You’re looking for a book that isn’t by James Patterson or Maeve Binchy.
You’re under 30 and you fancy a new shirt or a pair of trainers.
You like browsing around antique stores and record shops, and enjoy buying your meat from a butcher and your fish from a fishmonger.
If any of these apply to you, you can safely give New Malden High Street a miss. Try Wimbledon or Kingston instead. But if you want a haircut, our local high street is definitely THE place to come.
At the last count (2013) there were no fewer than 11 hairdressers on this half-mile strip of road. (That’s excluding the slightly dodgy-looking ones located up narrow staircases, behind single doorways at the side of shops.) In New Malden, only estate agents and food outlets are thicker on the ground.
Slap-bang next to the station, this was briefly New Malden’s busiest barbershop. Now… less so.
Inside Sam’s. ‘Quick number one for me and the boy, yeah?’
Judy isn’t sure whether she needs an apostrophe or not, so covers both bases
Inside, the owner seems to have settled on Judys.
Located just a few doors down from Judys. #KoreanHairFight
I was tempted to ask the Hair Salon where they got their wallpaper but thought it might sound a bit weird coming straight after ‘can I take a photo inside your shop?’
Headmasters was one of the few shops that wouldn’t let me take an interior shot. “We have a marketing department, and they’re very strict on that sort of thing.” Surprisingly, it is also the only local hairdresser to have a hair-based pun in its name. I know!
Hairdresser shops tend to come and go on this site. They suddenly sprout as one neat single shop, then grow in volume to become double-fronted before being trimmed back to a single shop. The staff can vary in sex, number and ethnicity, while the name of the shop changes with the frequency of Lady Gaga’s ‘do.
Just days before this picture was taken, ‘BARBERS SHOP’ occupied the left-hand side while the takeaway ‘Baguette, Set, Go’ enjoyed its all-too-brief existence on the right.
That’s Sam, or Sunni, on the left, and me (dammit) in the mirror
Open 7 days a week. All gens welcome
The Sopranos at work. Perhaps it was a combination of their shop’s name and the staff’s access to super-sharp scissors that prevented me from mentioning their spelling and punctuation mistakes
Dee Biarsee? Die Bias? Never heard anyone say it out loud
Apparently, DiBiase has been in New Malden since 1914. I hope they party hard for their centenary next year. With a bit of luck Haircut 100 will be free
Agassi is fully air-conditioned. Have you ever seen a sign saying ‘partially air-conditioned’ or ‘air-conditioned at the back, on Thursdays’?
According to staff, essensuals is ‘the diffusion group of Toni and Guy’
Here they are, diffusing away
Could this be the strangest retail pairing in history? From the outside, Carrington Wood looks (and sounds) like an estate agent. Then you notice those posters in the window advertising eyebrow threading and waxing. So what exactly is it? Well, it’s perhaps Surrey’s first hybrid estate agent/beauty parlour/hairdresser/lettings agent. Inside, the front of the shop has a few office desks and filing cabinets in a typical (though slightly down at heel) estate-agent style, while the back is given over to the hair and beauty side of the business. They wouldn’t let me photograph inside the shop, evidently thinking it a bit of an odd request. They know all about odd at Carrington Wood.
“Hi! I’m looking for a Victorian semi, three beds, about £350,000?”
“Sorry mate, the best we can offer is a modern terraced for £395,000. But we can wax your eyebrows if you like”
“Take a seat and we’ll go through your finance options.”
You know how some of the finest shows in New York are found off-Broadway? Well…
It’s not a universal rule. Mind you, George did a good job on my barnet. And unlike Sam or Judy or Sunni or the other Sam, I’m pretty sure George is his real name. He’s cut hair in New Malden since the 1970s and I don’t think he’s ever going to expand into eyebrow threading, diffusion products or property sales.
£9 to you, squire.
Edit: Thanks to New Maldenite Matt Lord (@ThatChapLordy), we now have a pic of the hairdressers that catered for the very, very old of New Malden. Bebe was demolished in 2006 to make way for an area of rubble.
Behold the Mekon hair domes of death!