Grooming tips with a pint in hand

On Jan. 14 Imbibe and THEMUSEUM celebrated beer and beards as the third instalment of their Beer+ series.

Photo by Zach Guitor
Photo by Zach Guitor

On Jan. 14 Imbibe and THEMUSEUM celebrated beer and beards as the third instalment of their Beer+ series.

Attendees were taught the basics of men’s grooming while enjoying an array of Muskoka Brewery beers on tap for $5. Darren McDermott, owner of Tommy Gun’s Original Barbershop in Kitchener, provided tips on grooming essentials and a thorough straight razor tutorial.

Imbibe was serving Muskoka Craft Lager, a crisp and light-bodied brew with a subtle malty sweetness — an ideal all-season beer. Also on tap was Muskoka Winter Beard Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout. At first sip, the brew oozed with dark chocolate and with a hint of tart cranberry — this beer has winter written all over it.

“You can still be a manly-man while still taking care of yourself,” McDermott said as he began his presentation.

He started by emphasizing the importance of using a shampoo made for a male head of hair, not the shampoo that your mom or significant other put in the corner of the shower. He argued that the male scalp is generally oiler and differs in pH-levels compared to women.

His primary recommendation was American Crew’s line of shampoos, which covers a vast array of hair types including dandruff and greying hair, while also providing a more neutral scent. McDermott even recommended that bald men use conditioner to maintain a healthy scalp.

Regarding shaving, McDermott held one rule above all else.

“Heat is your best friend when shaving, especially when shaving with a straight razor.”

Traditional shaving techniques are gaining in popularity every day, as men throw out their Mach3 razors to the bin in favour of the double-edge and the ever elusive and terrifying straight razor. It may sound like a nostalgia-driven trend by some Portland hipsters, but

McDermott indicated that these methods will undoubtedly give users a closer shave while saving them money.

Shaving with a standard disposable razor is merely an irritating routine for most men, but the throwback trend may serve to revive the dying art. The straight razor turns the daunting task into something methodical and ceremonious — it gives men their own special time. It’s a return to simplicity as five blades is overkill for the well-groomed gentleman.

McDermott continued with tips to nurture and maintain a healthy beard.

He pointed to argan oil as a catch-all solution to the seemingly untameable, stating that it improves beard health, provides a pleasant scent and helps men avoid the Castaway look.

He went on to outline a few strategies when trimming your beard.

“Never, ever, ever, trim your beard while it’s wet. You’ll end up with a moustache line an eighth of an inch above where you intended.”

He also emphasized that beard trimming should be done with a comb and scissors, but also indicated that electronic trimmers worked in a pinch.

As the presentation drew to a close, McDermott left the audience with one last piece of advice.

“Don’t waste your money folks. Moustache wax is made for moustaches only.”

Whether you prefer the clean shave or the cave-man approach to facial hair, it’s important as men to treat your body with products made for your body.

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