November 15, 2013Posted by Andrea Seifert
So we’ve hit the landmark mid-way point in Movember, and in case you’ve been living under a rock or in Timbuktu, you’ll probably have noticed an increase of furry faces on the streets… No, it’s not Burt Reynolds tribute month, it’s all in aid of men’s health and raising awareness for prostate cancer and other men’s issues.
Everyone needs a (steady) helping hand, and one of my Mo-Bro’s has been complaining of razor bumps, lamenting that he’s been reduced back to puberty-stricken pizza face, poor boy. Shaving too closely is one of the triggers for these unsightly red lumps, as the hair stubs will get trapped inside the hair follicle and dig inward or sideways. To avoid this, don’t pull the skin when you shave; don’t put too much pressure on the blades; go with the flow and shave with the grain. Prepping for your shave is part of the battle too, you’ve got to tenderise those tresses my man, and a hot flannel will open up your hair follicles and soften those bristly whiskers. OR… Just go to a barber. A man should have a barber that he visits regularly.
You can read about the barber shops that are, ahem, a cut above the rest around the world in our downloadable Movember Guides, and we’re giving you a sneak peek here. Finding the right chop shop is no mean feat. Barbershop culture is back baby, and it’s here to stay. The debonair Lewis from Sultans of Shave in Singapore weighs in on a few hairy basics below.
What is the one key thing to growing a good mo?
It’s easy but requires discipline and proper maintenance. Allow me to run you through the different stages of growing a mo. As you start to grow a one, the initial stubble will naturally cause some itchiness. A quality moisturiser will take care of this, but you have to be religious in applying it. As tempted as you are to give up, hang in there, it’ll pay off soon enough. After your mo grows out it’s essential that you keep it neat and groomed and don’t let it grow beyond your lip. After all, you want your mo to make you dapper, not dumpy.
What are the essential grooming instruments or products?
A quality razor, shave cream and aftershave balm. A signature scent which suits you to add that special touch to your grooming regime.
How do you decide what the right style/shape is for you?
The thing about mo’s is you pretty much get free reign as long as it suits your personality. As much as it is about having fun with growing out your facial hair, you have to be able to carry it off. Any barber would be more than happy to provide a gentleman looking to grow a mo with advice on how to go about doing it.
Any special tricks to get it to grow faster?
That’s a trade secret that I can’t reveal…!
Sultans of Shave
Movember is all about starting the month clean-shaven and ending it in mustachioed glory. Or, at least, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Alas, my mo’ is more of a crazed snarling beast (not something I’m particularly fond to wear on my upper lip for fear of people swiping at it with a rolled newspaper). Luckily there’s Sultans of Shave to the rescue. There are few places I’d rather lounge than in these fine leather barber chairs. Go big and treat yourself to The Sultan’s Experience, which involves a haircut, massage, and hot towel shave. You’re in good hands here.
A visit to slick Gentleman’s Tonic is the perfect pick-me-up for the Mo Bro on the go. With a variety of indulgent treatments as well as their own brand of luxurious and effective grooming products, it’s a one-stop shop for setting yourself on the road to refinement. Best of all, however, are the signature packages named after masculine icons such as The Valentino, The Montgomery and The Shackleton. I love The Hemingway, which not only includes an aromatherapy facial and massage, but also a Bloody Mary. Ernest would doubtlessly approve.
Murdock London has an impressive range of services and grooming products on offer, with everything from a Quick Tidy Up between haircuts to a London Luxury Full Service and even How to Shave tutorials. Come the end of Movember, the good folks are offering a complimentary Shoreditch Shave Down for Movember moustache growers. Check the Murdock website for details and to RSVP.
Brothers Hanan and Jay have created what they describe as a “luxurious yet masculine space”, and there’s clearly a market for it. Set in a lofty heritage building, effortlessly cool Room 104 offers the modern hirsute male excellent styling by some of the best scissorhands in the biz. Kick back and enjoy beers, whiskey, and great banter while tresses are trimmed or beards and ‘staches tidied.
Captains of Industry
Captains of Industry checks off all to-dos at once. It’s home to a hairdresser, a gentleman’s outfitter and a shoemaker, as well as a café. All on a single floor, all of it bespoke, traditional and unmatchable in quality (especially the sandwiches). The throwback interior, retro furniture and miscellaneous bits and bobs hanging off the walls are just a bonus for the eyes. Still, new hairdos, suits and kicks aside, there’s a more pressing matter for the man about town and it involves roast chicken, bacon and lettuce. It’s called the Hemingway sandwich. I recommend you introduce yourself immediately.
Boar and Blade
The giant boar’s head at the entrance is a pretty big clue that this place isn’t for the timid. Boar & Blade is an old-fashioned grooming salon — think lots of wood and even more leather — run by body art enthusiast, Bundy the Barber. Bundy claims the best style for anyone is done “the old way with a modern twist” which epitomizes what Boar & Blade is all about. A note of caution to haters of hip hop: there’s plenty of it played here but if I were you, I’d check out Bundy’s tattooed biceps before complaining.
The Barber Shop
Instinctively, some people will be hesitant about the idea of combining booze and scissors. I say they go hand-in-hand. Visit The Barber Shop and assuage your fears: a cocktail with a hot towel shave is a hell of a thing. This newbie on York Street turfed out boring old office space in favor of a barbershop and a bar with a drinks list that pays homage to some British classics without being too clever. Whether sipping a Crown & Glory while waiting for a trim, or kicking off with a bottle of Ruinart, you’re in safe hands.
Whether you’re looking to get a brand new do or just a seriously good shave, your new friends at this hip spot have you covered. While you wait for your turn with the barber (be warned, it’s walk-ins only), query the knowledgeable staff on their extensive selection of grooming supplies. Believe me when I say, you’ll be pleased with how damn good you look after.