Men’s styling has taken on a new twist with the influx of what looks like the old-fashioned barber shop. The traditional red and white striped poles are there, but these new age barber shops are turning back time in men’s grooming and allowing guys to rediscover the joys of style.
I spent the day with Matt Noble, the owner of the newly opened Mr Pinks in Castle Hill, who told me the concept is simple — a place where men can escape and relax with a beer or a coffee while being groomed by trained experts using top quality products and equipment.
The arrival of these new age barber shops is a worldwide phenomenon, and the uptake by gentlemen around the world has been huge. The services are allied to all aspects of male grooming, but most particularly related to hairdressing, shaving, beard grooming, skin care and manicure.
It has been suggested that the demise of the barber shop was brought about by the introduction of the disposable multi-bladed shaver in the 1960s. This, along with the fashion of wearing hair longer, made regular visits to the barber unnecessary. Whatever the reason, women are delighted that their guys are reacquainting themselves with the “art of manliness”.
These “men’s retreats” have lifted the bar in men’s grooming, and it appears men are taking the challenge seriously. With the weather warming up, it is a great excuse to review your grooming and get ready for Spring.

BEARDS — are back, whether the three-day stubble look, short goatee or the full-sized bushranger style. The secret here is grooming and maintenance. Your beard needs to be washed daily and cleaned with a good quality shampoo and conditioner at least twice a week.
To maintain your beard between monthly visits to the barber, invest in a good quality trimmer and specialist beard shampoo and conditioners. Remember to never overdose your beard in cologne and to always rake your beard after eating.

SHAVING — contrary to what shaver manufacturers would have us believe, the best shaving result is obtained by using a single blade shaver and top quality shaving soap, into which is added a few drops of oil.
Here are some simple rules on shaving:
• Invest in a good quality single blade shaver and blades.
• Depending on the coarseness of your beard change the blade at least every second shave.
• Get to know the direction that your hair grows and always shave with the grain.
• To soften your hairs and open your pores, douse your face with warm water or a towel.
• For a smoother shave add a few drops of oil to your shaving mug and lather to a rich foam.
• After shaving douse your face with cold water and finish with a good quality aftershave. Matt tells me Bay Rum is still considered the quintessential classic choice of the stylish man.

HAIR STYLES — to achieve optimum style your haircut will be dictated by the shape of your face, the texture of your hair or even bald spots. The current trend, however, is the fade out look, where the sides are shaved and the top styled to one side. Depending on how fast your hair grows, most guys can achieve optimum results with a regular three or four week visit to the barber.
The fully shaved look is still in fashion, which is great news for guys with receding hair lines. With this style, maintenance is crucial with a regular shave and condition of the scalp.