Milan | GUM Salon

GUM: likely the coolest and certainly the most original hair salon in Milan, in trend-setting Ticinese neighbourhood just south of centre. This is where Stefano Terzuolo started up on his own after 15 years’ experience with top international brands and a penchant for northern European styles in music and fashion as well as hairdressing. Now he directs a permanent team of six specialists at GUM salon, which boasts its own product line and umpteen collaborations with photographers, make-up artists, set designers and their models wherever the look is part of the business.

He named the salon after America’s favourite pomade – we’re talking 1950s here – and followed through with an overarching vintage concept in the décor. So within black tiled or brickwork walls are retro dressing-room mirrors, classic barber chairs in leather and gleaming chrome, dark Chesterfield sofas, a proper barber pole and a very fancy cash register that literally rings up a sale.

Cutting and styling couldn’t be more contemporary, but there’s an old-school formula of personal attention to customers which shows in details like few at a time, a relaxing drink, wi-fi on tap, scalp massage and care in suggesting the best style solutions. No less for the guys than for the girls: my friend Paolo Ferrarini always gets his impeccable beard trimmed by barber Emi and impresses me with reports of warm towels and essential oils. They also do a hangover treatment for jaded male faces, and barbershop cuts and shaves involving traditional straight razors and shaving cream on a brush. Transparency seems to be another byword at GUM salon, with team bios and pricing online along with lots of style photos, a booking form and the retro-style GUM product range, much of it organic, in the store.