The barbershop… where everyone knows your name by Belinda Morris
The Blind Barber – sounds like no kind of barber you’d ever want near your throat with a sharp instrument. But in fact the name is less disturbing than it might appear. Recently it has been applied to a range of men’s grooming products, recently arrived in the UK, but Blind Barber happens to be the name of a group of three barbershops in the US (Manhattan, Brooklyn and LA).
They were conceived back in 2009 by one Jeff Laub, who had the notion to recreate the laid-back, place-to-hang-out feel of a speakeasy. (And as it happens, the speakeasies of the prohibition days in America – where you could get illegal alcohol – were also known as ‘blind pigs’ or ‘blind tigers’.) So, Jeff, with partners Josh Boyd and Adam Kirsch, created Blind Barber shops, where you could kick back, have a beer, or a cocktail, or a meal… as well as a shave and a haircut.
Sadly you still have to go to the US to experience these – but in the meantime, you can get a feel for this award-winning business by trying the grooming range. It’s been in the UK for just a few months, but in the US Blind Barber very quickly became one of the top brands in the men’s grooming business – so hardly surprising that it has been snapped up by the likes of Harrods, Selfridges, Fortum & Mason and Mr Porter.
There are seven products in the line (plus Tompkins Scented Candles – housed wittily in barbicide jars – and combining honey, smoke, leather and lavender), kicking off with 90 Proof Pomade which is protein-rich, contain hops for conditioning and offers a strong hold, matte finish. Or for something a little more natural there’s 60 Proof Pomade which gives a lighter hold.
As well as Watermint Gin Shave Cream (with astringent, soothing and healing juniper berry) and Watermint Gin Aftershave (£22-100ml) which acts as an astringent, cleansing aftershave and soothing moisturizer as it tightens and refines pores. Rather sweetly the usage directions on the pack remind you to ’kiss your mother’. Nice.
There’s also a Facial Cleanser (‘removes dirt, leaves the handsome’) hydrates as it helps to fight acne break-outs, removes excess dirt and oil build-up. The sulphate-free Shampoo/Bodywash (£15 – 150ml) is scented with lemongrass green tea and contains Rooibos tea, lemongrass and coconut oil and if you follow-up with the Conditioner you’ll add a little body to your hair and prevent tangles.