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International interiors: BarberRules in Athens, Greece

BarberRules in Athens doesn’t just cut hair, the city barbershop is also a hangout that focuses on community, skate culture and cool garms too.

FACTOIDS
OWNERS: Konstadinos and Paminos Perrakis
CLIENTS: A core audience of millennials, but we have clients from ages 1 to 91!
SIZE: 400 square metres
APPOINTMENTS OR WALK-INS: Pre-COVID19 we had 2 days of walk-ins per week, now we’re appointments-only via Resurva
PRICES: Haircut €15
Skin fade €18
Total beard reshaping €15
FUN FACT: We have mini skate ramps and a garage where we record our podcast
FOLLOW: @barberrules on Instagram; @BarberRules on Facebook

BarberRules has made it its mission to bring a new barbering scene to Athens. Mini skate ramps, a pop-up shop and an event space to rival any bar in the city – this is not ‘just’ a barbershop.

Konstadinos Perrakis is a third generation barber who learned the trade from his grandmother and mother. In fact, he started his career working in his mum’s shop, but knew that his future lay in creating a barbering brand and putting his own stamp on it. Along with his brother and co-owner Paminos, they created BarberRules, a truly holistic barbershop. “I said to my designer that I wanted to create a Californian-style shop in Athens,” explains Konstadinos. “We used industrial materials and warm lights. To be honest the warm lights do make it more of a challenge to execute haircuts, but they’re so much better for ambience.” The team wanted to depart from a traditional barbershop look – there’s no polished wood or old fashioned features here. There’s a mix of new and vintage Belmonts, skate paraphernalia and the barbershop love Cape Gang’s cool barber capes which give the shop a shot of colour.

barberrules athensSpeaking of love, there’s a lot of it at BarberRules. In fact, Konstadinos goes on to state how hard the pandemic has been for everyone in the business. “BarberRules is my home, I’m used to being there 12 hours a day minimum,” he says. “I can only run and cycle right now. I can’t even skate! But there are good things on the way – me and my partner are expecting
a baby and we’ve just got a new puppy.” Despite not being able to cut hair and not being able to sell at the tattoo conventions that normally bring in a lot of revenue, economically the business is stable. “Thankfully we’re ok financially but, like a lot of the world, we were closed for three months at the beginning of the pandemic which hit us hard emotionally.”

It’s all about connection and community at BarberRules. Located in the Northern suburbs of Athens about 4km from the city centre the shop has roughly 35% local clients, with others coming from all over Athens and some drive into the city for over an hour. In fact, some come from all over Europe. “We see about 1200 clients per month between six barbers. We work six days a week and minimum ten hours a day. We try to keep the price affordable to keep our core audience,”says Konstadinos. “I want the kids in my shop as they’re the community we’re catering to. But we attract all ages, I’ve got clients ranging from 1 to 91!”

barberrules-athens-styling-stationsAnd there’s the podcast 3kavalo. It’s not about barbershops or barbers, but rather culture and lifestyle. “We get well-known guests and we have a good chat.” Other ventures include a clothing shop which features major skate brands.

When it comes to the wider industry, competitions and awards, Konstadinos is focused on his business and his clients. Konstadinos explains to MB that although there’s been a barbershop boom in Greece, he’s determined not to follow the scene too closely or compare himself to other businesses. “To be honest I’m not a huge fan of competing against other barbers – I give all my energy to my clients because that’s what’s most important to me at the moment.” When Konstadinos talks about the clients he’s had for 16 years he talks about them like they’re old friends. “Now they come with their kids! Creativity and connection is what’s most important to me.” We couldn’t agree with that statement more.

This article originally appeared in the Jan-March 2021 issue of Modern Barber, you can read the full issue here