The Beard struggle….



Well, since I don’t have hair on the top of my head, there is no illusion of baldness on my chin.  Thus, I have grown to love my furry chin.  The only thing is, I had a couple of bad hair days.  Yes, hair days, those on my face!

So how do one tame the beard?  Or is it overrated to say that a bearded person need to have someone to tame his (or her [let’s not discriminate]) beard?  Well, I have learned that being fortunate enough to grow a full beard is more than a science than I anticipated.  It’s not just about shaving your beard and voila you’re done, it’s a technical thing.  It’s about shaping, moulding and touching up where needed and putting the right products, oils, balms on your face.

So how do I go about my beard?  Well, apart from shampooing it in the shower, I do need to make sure that it looks good and smells good.  The beard-market erupted with products specifically for one’s beard.  There are beard shampoos, moisturisers, oils and yes, some beard balm.  Spoiling myself however, gives me the opportunity to have  someone take care of that FOR you.  I have experienced a variety of Barbers but my favourite still is Sorbet MAN located in Cape Quarter in De Waterkant, Cape Town.  They know their trade.  Soon I was in the plush leather barber chair, my face was cocooned in  hot towels, lathered up, trimmed, shaved, shaped (yes, that happens too) and treated with exquisite beard products.  Did I mention my JW on the rocks? Jip, they can “man-handle” me any time! I walked out there with my chin looking, feeling and smelling sophisticated, healthy and shining!  Reality is though, that you do pay an arm and a a leg for some of these treatments.

Arriving back at the capital I also enjoyed Sorbet MAN in Menlyn Maine and was equally impressed with their whole set up and the experience did not fail in my expectation.  One day in casual conversation with one of my (non-bearded) friends, I heard about a Pakistani gentleman that had a barber shop not far from where I am staying.  So I gave it a go!  I arrived there sitting in front of my steering wheel thinking.  The shopfront was not appealing at all but hey, it’s all about experiences.  I entered.  He walked closer, without greeting and nudged me to the chair in the far left corner.  He wasn’t very talkative either.  I think his name was Sindha. There were no expensive tiles, aromatisers, masculine decor or flush ambient lightning and immediately knew, this was going to be a different experience.  Well, the barber knew what to do.  Trimmed my beard, shaved my neck, shaped my beard and although he didn’t have all the cutting edge equipment (see, I used a pun… cutting… **goofy smile** ….. ok, moving on swiftly), expensive oils, balms and moisturisers he did his thing.  I was equally impressed with his skill and yes it was a different experience.  A good one I might add and paid a third of what I should’ve paid at my favorite spot.

The question then lingers….”Do one need expensive stuff around when going for a trim and shave?”.  The answer is a combination really.  Yes, I love the finer things in life.  I love the ambient lightning, I love that the staff are all uniformly dressed, looking hip.  I looooooooove especially the fact that I get swirled and treated with the best beard and face products (even the JW on the rocks…. well… it rocked).  Thinking about my two experiences though, one needs a barber with a good steady hand, with skill and when you subtract all this whirly pearly swirleys, you just needed to have your beard trimmed. That’s all.

If you are a bearded fellow. Instead of hacking away on your own, why not go and explore your neighbourhood and see what works for you.  Sorbet MAN might be your thing, the Pakistani around the corner might be your thing, or you like to go about it on your own, but most of all make sure that you care for your chin the right way and make that your priority-thing! Go! Now!

PS. My favourite Beard Balm & Oil is the Hairy Eye range and they are available at Sorbet Man here in Menlyn Maine Pretoria


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