Orbit Smoke Barbers

Hello folks! And welcome to review number 2 (You probably thought I'd sack this after the first review eh?) This weeks journey took me to Edinburgh where the blog began to test my mettle. Someone else other than my own barber cutting my hair? The risks I am taking for you all. Lets get to it and see how I got on... Hair We Go!

Orbiting around Edinburgh 

I love Edinburgh, but one of my pet peeves in the big cities is finding a parking space, nae, finding a parking space that doesn't require you to burst a tenner. "But there's an app that lets you pay for parking on your phone" *Ignores the good point*. So I was relieved when upon my arrival there was free on site parking. That ticks the first box.  The shop is situated at the start of a housing scheme in Craiglockhart which is quite fitting due to the homely atmosphere I experienced as I entered Orbit Smoke. Hold on a second, Orbit Smoke? That's an anagram for Motorbikes! This revelation makes complete sense as the interior of the shop was kitted out in the typical eye catching biker fashion. From antique skulls gifted from happy clients (There were a lot) to 80s rock music that takes me back to my days of riding around in a chopper in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, this was definitely going to be an intriguing barber experience. 

No helmets required for this seat

My first impressions as I comfortably sat waiting to get my haircut was to admire the complete confidence on display by 2 of the 3 apprentices, Josh and Charley, whilst they attended to their clients. Both just 19 years young, it is no wonder they boast the skills of such fine cutting- with almost 30 years of barbering under her belt, the "Maw" Angela has guided BOTH her students to the finals of the SHABA (Scottish Hair and Beauty Awards) "Best Apprentice Barber". Considering Josh has only been in the game for a year and double the time for Charley, that is an incredible feat. The shop, with walls made from whisky barrels (how cool is that?), is decorated in frames of accolades, awards and certificates of all the qualifications they've attained over the years and this is the first barber I've visited that is state registered with the hair council. I had no idea that was a thing but it does give you that sense of comfort knowing that. My hat goes off to Angela for what she has created at Orbit Smoke. My hat also goes off to Charley because its time to get that hair cut...

 From Student to Master

You're probably wondering who the 3rd apprentice is right? That's none other than Cameron who will kindly offer you a complimentary tea or coffee as soon as you walk in. At just 16 years old, Cameron will be taking his first snippets into the barbering world when he takes up his full training this week. With Angela being a registered senior barber, it wont be long until another apprentice is dusting down the seat for your next client, Cameron ;). Now, as it was my turn to get my haircut from someone other than my original barber, you can understand why I'd be hesitant to let another barber touch the ole head surface. Charlie waved me over to her seat with the upmost belief in her abilities which reassured me I'd be in safe hands. And also the fact that the head barber, Angela had faith in her apprentice. Fair play.  Off you go Charley, a 0 gauge fade and a beard trim please. She didn't disappoint. From observing Angela and Josh and experiencing Charley's barber techniques I noticed that they all possess the similarities of focusing on doing the basics precisely well because as Angela said "You can't build a house without a good foundation". They all take their time with their clients by talking them through their hair/beard cut which reassures you that you'll be getting what you asked for. Your time with them isn't rushed as they hold an engaging conversation at the same time. The criteria that fits Traditional Barbers well. As the shop is small it tends to get crowded as it gets busy but that doesn't phase them one bit. Largely due to the fact that they treat all their customers as family. Family who don't even mind waiting outside for a shape up.

Charley: Gauge mode on.


  Cameron: Hoping to emulate Josh' early success   

Angelic Angela 

I was in no rush to leave once I had my fortnightly cut. So much so I stayed till closing time! Being in the barber game for almost 30 years in March, I knew for certain that Angela will have had some absolute belters of stories to tell me and boy she had! From raising money for great causes such as Retinoblastoma research to being written off as a female barber back in the day, It was an absolute pleasure to have met Angela and her crew. With Josh, Charley and Cameron proudly confessing that she is their mother figure not just at work but in all aspects of their lives, It speaks volumes as to the kind of woman she is. Angela should be proud of her achievements. Not only has she built a fine establishment brick by brick(whisky barrel by whisky barrel should I say lol) but she has also opened her arms to people that didn't know their path until she took them on. It was an absolute pleasure. Consider me a part of the Orbit Smoke family. Thank you for the hospitality.

The Orbit Smoke Team full of skills... next to skulls! 

And Cut...✂

Natter and Patter: 5/5
Main Barber: 5/5
Co Barbers: 4/5 
Shop: 4/5
Walk In Service: 5/5 (Walk ins only) 
Instagram: @orbitsmokebarbers
Address: 2 Craiglockhart Drive South, Edinburgh EH14 1HZ



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