New vintage barbers is a cut above

Joey McKinlay at the Gentlemen's Lounge in Bovingdon, with her Staffie Buster
Joey McKinlay at the Gentlemen's Lounge in Bovingdon, with her Staffie Buster

A barber with more than 25 years experience has finally realised her dream of opening her own shop.

Joey McKinlay, 43, from Hemel Hempstead, opened her Gentlemen’s Lounge Barber in Bovingdon less than a month ago, and has been so busy she has already had to hire another member of staff.

Joey McKinlay at the Gentlemen's Lounge in Bovingdon, with her Staffie Buster

Joey McKinlay at the Gentlemen's Lounge in Bovingdon, with her Staffie Buster

Joey, who has set up the quirky business at 88a High Street, said: “This is my first business, but I’ve wanted it for 26 years. I came into some money and I thought, why not? I was really taken with this place.”

Joey began learning her trade in the early 90s after a Greek-Cypriot barber took her under his wing at his shop in Camden, London.

She said: “He had me shaving balloons with a cut-throat razor, so every time it popped I had to start again.

“It was a very messy way to learn, but it took me about a week to get used to the weight and angle of the cut-throat.”

Joey’s traditional hot towel shave has already proven very popular, and her former female clients have followed her to her new premises.

Walking through the door is like stepping back in time, with furnishings like Chesterfield sofas, vintage barbers’ chairs and Victorian sideboards.

Joey said: “I wanted it to be like walking into a living room – it’s like something out of Mr Selfridge. I’ve been collected bits and pieces for years, like the vintage barbers’ pole, and I’ve picked stuff up from auctions, skips, you name it.”

Joey will offer a personal barber service to grooms-to-be in the near future.