Barbershop: Empire of Steel Barber
Address: 6 Shenton Way, #03-19 OUE Downtown 2
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TLDR: If you are not keen on words, here’s a video of our barber review for you to enjoy
Welcome to our third edition of UO Barber Reviews, where we hunt for Singapore’s best barbershops and men’s hair studios.
This article has been delayed for quite a while, in fact, it was before the whole Covid-19 lockdown. I was fortunate enough to be invited for a hair cut and a hair treatment (this is a real treat) by Sean, the owner of Empire of Steel Barber. The Empire of Steel Barber is located in the heart of the business district area of Singapore at 6 Shenton Way, #03-19 Oue Downtown 2. So what’s so special about this modern barbershop? Here, we had the opportunity to speak with Sean about his background, philosophy and ambition, then we will dive straight into the haircut experience.
Sean has been in this hair craft for almost 14 years. Similar to Joel from Rogue and Beyond, he was skilled and graduated from the well known Sassoon Academy, in the United States. Since then, he did not look back but focus on mastering his craft day by day. After working in the hair saloons for almost 7 years, watching how barbering is booming, his heart started to itch as to whether to enter into this craft. Shaving, being one of the main services that barbers usually provide, is something very new to him. Eventually, Sean took the leap of faith, working with few barbers and men studios such as Sultan of Shaves and Jermyn Street to gain more experiences. After a couple of years learning the art, he started his own empire, the Empire of Steel Barber
The Stylist Himself
Sean is a very strategic and fluid person. When he started his own barbershop, he did not pursue a lot of marketing. Instead, he chose a strategic location (River Valley), emphasizing on providing good treatment and service to every client that walks in. Eventually, with word of mouth, his business grew. When I asked whether he foresees any expansion to many more barbershop, he prefers to keep to one as of now, so that he can ensure the quality of the services given by his team members. The Empire of Steel Barber is set up to target man who wants to enjoy a good haircut and hair treatment, great conversation with top-notch services, or a whisky if you would.
In terms of hair cut, Sean emphasizes on the shape when comes to a haircut, which will affect the length and density of a client’s hairstyle. This is why Sean always shares his opinion with his customer if he feels a certain style might or might not suit them. In fact, he will improvise in order to still achieve a similar style. We spoke a lot about the trade, but at the end of the day, Sean does not focus on his competitors, but rather making sure he and his team are always giving the highest standard of service to their clients consistently, ensuring their customer are satisfied and enjoyed the process.
The place is very spacious, simple yet modern. Upon entering, you could see a counter decorated with whisky on the cabinet behind. It feels “home” for every man who enters. There’s another cabinet beside, a display of some well-known brands such as Aveda for both hair styling, and hair care products.
While waiting for my turn, I can see Sean and Carlo, his fellow barber in action, at the same time keeping their customer engaged. The setup is quite similar We Need A Hero and LA Barbershop where the haircut and hair wash placement are at the same location. The sink is just right in front of the seat, a 180-degree spin to the chair could get you a hair wash.
The Hair Cut and Hair Treatment Review
I have the privilege of having Carlo to give me a haircut. From start till the end, I would give close to a perfect experience. For the hair cut, he has given very detailed attention to every inch of hair as you can see in the video at the start of this article.
He did not let a single hair behind to ensure my hair shape flows with my head shape. I have to admit I fell asleep a couple of times but hey, that shows how relaxing it can be. During the cut, he also shared some of his barbering experience in the Philippines before coming to Singapore. Overall, just for the hair cut, it took around 35 minutes.
Honestly, I did not expect the hair treatment. However, Sean was generous (I am pretty sure why it is a must) to give a complimentary hair treatment using the Aveda’s Scalp Treatment system. First off, Carlo gave a good head and shoulder massage to help me relax. Then, he proceeded with using the Aveda’s 3 step Scalp Treatment. For every step, I get a good wash and a massage, couldn’t have asked for more! In addition to the massage, a hot towel treat was a nice treat on top of the hair treatment. If you have hair thinning, you can check out more details about the Aveda treatment products below
From the haircut to the hair treatment, there’s nothing I am not satisfied. Things can’t be super perfect, but Carlo manages to ensure my hair shape is on point though he needed to clean up a few times. For the hair treatment, I would give it a perfect 10. The product works for me and the massage was top notch. With that, the Empire of Steel Barber deserves to be in our list of Top Barbershops in Singapore.
Empire of Steel Barber
Address: 6 Shenton Way, #03-19 Oue Downtown 2
Mon – Fri: 11am – 8pm
Sat – Sun: 10am – 7pm
Please share with us by commenting below what other barbershops that deserve to be recognized. We would like to hear from you!
You may want to check out our best hair styling products or men’s grooming products! For more hairstyles, we have selected some of the top hairstyles that you can choose from based on your face shape. Follow our Instagram, Twitter, Facebook for more upcoming men’s grooming guides.