Take it off the chin – at home

man trimming moustacheStruggling with DIY hair and beard trimming? Brixton’s London Barberhood is here to help.

One of the longest-established traders in Pop Brixton, the barbers are planning to open their third establishment in one of Brixton’s arches when conditions allow.

Ben Theophanous, co-founder and commercial director of London Barberhood, says the pandemic has snatched away many of life’s simple pleasures, even a trim at the local barber shop.

“The values and principles that the barbering industry was built on, have become forbidden: A place to socialise, replaced with ‘isolation’.

“So, while we live in a more ‘virtual’ world, I wanted to bring back one of life’s pleasures to the comfort of your own home: that fresh feeling of just having visited the barbers.

“So, brace yourselves, as this should be helpful. Besides, we’ve got lots of ‘time to grow’ if it isn’t …”

Ali Rudi Akan, manager of the Pop Brixton branch, says: “The first thing to do is make sure your beard is nice and clean. When showering or washing your face, try to dig deep with your fingers to massage the skin underneath, rotating your fingers, to thoroughly wash your beard.

“Depending on how long the beard is, it’s advisable to get a good beard brush too. One with tight bristles rather than too many gaps.

“After your beard dries, comb it out and with a pair of scissors, trim the scruffy bits – removing those freak hairs that seem to have a mind of their own.

‘Next, you want to define where your beard meets your jawline. Whether you are using clippers, trimmers or a razor, this part is crucial to get right so that you end up with a well-groomed appearance.

“Go too high, and you’ll end up looking like you have a double-chin (which we probably all already have from overeating at the moment)!

“Go too low, and it’ll look disproportionate. Try to aim for the top of your Adam’s apple and start from there.

“Some people have longer necks than others, but, generally, this is a good marker. Start at the Adam’s apple, then extend up in a soft curve towards your ears to create a shallow ‘U’ shape.

“Once you’ve defined the boundaries, check the length.

“It’s best to use clippers to trim your beard to a preferred length. A good tip is to try to leave the hairs a little longer around the chin and a little shorter on the sides of the face and cheeks.

“If you have clippers, use a number 5 setting for your goatee area, and a number 3 for the rest of the face.

“Try to keep your moustache the same length as the rest of the face too (number 3).

“It’s best to run the clippers horizontally across the face when trimming the moustache too, so you don’t damage your nostrils with the clipper guard. Trim nose hairs either with scissors or with ear and nose hair trimmers.

“Finally, finish with a good beard oil. One that will moisturise. Beard Balm from Uppercut Deluxe is good, as is argan or coconut oil.

“Comb the oil through the beard to distribute it through the beard and to give it shape and volume. Then check again for any rogue hairs to trim away. Not only will you have managed to spend a good few hours being productive, but you’ll look and feel great too.”

Barberhood’s Brixton branch is a traditional barbershop that blends premium grooming with local community give-back.

Over the years London Barberhood have taken up many opportunities provided by Pop Brixton to support the local community.

They have participated in a range of Prince’s Trust initiatives, from Young Entrepreneurs events, to work experience and mentoring for 14–19-year-olds.

As well as fundraising, they have also provided work placements and work experience for local schools and partnered with local charities.

One example is a work experience placement with the Mosaic Clubhouse – a local charity focusing on helping people with mental health issues find work.

Their advice to people who are looking to start a new business is to “be prepared for the boring bits”.

To transform an idea into a reality, the say, “takes so much more than just the idea. There is a lot of admin, operational considerations and bureaucracy, which often stand in the way of, or dilute the power of an idea.”

Ben says: “The reality of red tape, can, in many cases, dampen the dream. If you can compartmentalise the stress of organising those elements and stay focused on what makes the idea stand out – then you will be fine!”

He says Pop Brixton helped to alleviate a lot of the stress first-time business owners face.

“Not only is the rent affordable, but, being part of a business community with like-minded entrepreneurs in a similar position, really helps.

“Pop also provided  a range of opportunities and support that helped the brand grow, and made the initial start-up phase a little less risky.

“For this reason, I would highly recommend Pop Brixton as a place for first time business owners.”