Ladies, I get pretty stoked about the direction of men’s grooming these days. Oh my to those low fades and pompadours and undercuts with hard parts and groomed beards or a wet shave. The forecast for men’s grooming has just gotten sunny with an eminent chance of cleaning-up from the scruff and shabbiness of yesteryear and I say Amen.
Being well groomed is the quintessential trend of today’s man whether he is white collar or blue collar, metro or country, from Madison Avenue or Silicon Valley, a Celebrity or your own GQ man. If you’re a stylist where men are a huge part of your clientele, you should get excited about being a part of the movement, learning new skills, refining old ones and just being a part of their transformation.
Men’s hairstyling has come a long way. True, the styles of the past were current for the year in which they were born; however, they are no competition for the shapes-of-the-line, designs and overall magnetic appeal of today’s well-groomed man. Let’s take a look at a few shapes of the past with a side-by-side picture of today’s man, you decide.
In an article from the June 2014 Edition of Modern Salon, titled “Madmen: Pompadours, Severe Parts and Clipper Cutting,” Maggie Mulhern writes: “Shape and design is trending at an all-time high in men’s hair: think Macklemore, Bruno Mars, David Beckham, Adam Levine and Miguel. Thanks to big hits like The Great Gatsby and Mad Men, pop culture is embracing longer lengths, versatility, shine and severe partings—it’s a great time to be a groomer.” I agree, it is an excellent time to be a ‘groomer.’ In fact, it makes me long to get some training as a barber, use some of the amazing clippers and tools and to try my own hand at some these manly shapes and designs. I’d go so far as to say, I’d love to learn how to give a ‘wet shave.’ I do love a clean shaven man.
I did some research on” wet-shaving” and I must say, I’m a bit jealous that men get to experience such decadence. There is an element of danger and allure to this service. Shaving has a long and somewhat of a hair-pulling history according to Wikipedia: “Before the advent of razors, hair was sometimes removed using two shells to pull the hair out or using water and a sharp tool. Around 3000 BC when copper tools were developed, copper razors were invented. The idea of an aesthetic approach to personal hygiene may have begun at this time, though Egyptian priests may have practiced something similar to this earlier. Alexander the Great strongly promoted shaving during his reign in the 4th century BC to avoid “dangerous beard-grabbing in combat”, and because he believed it looked tidier. In some Native American tribes, at the time of contact with British colonists, it was customary for men and women to remove all bodily hair using these methods.“ This is just one more instance where we can be ever-grateful for technology; hats off to all those “thinkers and doers” who invented tools which make our lives easier and well, today’s men more handsome with their well-groomed and polished haircuts and facial hair.
Wet shaves are nothing new though they seem to becoming more popular. They date back to the late 1800’s; in fact, the first Barbershop opened in1893 in Chicago. Men went to the Barbershop not just for haircuts and shaving, but also for socializing, where men could be men and amuse themselves in just a man’s world. I can imagine brandy and murmurings of politics under a haze of cigar smoke. Its been documented that the Barbers in the Middle Ages were also Surgeons and Dentists. Oh My! I wonder, did they use the same tools for cutting the hair and for cutting open the body? Now that is hair-raising scary. Anyway, back to the story. Want to give a wet shave? It is enticing. Personally, I’ll never forget that scene with Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover in “The Color Purple.” While I’m not trying to inflict harm, wet shaving seems like a sensual act for a woman to gift to her man. Am I right or Am crazy?
Unfortunately, unless you shave in the privacy of your home, you have to be a licensed Barber to ‘wet-shave.’ The good news is, in the State of Washington, you only need 1000 hours to take your exams and be licensed. You can also apprentice for 1200 hours. For us cosmetologists whose license includes ‘barbering’ we’d have to be certified. Oddly enough, but not surprising, there are hundreds of videos on ‘wet-shaving’ on YouTube. It’s crazy to think someone might watch a video and try it at home. LOL. Here’s one link from the “Art of Shaving” where one of their barbers demonstrates a wet-shave. http://youtu.be/EcOwpzJuShA I’m a little jealous. It looks so relaxing, calming and bit precarious. Wet-shaving is global man-thing. I guess that stands to reason since not all men like facial hair and pursue ways to remove it. Here’s a video of a “street-shaving” in Mumbai, India. This demonstration takes shaving to a whole new level. Whoa, I’m still blown away just thinking about it, but it was fascinating and hypnotizing. Check out this Turkish Shave. http://youtu.be/JmEkown9XOg.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m not much for facial hair on my man; I suppose a small mustache is acceptable but I think it would be pretty cool to try the ‘art of wet-shaving’ just to say I learned something new and let’s be honest ladies, there is a lot of power that we could wield with the straight razor. Ok, I’m not all the way serious, but almost. Haha. If you are a bit squeamish with the idea of using a straight razor you can always trim up the facial hair with beard trimmers and even a pair of shears. The following link is rather long; 29 minutes to be exact but the Barber extraordinaire, Dave Diggs demonstrates how to do a ‘low fade pompadour” with a beard trim with both the trimmers and the straight razor. As you will see, he is a master and very skilled at his trade. Hope you enjoy.
It excites the hairdresser in me to see how men’s styles have evolved. Women’s hairstyles can be labeled ‘classic’ and withstand the test of time and make a comeback with a little contemporary twist, whereas, men’s styles haven’t seen the same kind of notoriety they are enjoying right now. Hail to the new and improved; to the undercuts, the pompadours, the new reinvented shapes and designs and the clipper cut craze which is sweeping the globe. It makes me happy to see a well-groomed man. That’s it for now ladies. Hope you enjoyed my humbled thoughts in writing.