What will you find on an average day at the furthest-from-average barber’s in the land? The land in question being the UK and the barbershop D&L’s in Holloway, North London, one of the last other-side-of-the-tracks neighbourhoods in the city.
The answer, Culture Trip filmmaker Adu Lalouschek finds after a day of hidden-camera filming, is more complex than you might think. Behind D&L’s plate glass door exists a community within a community or, as the barbers and their faithful clients would put it, a family of families, two decades in the making: fathers and sons who’ve grown up in the spinning, black leather chairs, learning to spot the fire-hot fade of a well-fed barber, but who’ve never forgotten the boyhood pleasure (and pain) of an impromptu conker fight.
The barbershop also has a reputation far outshining its modest facade thanks to its roster of celebrity clients. Reggie Yates, Anthony Joshua, Stormzy, Tinie Tempah and Dizzie Rascal have all left their hair in the more-than-capable hands of its charismatic barbers. On charisma, it has to be said that there is no member of the D&L’s family whose star shines brighter than its very own Insta-celebrity, Slider, a man as beamingly upbeat at 6.30am as he raps down the phone to his 50,000 followers as he is closing up shop after a 14-hour day and God knows how many trims.
For the next eight minutes, step inside a world of quality banter, male bonding and artful barbering.