Sweeney's Barbershop


Sweeney's Barbershop & Mrs. Lovett's Massage & Beauty Parlour specialises in quality men's haircuts and Traditional Gentlemen's Hot Towel shaving, massages and beauty treatments.

A trendy new hair-cutting hotspot in the heart of Cape Town, finding our home amidst the trendy hustle and bustle of Loop Street, Sweeney’s Barbershop is the place to be for men looking to keep themselves chic. Even though we are so centrally and conveniently located, our stylish salon still provides an ideal place to kick back, relax and soak up some old-school barber style pampering.

If your shaggy scalp-sweater is getting a tad out of control, the scissor skills of Sweeney’s super stylists can ensure it stays in line. With dexterous hands, and more know-how than a set of encyclopedia, we can trim your split-ends or help you shape a totally new style.

Alternatively, the hot towel shave takes the pampering experience to new levels. Though the hot towel wrapped around your stubble-flecked cheeks does feel amazing, it’s not just there for comfort reasons. With the heat encouraging your pores to release their dead-man’s grip on your facial follicles, and lather that’s applied with more skill than a Renaissance painter doing the same thing, the shave leaves skin smoother than a freshly-waxed peach.

Even if you’re a fan of your shaggy mop and five o’clock shadow, just the thought of some old-school pampering is usually enough to get anyone feeling spiffy and upbeat, so don't hesitate come and visit us sooner rather than later.





Men's Haircut = R160,00

High school / Student Haircut = R100,00

Child Haircut = R80,00

Hot Towel Shave = R160,00

Haircut & Shave = R300,00

Beard Trims = R 40,00 - R100-00

Clippercut(Buzz) = R 100,00


Operating hours

Mon - Fri         9:00 - 18:00

Saturdays       9:00 - 16:00

Sundays          9:00 - 13:00


Massage & Beauty Studio also now available.

We also do Wedding Hot Towel Shaves please contact us for further details!!

We import straight razors on request.  Please contact us for further details on this. Minimum waiting period is 3 weeks for delivery.





Straight Razors - a brief history of their development 1500 - 1820


The straight razor may be a simple tool but that doesn't mean to say it's crude. Far from it. The modern (1950-ish onward) straight razor (from here called a 'razor') is a distillation of design that has been evolving since about 1600. That's a long time. The reason the razor is a simple tool is one of refinement - modern razors may not have the collectability value of the ones made 100 years ago but we suspect they're now made of better steel.  

1500's - 1600's.

Razors looked like small hatchets and didn't have maker's names or any form of branding. It was as likely that these were made by the local blacksmith as anyone. What shaving was like with these razors is anyone's guess (perhaps that’s why most men grew beards!) but they were used widely and were the forerunner of the straight razor as we know it.


Both blade and handle were wedge-shaped, the blade being wider at the point than at the pivot. The profile of the blade was a 'wedge' - no hollow grinding - and its edge straight. Blades had no tang as such and very often no 'monkey tail' (the curved 'trigger' piece at the end of the handle). If this was present it was short and stubby. Typical handle materials were horn, wood and bone, though tortoiseshell and ivory were also used. The handle surface was almost always flat, not curved, though handles (called 'scales' from now on) were sometimes bevelled. The pins at either end of the handle were sometimes of brass but generally made of iron. Razors made between 1740 - 1830 were sometimes marked with the words 'warranted' or 'cast steel' to show that this type of metal, invented in 1740 by Robert Huntsmann of Sheffield, had been used. By the standards of today the razors from this era look a bit crude - but they were the cutting edge (pun intended!) of their day

1800 - 1820

This period showed small but subtle changes. A 'shoulder' began to develop on the blade - forerunner to the stabilising piece - and the overall size became a bit smaller. Scales started to show a slight curve, moving away from the earlier totally straight handles. Decorative handles of pressed horn began to appear.

Straight Razors - a brief history of their development 1500 - 1820

Wedge-bladed razor C. 1850(?) with tortoiseshell handle inlaid with crown motif - typical of the period. Note totally straight scales, a leftover from earlier days. (TIE collection, NFS.)

Cast steel razor by Clayton, C. 1780-1790. Notice the complete lack of a shoulder and no tang to speak of. Scales are horn. This used to belong to a Buddhist Monk - honestly. (TIE collection, NFS)

Shoeshine history

As long as people have been wearing shoes, they have found themselves confronted with the problem of how best to keep them clean. While the expectations placed on shoe care in days of yore were comparatively meager, continuing developments in footwear also made people more demanding with regard to cleaning and caring for their shoes. Here is a brief survey of 10,000 years of shoeshine history