Health & Grooming: The Royal Treatment

Perry Gastis studies his subject with the intensity and concentration of a surgeon before making a determination. Only after employing his considerable experience and acumen to assess skin conditions and facial hair density does he deem which of the seven Truefitt & Hill shave formulas is most appropriate for removing this beard.


If there is such a designation as shaving expert, it applies to the 36-year-old Gastis, who started training as a teenager with his father, a lifelong barber, and later worked as a men’s groomer at the Art of Shaving in Las Vegas. Last October, when a Truefitt & Hill salon opened in the Forum Shops of Las Vegas, Gastis found a venue where he can fully demonstrate his talents. Independently owned Truefitt & Hill salons also operate in Chicago and Toronto, and the London flagship, on St. James’s Street, has served as the court-appointed royal barber since the reign of King George III.

“It’s the art of our barbers that gives Truefitt & Hill its credibility,” says Brian Jacobsen, co-owner and retail director of the Nevada franchise. “Truefitt & Hill shave services are based on skin type and thickness of beard. We count on our barbers to identify the specific needs of each customer.”

Those needs include pre-shave, hot-towel facials with varying amounts of eucalyptus and other essential oils, followed by the application of one of the seven shave creams, which include West Indian Limes, spicy Trafalgar, and musky Grafton. Gastis and the other barbers even will adjust the number of times they glide their straight-edge blades across your face—from one to as many as four strokes, both with and against the grain—to ensure the closest shave without causing razor burn or other inflammations. Truefitt & Hill also offers its all-male clientele haircuts and color treatments, manicures, pedicures, and head and neck massages.

Established in 1805 by William Francis Truefitt (barber Edwin Hill became a partner in 1935), the Truefitt & Hill salon in London is listed by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest barbershop. Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill, and members of the British royal family from the last nine reigns can be counted among Truefitt & Hill regulars past and present. A jar of Truefitt hair pomade even was found among the wreckage of Titanic.

Truefitt & Hill never promises the closest shave, notes Jacobsen. Instead, he says, “We promise to give you the best 30-minute shave experience you’ve ever had.”

Truefitt & Hill



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