Start-up of the week: The ‘lifestyle’ barber shop that replaced Hairbase Plus in Stokey High Street

Kem Mehmet at the salon in Stoke Newington High Street. Picture: Polly Hancock

Kem Mehmet at the salon in Stoke Newington High Street. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

The Gazette hunts high and low each week to bring you news of the most interesting and unusual new businesses in Hackney. This week we pop in to Cuts and Bruises – the Stokey salon that’s just opened on the old site of Hairbase Plus.

Kem at 57 Stoke Newington High St

Kem at 57 Stoke Newington High St - Credit: Archant

Kem Mehmet, 28, has come home to Stoke Newington.

He’s the proud owner of the area’s newest barber shop, Cuts and Bruises, which opened last week.

Opening on the site of his mum’s old salon Hairbase Plus in the high street, Kem’s putting his own styling on the place – gelling elements of hip-hop, metal and streetwear together.

“I’m trying to portray barbering the way I know and love it,” he said. “I’m selling a whole lifestyle rather than just a haircut. I’ve travelled the world and worked in more than 20 barber shops – this place combines everything I’ve learnt in the trade.”


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He’s delighted to be back where it all began: “I’ve been involved with this since I was 15 and sweeping up the hair here in [what was] my mum’s place.

“It’s completely unrecognisable. It’s a drastic change but Mum loves it.”

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Speaking to the Gazette before Christmas, Sally had said of her son’s salon in Shoreditch: “My clients wouldn’t go there. In his barber’s they sit on apple crates as waiting rooms.

“Can you imagine my old girls sitting on them? They’d get splinters.”

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