one of our barber courses is just to make sure that you keep cutting. The quicker you are in a place, the faster you gain more knowledge and experience to become a better barber. This is a decision you need to evaluate for yourself. Certain things to take into consideration however are:

  • The pay can be pretty low to begin with BUT ask yourself if the barber shop in question is one that you can progress in. Do they look like they will invest time in you? If so, you should probably stick it out. Usually, more progress will result in higher pay within time.
  • So what if you have been offered a job but they do not look like they are willing to invest time in you? Well rather than turn down work, we would say accept the role and discuss the prospects with your potential employer. If it does not look like it is working out then continue your search whilst working. At least you will be still be developing your skills for the next opportunity that arises.

In summary:

  • You don’t need any prior experience to become a barber.
  • The only accreditation you need to begin with is anything equal to a level 2 NVQ in barbering.
  • You can get fully qualified as a barber in as little as 10 weeks.
  • Look for small group training for more one-to-one learning time.
  • Facilities with a barber shop on site will give you better on the job work experience.
  • Finding a job as a barber is tough, but those who are proactive and willing to continue learning will do best.
  • Like any job, the greater your experience and client base, the more you can earn.

To find out more about our barber courses head on over to or email us at



Our Shoreditch Hot Spots

Time on your hands after your hair cut?

A common question we receive here at our Shoreditch barbershop, Strap and Scraper London, is

where is a good place to go after my trim?

As good as it is in our fine establishment, you need somewhere to show off your great haircut once it’s complete, right?


Where To Go in Shoreditch?

So here’s our small list of eatteries, coffee shops, public houses and anything else thats a good hang out spot in Brick Lane and Shoreditch.

Coffee shops

Lets start with our coffee shops as we have previously brushed up on this before.  We said that Square Mile and All Press are to coffee, what we are to barbering……..DAMN GOOD.  You have Bell Boi right by Brick Lane and the Ace Hotel smack bang in the middle of Shoreditch selling this fine espresso coffee. Be sure to check them out!

Our newest addition to the coffee gang though is Cross Town. They are located on Brick Lane and it isn’t just the coffee we are big fans of, it’s the doughnuts too! Just wait until you see the flavours.


A couple Pubs/Bars we find ourselves in after a fine day of sprucing up Shoreditch with London’s finest cuts are Big Chill, not much of a hidden gem. It’s likely that anyone who’s been to Shoreditch knows about this place BUT it’s never too mobbed during the week and we like the beverages and the odd game of table football. We also regularly head into the Carpenters Arms which can be found on our very own Cheshire Street. This fine little boozer does it all. Great beers, great food and even a roast on Sundays.


Our pick of the bunch for food has to begin with our tasty vegan treats down in Boxpark Shoreditch. Vegan doner kebabs and vegan Turkish pizzas by What The Pitta is a lunch time favourite. A meal and a drink at Smoke Stak always goes down well, located close to Brick Lane, we highly recommend this one!

Hang Out

We occasionally like to step into the Magic Roundabout in Old Street station. A great hang out spot and place to bring friends. If you don’t already know then get yourself and some pals down there.  Lastly, we have Strap and Scraper London barbershop of course! I mean a hair cut, a shave, a beard sculpt, a coffee, a beer and some damn good conversations and tunes. We got it all 😉 Plus, you just won’t have the same enjoyable experience visiting these places if you don’t start your venture without a stroll through our barbershop doors.

If you try out any of our recommendations please let us know next time you are in or feel free to drop us a line!


Who Are We?

Welcome to Strap and Scraper London barbershop.

A Victorian themed London barbershop and vintage male grooming hub in the heart of Shoreditch/Brick Lane. We have been open just under 2 months now and familiarised ourselves with the street and area. We couldn’t be happier! The diverse streets of Shoreditch have given us a wide range of haircuts and beards coming through the door.

Shoreditch Barbershop Barbershop London London Barbershop Barbershop Shoreditch Brick Lane Barbershop

So who are we?

We are a traditional London barbershop offering haircuts, beard grooming, cut throat razor shaves and skin treatments. When you walk through our doors you will receive the Strap and Scraper London treatment. Great tunes from our playlist, coffees and beers and the finest cuts in London all blend together for a damn good time and allow you to escape from the bustling environment the city can dish out.

Get to know!

Our playlist is just as diverse as the cuts coming through the door. Ranging from old age soul and Motown to a bit of Indie. We are HUGE fans of up and coming acts especially if they are from the U.K. We are always up for exploring new music for our playlist so any recommendations do let us know! A couple of new artists we like that are already on our playlist: Tom Grennan especially his tune Sweet Hallelujah, Jelani Blackman and his track Submarine. We have plenty more but those are the pick for this month.

We are also big on our coffee at Strap and Scraper London. Located in Shoreditch where you are spoilt for choice for cool coffee shops, you end up becoming some what of a coffee connoisseur. Here are a couple of espresso brands we like to drink when venturing on our lunch breaks or days off up town: All Press Coffee is a favourite and lucky for us there are a couple of neighbouring shops on Brick Lane roasting up these bad boys. We also love sipping a cup of Square Mile Coffee, Again this fine tasting espresso is not too far from us and in and around the Shoreditch area.

Check us out!

So now that we have introduced ourselves please check out our Youtube video for a further insight into Strap and Scraper London Barbershop and a bit about our history! Whilst you are there please comment, like and share! #Rhymes #StrappedIn.