Behind The Blue Door

Statement Dining | November 10, 2015 |

Top barbers discuss male grooming, beard trends and share their trade secrets



Image source: PortMagazine

Modern man needs a failsafe set of grooming rules. We persuaded two of the best barbers in the business to let us in on some professional secrets and talk trends.

Joe Mills is the founder Joe and Co. Soho and is regularly booked to tend the hair and faces of celebrities and models on magazine shoots, advertising campaigns and high-profile events. GQ magazine said his stripped-back salon gave ‘’the best haircut in town’’.

Just up the road, near Carnaby Street, you’’ll find the Pankhurst barbershop, described as ‘’part speakeasy, part gentleman’’s club’’. Their bespoke barbers’’ chairs have been hand upholstered by the expert leather craftsmen at Bentley motors: this is a sumptuous male space. Founder Brent Pankhurst chatted to us.


Behind the Blue Door: Is the beard over?

Joe Mills: If you’’re a 25-year-old hipster then yep! A lot of guys have invested a lot of time and love in their beards and it will be a hard decision to cut them off. Personally, I believe it’s about what suits you and your lifestyle. How you wear your hair and clothes also becomes part of this decision.

Brent Pankhurst: The fisherman’’s style beard is a trend that has been and gone but shorter, more groomed, beards are definitely here to stay. By the way, beards are best maintained with a conditioner rather than a beard oil.

BtBD: What’s the number one shaving error most men make – and what should they do instead?

Joe: It’’s all in the prep. Make sure you get the stubble nice and soft using a hot towel/ face cloth and use a decent shaving cream. Always shave with the hair growth not against.

Brent: I agree – steam the face with hot towel, apply shaving cream in a circular motion, warm the blade with water and shave with the grain at around a 45 degree angle.

BtBD: Cut-throat, safety, disposable, electric… What really gives the best shave at home?

Joe: A wet shave with a safety is probably your best bet, but it is all in the preparation of your skin.

Brent: A Pankhurst safety razor (not a Mac3) will give you the same result as a cutthroat in store. The barber will always use one blade.

BtBD: How often would you recommend being shaved at a barber’s? Why?

Brent: As often as can be afforded; it is a great experience to be enjoyed time and again.

Joe: Yes, it’’s all about the experience; hot towels, face massage and a bit of pampering. It shouldn’’t be rushed and it is all about the attention to detail and the luxury. Switch off your iPhone and be pampered.

BtBD: What one skin product would you personally recommend?

Joe: D R Harris moisturiser for your face is a must. It’’s an excellent product that really hydrates and doesn’t leave the skin greasy.

Brent: An aftershave ice gel is designed to replicate the experience of a barber shave, cooling the face after a hot towel. It is a great way to soothe the face after a shave, seal pores and help you to feel refreshed.

BtBD: Do real men use hair colour?

Joe: All day long! Personally, I like my grey hair and I think it looks right but for some guys it’’s not what they want. If it’’s bothering you, then speak to your stylist. Ideally, you should get this done by a professional – a bad dye job isn’’t going to cut it.

Brent: No, grey hair is a blessing: ask any bald man. Thanks to the likes of George Clooney, men are enjoying grey hair far more. As long as it is well maintained with a silver shampoo, it will continue to look its best.

BtBD: What hair trends do you predict for 2016?

Joe: Shorter, military-inspired cuts and the other extreme, longer hair. I definitely see quiffs and hard partings going out of style.

Brent: Male hair trends are seeing longer more layered lengths. I anticipate the styles to come will be a nod to the 70s.


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Our experts agree a wet shave is the best way to perfect male grooming. Elevate the home shave experience by using the modern classic Renaissance Gold bowl as your shaving bowl. Pure indulgence.

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