How much do MPs really spend on their hair? David Cameron's Coiffeur V The Commons

David Cameron pays £90 a time; Nick Clegg has gone to £45. But for many MPs it’s a point of pride to pay as little as possible. We comb Westminster to find out whose haircuts cost what

Oscar Quine
Friday 10 January 2014 19:10

There are plenty of places to get a trim around Westminster. From the traditional Pall Mall Barbers to the wipe-down benches and strip lighting of Adriano, a haircut in SW1 will set you back between £9 and £40.

Following a week in which hair has dominated the political agenda, sparked by David Cameron's barber being somewhat controversially made an MBE, the nation's elected heads of hair have never been a hotter topic.

Pall Mall Barbers has sat snugly behind Trafalgar Square since 1896. Around a dozen serving MPs are patrons, taking the 15-minute walk up from the Palace of Westminster to part with between £25 and £40 for a haircut. Manager Daniel Davies says: "We're quite an old shop, quite traditional; I think that is what brings a lot of them in."

Behind a narrow frontage, adorned with a red-and-white barbers stick, lies a warmly lit corridor of a room, taken up by four leather and stainless steel chairs. The porcelain sinks, stamped Jarvis & Co., have been here since the place opened. "Wouldn't It Be Nice" by The Beach Boys, playing from a speaker in the corner, resonates off the oak-panelled walls, and the smell of sandalwood fills the air. To the side of each mirror, a comb hangs in a glass jar of blue disinfectant.

It's Friday - traditionally the busiest day as customers smarten up for the weekend - and every chair but one is full. "You've made my wife very happy," says one punter. "She's been nagging me for a cut for ages." He's the kind of guy you imagine MPs have in mind as they apply the Primark effect to their own heads of hair, competing to see whose has cost the least.

Nick Clegg proudly told listeners to his LBC radio show that his sets him back £20, prompting Commons Leader Andrew Lansley to reveal his own cost (£15), and Labour's shadow Work & Pensions minister Chris Bryant to tweet about his £13 trim.

The bizarre race to the bottom was sparked by reports that Mr Cameron's haircut costs £90, a figure that surfaced after his stylist, Lino Carbosiero - who has cut the hair of Kylie Minogue and Dustin Hoffman - was made an MBE in the New Year's Honours list.

At John Simon Hair & Beauty Salon, within the Palace of Westminster, a cut costs £20. Down the road on Regency Place, Adriano is a minimalist affair: white walls, wipe-down leather waiting bench, plate mirrors and fluorescent lighting. Cuts range from £9 to £13. Around the corner at 4 Fellas (£12-£15), the manager says she remains blissfully unaware of who sits in her chair: "I don't know a thing about politics."

Clippers of the Yard (£13.50-15.50) is the closest hairdressers to the Palace of Westminster, on a side street overlooking New Scotland Yard's famous rotating sign. Owner Pamela Zacharia says that while they cut the hair that frames many a famous face, she won't name names: "We do a Lord and a few well-known ones. But I don't think it's nice to say who: there are people here who come with their bodyguards."

Given the increasingly intense media spotlight, Mr Davies says he empathises with MPs who splash out. "If some of the chaps have public appearances, they will come in and have their neck hair tidied up to make sure they're looking nice and sharp," he says.

"Image is such a big thing now. They could be the best politician in the world, but with a scruffy shirt and a ... dodgy haircut they could well be perceived in a different manner."

Cutting it: Who paid what in Westminster

1. David Cameron pays £90 a haircut - but also rewarded his barber with an MBE.

2. Nick Clegg has his hair cut by Christian at Jam Hairdressing, Sheffield. It costs £20.

3. Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, (Conservative MP for Brentwood and Ongar), "Trims what is left of it himself with clippers," according to a spokeswoman.

4. Andrew Lansley, Leader of the House of Commons, goes to Cambridge barber's Mr Polito's, where it costs £15.

5. Chris Bryant (Labour MP for Rhondda) says he spends £13 having his haircut.

6. Stephen Timms, LAbour MP for East Ham, says:  John Simon Hair Salon, House of Commons, £20. 

7. Jamie Reed (Labour MP for Copeland) says: "I'm not sure anyone would want to own up to cutting my hair, but most recently it has been Judith Vickers, Strand Street, Whitehaven. She's great and not to blame for how it looks most of the time. It's a tenner but I tip on top of that."

8. Andrew Rosindell (Conservative, Romford) goes to Lou the Barber in Rise Park, Romford, £9. "I have been going there since I was a young boy and never go anywhere else."

9. Steve Rotheram (Labour, Liverpool Walton) says he spends £8 at the barbers at the end of the road - "although there is quite a lot to cut!"

10. Mark Spencer (Conservative, Sherwood) goes to Jo's Barbers in Arnold, Notts. He told us that he "went today with my son! Tried to get discount for two cuts but no go."

11. Bob Blackman (Conservative, Harrow East) uses a barber's shop in Golders' Green that has cut his hair since he left University in 1979. "He charges me £10 for a wash, cut and blow dry."

12. Sir Peter Bottomley (Conservative, Worthing West)  regularly pays "£9 in High Salvington with a tip on top".

13. John Bercow, Speaker: has his hair cut in the Commons, at John Simon. It costs £20.

14. Steve Baker (Conservative, Wycombe) refuses to disclose his hair care habits.

15. Gavin Shuker (Labour , Luton South) uses Tulio's in Luton for £9.50, "though I'm growing it out at the minute."

16. Alistair Burt (Conservative, North East Bedfordshire) told us by email: "Thank you for your enquiry - and ‘ Are you having a laugh!?' Please see attached [picture]."

17. Alistair Carmichael (Lib Dem, Orkney and Shetland) had his last haircut at The Barbershop, Mounthooly Lane, Kirkwall. It cost £10.

18. John Pugh (Lib Dem, Southport) says he gets his hair cut locally, paying £9.

19. Michael Thornton (Lib Dem, Eastleight) pays £7.50 at his local barbers in Bishopstoke, The Clip Joint. "I have been going there for nearly 20 years."

20. Mark Tami (Labour, Alyn and Deeside) pays £12 at 4Fellas on Strutton ground near Victoria

21. Nick Smith (Labour, Blaenau Gwent) uses Headley's in Commercial Street, Tredegar,  for just £6.

22. Jim Sheridan (Labour, Paisley and Renfrewshire)  pays a mere £5 at his local barber. "It is important that you can trust your barber as he has some dangerous tools around him/her."

23. Andrew Slaughter (Labour, Hammersmith) pays £12 at X-Perts on Fulham Palace Road. "The barber I normally have is a young Palestinian. They are very good."

24. Jonathan Reynolds (Labour Co-operative, Stalybridge and Hyde) pays £5 at Hair Sanctuary in Stalybridge; or, if in Westminster, £15 to the barber in Parliament.

25. David Blunkett (Labour, Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough) uses Scotts on the Wicker in Sheffield - beard and trim £10 and Central Cuts, Victoria Street London - beard and trim £20.

26. Andrew Percy (Conservative, Brigg and Goole): pays £10 at the barbers opposite his office in Goole.

27. Laurence Robertson (Conservative, Tewkesbury) The Barber's Shop in Tewkesbury, £7.50. "That's probably because there isn't much to cut in my case."

28. Stuart Andrew MP: Thank you for your recent email to Stuart regarding haircuts.  He has asked me to let you know that he gets his cut at Sean's in Yeadon, Leeds, for a grand total of £8.50.

29. John Thurso "My Hair is cut in Thurso and they have just put the price up to £5.50!"

30. Conor Burns: I have my hair cut at a barber's in Bournemouth called Boss Barbers by a former Cherries football player called James Rowe.  I pay £10-12 a time.

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