Barbershop Quartet

by Insiders Dunedin

Despite rumours to the contrary, I don’t have a moustache; it was just terrible lighting that one time. This Movember, with men as under the gun personal-grooming-wise as women (poor babies), it’s time for a round-up of spaces to place faces, whether you’re a hair bear or smooth as a baby’s proverbial.

The axes on the wall of Barkers Groom Room lend an ‘I’m a lumberjack and I’m OK’ feel. Daniel Heatley, 13 years a hairdresser, 8 years a barber says there’s a massive difference between the two, “men’s haircuts are never quite good enough. It’s about perfecting the craft. Your clipper works a lot more.” Fades and combovers (not the hiding a bald spot variety) are currently on trend; squarer shapes reminiscent of 1930s haircuts: pompadour, slick back, buzz cut, flattop boogie. Is going to the barber a treat? “No, it’s a regular thing. Whereas old-school barbershops didn’t do anything cool and men didn’t admit to spending time on themselves, men care about their appearance more and its socially acceptable to take pride in it.” These days ‘men come first’ (lol, as if) at Bloke Barbers where there’s a two tough-sticker minimum. Is the rise of barbering down to the hipsters? “Not necessarily,” said a nice young man with a tattoo of a straight-edge razor on his neck. Men used to have a trim a couple of times a year, now it’s anything from once a month to once every three. At $32 dollars for a standard, they can afford to take care of their hair. Beards are in, “everybody and their brother has a beard.”

Fresh Prince Barber’s Che Kavamagh is more about the youthful face, a natural textured look his preference. Age-wise “being young (Che is 25 the other barber is 19), we’re quite close to our clients and have a feel for what they like.” Contemporary barbering is influenced by traditional hairdressing skills such as scissor cutting but brings more attention to detail and nobody is more about the detail than Brotherhood Barbers, where hair art for kids is all the rage according to Mason Robust. When it comes to grownups, it’s all about the chin furniture. “A beard has become an identity, you don’t just grow it and leave it unattended, everyone’s got a different shaped head and you can’t manage it yourself.” How true. I shaved all my hair off once, and boy do I have a funny-shaped head. Mandalas and symmetrical line work are very popular, luckily Brotherhood’s barbers are super-talented, “You’ve only got one chance with every single line,” – Mason’s experience as a tattooist helps. 3-4 weeks later it can be shaved and reset in a completely new style. So, grow your mo and lovingly tend those beard hairs because like the old saying says: behind every successful man … is a barber.

Images : Sharron Bennett Photography

Text: Lisa Scott

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